The Fellowship Experience at Austen Riggs



Jeb Fowler, PhD Fellow in PsychologyThe Austen Riggs Center has been a training institution since 1924, and a pioneer in the theory and technique of psychoanalytic treatment with complex patients. Organized under the Center’s Erikson Institute for Education and Research, our training for psychiatrists and psychologists takes a systems perspective on treatment, emphasizing cultural and familial contexts as well as individual development, in the tradition of Erik Erikson. 

We offer a two-year Fellowship for psychiatrists, and a four-year Fellowship for psychiatrists and psychologists. Fellowships are full-time, and include a tripartite model of psychoanalytic training, including a personal analysis, a didactic experience with a distinguished faculty, and individual supervision in the treatment of patients using psychoanalytic psychotherapy four times a week.  

Work with families, psychological testing (for psychologists) and psychodynamically-informed prescribing (for psychiatrists) are part of our comprehensive training program. Fellows work within a therapeutic community program, learning about the application of psychoanalytic understanding to group phenomena, and supporting the development of leadership and consulting skills. 

Graduates from the Fellowship describe the experience best:

“ I draw upon my time at Riggs every single day I’m out there providing treatment or building systems. Riggs serves as a structural foundation for me in at least two ways. 

Riggs is the true north, a standard for treatment higher than any I’ve come across in all my travels through many systems: having the deepest respect for patients; a team approach that is far greater than the sum of its parts; truth, understanding and a containing space to heal, emphasizing the value of language in health and agency.” ~ John Santopietro, M.D., Chief Clinical Officer, Behavioral Health, Carolinas HealthCare System (2000)

“…it was invaluable to me and incredibly formative as to how I am as a clinician. I learned about the central importance of a non-coercive environment in fostering greater self-responsibility. I promised myself after working at Riggs that I would not work in an environment where patients do not have that essential right and responsibility of self-determination: how else can they grow? ~ Denise Kagan, Ph.D., Psychologist at Pavillon, in Mill Spring, NC, a drug and alcohol treatment center


Now accepting applications for the Fellowship Program.