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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.

  • Edward R. Shapiro, MD, Distinguished Faculty in the Austen Riggs Center’s Erikson Institute, explores Wesley Carr and an institution’s primary task.

    Edward R. Shapiro, MD, Distinguished Faculty in the Austen Riggs Center’s Erikson Institute, explores Wesley Carr and an institution’s primary task. 

  • The Austen Riggs Center has a therapeutic community in an open treatment setting.

    Entering the open setting here at Riggs produces a kind of culture shock—this holds for patients, for their families, and for new staff. As a psychiatric hospital, Riggs is unique, and it is the open setting that makes it unique: no locked wards, no security guards, no pass system. Patients have cars, hold jobs, come and go to college, sit (or work) in the coffee shop down the street.

  • Tracy Prout presented a Grand Rounds at the Austen Riggs Center.

    During a visit to the Austen Riggs Center earlier this year, Tracy Prout, PhD, spoke with us about a number of topics including her interest in psychodynamic psychotherapy, working with children, and what led her to teaching and research. 

  • Austen Riggs Center Medical Director/CEO Eric M. Plakun, MD, comments on a recent verdict with implications for mental health parity.

  • Celebrating 100 years of lives reclaimed at the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge, MA.

    The Austen Riggs Center (Riggs) celebrates its one hundredth anniversary in 2019, and will mark the milestone of its founding with a series of engaging events, curated exhibitions, and a centennial conference, each honoring the institution’s historic legacy at the forefront of mental health treatment, patient care, and research, it was announced today by Eric M. Plakun, MD, Medical Director and CEO of the Austen Riggs Center. 

  • Recreational marijuana is now sold legally in Massachusetts. What does that mean for Austen Riggs?

    Recreational marijuana is now sold legally in Massachusetts. What does that mean for Austen Riggs?

    Massachusetts voted to legalize medical marijuana in 2012 and approved the sale of cannabis for recreational use in 2016. This has led to the recent opening of the state’s first dispensaries—one of them less than 10 miles from Stockbridge and at least two others in Berkshire County with still more planned. Given that half of the patients who come to Riggs for treatment have a diagnosed substance use disorder, the relatively easy access to legal cannabis could add to the challenges they face. 

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

    The Austen Riggs Center announces a call for entries for its centennial year 2019 Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media. 

    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. 

  • Emily Weinstein, EdD, spoke at Austen Riggs about her work in social media research.

    During a visit to the Austen Riggs Center earlier this year, Emily Weinstein, EdD, spoke with us about a number of topics ranging from her interest in social media research, her work with Project Zero and Common Sense Media, and advice for parents concerned about children’s social media use. 

  • Conference

    The Therapeutic Community Program at the Austen Riggs Center provides an opportunity for patients to share their strengths with one another and with the staff in a partnership of mutual problem solving and learning. This exploration of strengths has, in different ways, always been a key component of the treatment philosophy from Riggs’ founding in 1919 to its present form today. 

  • Austen Riggs Center Clinicians will be presenting at and attending the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) 2019 National Meeting, Feb. 5-10 in New York City.

    Austen Riggs Center Clinicians will be presenting at and attending the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) 2019 National Meeting, Feb. 5-10 in New York City.

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