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The Riggs Blog

The Riggs Blog is a mix of news about clinical work, research and educational activities from the Austen Riggs Center, as well as a source for information beyond our walls that we find interesting and thought-provoking. Senior clinical experts, researchers, and editors review all clinical content on this blog before it is published.

  • Crying Girl

    The face of a two-year-old Honduran girl, dwarfed by the adults who only appear as legs in the photo, communicates undeniable anguish. Used to represent the horror of children separated from their parents at the US-Mexican border, the photo became a lightning rod for controversy when it turned out that this particular child was not actually separated from her mother.

  • Austen Riggs Center Associate Medical Director and Director of Biopsychosocial Advocacy Dr. Eric Plakun writes about the Four Freedoms in Mental Health Care

    Austen Riggs Center Associate Medical Director and Director of Biopsychosocial Advocacy Dr. Eric Plakun writes about the Four Freedoms in Mental Health Care

  • Leadership and Institutional Integrity conference at the Austen Riggs Center.

    The Erikson Institute of the Austen Riggs Center is pleased to announce “Leadership and Institutional Integrity,” a one-day conference on Saturday, July 21, being held in memory of the Rev. Dr. A. Wesley Carr, former Dean of Westminster Abbey (1997-2006), former Erikson Scholar, and former member of the Erikson Institute Council of Scholars of the Austen Riggs Center. The conference examines current leadership pressures in our major institutions of education, arts, government, and healthcare. 

  • Samar Habl, MD is the director of admissions at the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge, MA.

    In this video blog series, we will periodically feature Riggs staff members–who they are, where they come from, why they came to Riggs, and why they stay. 

  • Dr. Loewenstein gave the Grand Rounds presentation, "Don't Be Silly, If You Were Suffering from a Multiple Personality, I Would Have Noticed Something," at the Austen Riggs Center.

    Richard J. Loewenstein, MD, founder and medical director of the Trauma Disorders Program at Sheppard Pratt Health Systems in Baltimore, MD, talks about the misdiagnosis of dissociative disorders, what he has learned during his career, and his current clinical interests. 

  • The Austen Riggs Center provides intensive psychodynamic psychotherapy in a voluntary, open, and non-coercive community.

    The Austen Riggs Center Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media recognizes a select group of professional journalists, writers, and media professionals who create exemplary work that contributes to the public’s understanding of mental health issues. A prestigious recognition, each prize carries an award of $3,000 and is presented at the Center's annual Fall Conference held in Stockbridge, MA. This year’s conference, “Duality’s End: Computational Psychiatry and the Cognitive Science of Representation,” will be held on September 28-30, 2018.

  • Suicide Awareness Month

    Austen Riggs Center clinician and Director of the Erikson Institute, Dr. Jane G. Tillman, responds to the New York Times article “Suicide Survivor Guilt.”

  • The Austen Riggs Center offers fitness instruction to the patients as an integrated approach to health.

    Austen Riggs Center’s Dr. Heather Churchill talks about the health and wellness offerings that patients have access to while in treatment. 

  • Psychotherapy

    We focus on the whole person, including the trauma. “We try to learn from a person’s relationships—past and present. We try to understand the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that come up in relationships, some of which otherwise might sabotage treatment,” she says.  People with complex trauma histories often become reactive to relationships in ways they don’t understand. We try to help them understand and organize themselves so they can stay in treatment and approach their trauma in a safe way. 

  • Dr. Christina Biedermann, staff psychologist at Austen Riggs Center

    “Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the body’s physical and emotional response to extreme stress,” explains Dr. Christina Biedermann, staff psychologist at Austen Riggs Center.  That stress is triggered by a life-threatening event, either a single incident, such as a car accident, or chronic trauma, such as military combat, abuse or chaotic relationships. 

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