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.

  • Photo of reading glasses

    I used to work in a teaching hospital where one of the doctors regularly asked psychiatry residents to read a story by Anton Chekhov called Misery or To Whom Shall I Tell My Grief? The story is about a man who can find no one to talk to about his sorrow about the recent death of his son.

  • Suicide Awareness Month

    The suicidal person suffers alone. We must continue to find ways to address this suffering. Treatment is only part of the answer, although in treatment centers we can and should try to find ways to do better. Beyond treatment, in our communities, our country, our culture, we can find ways both to cultivate hope and to speak with each other about suffering.

  • Inn Living Room

    Many often remark that Austen Riggs is a unique place and program. For those who have spent time here -- as an employee, a student, or a patient, the experience is often called “transformational.”

  • Marilyn Charles therapy session

    Dr. Eric Plakun comments on recent publications comparing CBT to psychodynamic therapy.

  • Dr. Jonathan Olds

    "If, like me, you have a deep desire to understand what it is to be human, are not afraid to be challenged, and feel that one is able to truly make a clinical difference to someone through the power of analysis and perseverance, I cannot recommend a medical elective at Austen Riggs highly enough."

  • Artwork entitled Important Day

    “People have eyes to see, ears to hear and art to feel.” Jo Ann Rothschild quoted her first teacher, Leo Garel, in an interview discussing her upcoming gallery opening in Stockbridge, MA. “One of the things that Leo taught is that art is useful for everyone. We do not have a specific organ to help us experience or even process our emotions, and that is where art comes in. Leo used to say that art is the organ for emotion.”

  • 9-11

    The history of trauma resides in each of us – as citizens we are marked by the past and present events taking place in the surrounding world. We ask the question – what to do with the casualties, the physically and psychically wounded and the collective injury to ideals of human dignity and community? This becomes a central task for those traumatized by various forms of violence, degradation, or disaster.

  • Interns in Inn Living Room

    The Austen Riggs Center has an initial six-week period of evaluation and treatment. All patients begin in this phase, at a residential or hospital level of care. During this time they work to better understand whatever brings them here.

  • Poster for "The Journey was a Dream"

    Please join us at the theater in the Lavender Door Gallery on Saturday, August 31st from 7:30pm – 8:30pm for this unique event.

  • Allen Shawn, Award-Winning Composer and Author

    In 2007 he wrote his memoir, Wish I Could Be There: Notes From a Phobic Life, in which he began to explore the roots of his own inner emotions. As he delved deeper into his past, it became increasingly apparent that his twin sister Mary played a central role. This realization inspired a second memoir in 2010, aptly titled Twin and devoted to Shawn’s relationship with Mary, who at the age of eight was diagnosed with autism.



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