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.

  • Therapeutic Relationship

    Why is it that outpatient psychotherapy isn’t always successful? Living adaptively between sessions and being able to manage day to day life can be difficult.

  • ACPE accredited fellowship program

    The Austen Riggs Center is pleased to announce that the Accreditation Council for Psychoanalytic Education, Inc. (ACPEinc) has given a full seven year accreditation to the four-year Fellowship program in psychoanalytic studies at Riggs.

  • Open setting

    When clinical staff at Austen Riggs talk about "the open setting," we are invoking a concept intimately familiar to those of us, both patients and staff, who have been here for any significant period of time. What we mean by this term, however, is not always immediately obvious outside this system.

  • Cooking Indian food

    As part of our Winter Chat series provided for patients and staff, Riggs Food Services Manager, Adrian Bennett, gave an informative and delicious demonstration on how to prepare and cook four basic Indian dishes (Lemony Red Lentil Dahl, Cilantro Mint Chutney, Vegetable Biryani and Kachumbar) that the audience gratefully sampled at the conclusion.

  • Fenris Wolf

    Austen Riggs held a blog competition among staff members where we asked them to answer the question: “What does the open setting mean to you?” Over the next few weeks you will read entries from a diverse field of respondents. Congratulations to David Mintz, M.D., Team Leader and Staff Therapist, for creating the winning blog entry.

  • Open setting

    In his remarkable and thorough piece on the open setting, Riggs’ staff psychologist John Muller, Ph.D. reflects on the meaning of the open setting at Riggs, the implications it has for treatment, both for patients and staff, and the importance of maintaining the open setting for the benefit of the treatment.

  • Austen Riggs Center

    The work at Riggs, which places the dignity of the patient at its center, is difficult but rewarding. When we look inward, it is easy to become absorbed in that work and sometimes to feel a deep sense of accomplishment. When we look outward, we have the opportunity to engage those around us in a learning dialogue, but we also encounter the enormity of the problems within mental health more broadly.

  • James L. Sacksteder, M.D. medical director/CEO

    The Austen Riggs Center is excited to announce the emergence of a new generation of leaders who have been listening, learning and developing at Riggs for the past fifteen to twenty years. These new leaders represent both change and stability. A careful plan was developed to conduct this transition in leadership and incorporated throughout 2013 and early 2014. New leaders are in place and actively engaging in their work.

  • As part of our Winter Chat series provided for patients and staff, Jane Tillman, Ph.D., APBB facilitated an informative and truly engrossing overview and discussion of Erik Erikson’s life, his contributions to Riggs and his contributions to the field of psychoanalysis.

  • Elizabeth Weinberg, MD,

    Elizabeth Weinberg, M.D., staff psychiatrist at the Austen Riggs Center, will present An Introduction to DSM V, a detailed overview of the diagnostic changes in DSM V at the Brien Center (251 Fenn Street, Pittsfield, MA) on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 from 10:00am-12:00pm.



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