All patients at the Austen Riggs Center have a comprehensive assessment by a psychiatrist during their six-week Initial Evaluation and Treatment phase, and most take psychotropic medications. Work with their psychiatrist throughout their stay is actively integrated with the multidisciplinary treatment team and Riggs’ medical office, guided by current standards of care, and enhanced by peer review as well as consultation with outside experts when necessary.
Many people admitted to Riggs have received limited benefit from multiple medication trials and other biological treatments. We address this through a unique approach to medication management, called "psychodynamic psychopharmacology," in which the patient is encouraged to explore the very complex and personal meanings of being prescribed, taking or not taking, and responding to medications and their side effects.
Hear our Clinicians Talk About Psychopharmacology at Austen Riggs
Elizabeth Weinberg, MD, Staff Psychiatrist describes the unique way psychiatrists at the Austen Riggs Center apply psychodynamic concepts to medication management.
David Mintz, MD, Team Leader/Staff Psychiatrist talks about the effects of medication relating to the quality of the doctor-patient relationship.
Elizabeth Weinberg, MD, Staff Psychiatrist on a psychodynamic perspective on medication management at the Austen Riggs Center.
Austen Riggs Staff Publications on Psychopharmacology
Drawing from his experience teaching this subject to trainees at many different levels and from an emerging evidence base suggesting that psychosocial factors in the doctor-patient relationship may be crucial for medication effectiveness, the author explores the importance of this often overlooked aspect of pharmacotherapy. Several methods for teaching the integration of meaning and medication are examined.
Psychiatry has benefited from an increasingly evidence-based perspective and a proliferation of safer, more tolerable, and perhaps more effective treatments during the last two years. Despite these advances, however, treatment outcomes are not substantially better than they were a quarter of a century ago. However, there is currently a small but impressive evidence base that shows that psychological and interpersonal factors play a pivotal role in pharmacological treatment responsiveness.
Psychodynamic Psychopharmacology Strategic Initiative
Get the latest updates on the psychodynamic psychopharmacology strategic initiative at the Austen Riggs Center.