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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.

  • Jeremy Ridenour, PsyD is a Fellow in Psychology at the Austen Riggs Center.

    Jeremy D. Morris, PhD; and PhD candidate Erika Warbinton from the Blot Spot, interview Austen Riggs Center Associate Director of Admissions and Director of Psychological Testing Jeremey Ridenour, PsyD, about psychological testing and treatment at Riggs, testing in general, and other related topics. 

  • During a visit to the Austen Riggs Center earlier this year, George Yancy, PhD, spoke about his interests in philosophy, race, biography, and what “suturing” and “un-suturing” mean in the context of his work.

    During a visit to the Austen Riggs Center earlier this year, George Yancy, PhD, spoke about his interests in philosophy, race, biography, and what “suturing” and “un-suturing” mean in the context of his work. 

  • Medical Office Building

    The Austen Riggs Center has been recognized as a High Performing Hospital for 2019-20 by U.S. News & World Report. Unique among the top honorees for its small size and integrated approach to treatment, the Austen Riggs Center is a therapeutic community, open psychiatric hospital, and center for education and research, promoting resilience and self-direction in adults (18+) with complex psychiatric problems.

  • Austen Riggs Center Medical Director/CEO Eric M. Plakun, MD, offers remarks on the burial of a time capsule to commemorate Riggs’ centennial.

    On Sunday, July 21, 2019, the Austen Riggs Center marked the official 100-year anniversary of its founding with a Founding Day celebration for current and former staff, patients, and Board of Trustee members. As part of the celebration, a time capsule–its contents curated by current staff and patients–was buried and Medical Director/CEO Eric M. Plakun, MD, offered these remarks.

  • Austen Riggs Center’s Dr. Jane G. Tillman talks with Norman Rockwell Museum’s Stephanie Plunket about Erik Erikson and Norman Rockwell’s relationship.

    Riggs staff member Jane G. Tillman, PhD, along with Norman Rockwell’s Deputy Director/Chief Curator, Stephanie Plunkett, kicked off the Art, Love, and Identity Lecture Series at the Norman Rockwell Museum on Tuesday, July 9, exploring the therapeutic friendship of illustrator Norman Rockwell and psychoanalyst Erik Erikson and highlighting shared themes in their work relationship. You can view the lecture in its entirety.

  • 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 Medical Director/CEO Dr. Eric Plakun writes about the Four Freedoms of Mental Health Care

  • After an extensive national search, the Austen Riggs Center has hired John Zollinger as the director of communications.

    After an extensive national search, the Austen Riggs Center has hired John Zollinger, a seasoned journalist and non-profit marketing and fundraising professional, to serve as the Center’s director of communications, the organization announced today.

  • During a visit to the Austen Riggs Center earlier this year, Schuyler Henderson, MD, MPH, spoke about psychiatry and refugee and immigrant populations; trends in mental health care; and more.

    During a visit to the Austen Riggs Center earlier this year, Schuyler Henderson, MD, MPH, spoke with us about a number of topics including psychiatry and refugee and immigrant populations; trends in mental health care; and some of his current projects. 

  • Freedom from stigma is the first of the four freedoms proposed by the Austen Riggs Center that are foundations of mental health.

    Freedom from stigma is the first of the four freedoms that are foundations of mental health.

    In the United States, estimates are that nearly 45 million adults have mental illness; yet fewer than half reportedly seek treatment (National Institute of Mental Health, 2018). Most people have either struggled with symptoms of a mental illness at some point in their lives or know someone who has. Despite this shared experience, stigma toward mental illness persists.

  • Heather Forouhar Graff, MD, is a staff psychiatrist in psychoanalytic studies at the Austen Riggs Center.

    Dr. Heather Forouhar Graff, a psychiatry Fellow at the Austen Riggs Center, talks about some of the long-term benefits for psychiatry Fellows who train and practice in Riggs’ unique setting. 

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