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.

  • Read the latest news from the Austen Riggs Center.

    Read the spring 2021 issue of the Austen Riggs Center’s newsletter, ARC News, featuring stories on Equitable Access to Mental Health Care, Clinical Scholarship, Erikson Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media, and Virtual Learning and Events . 

  • Catch up on all of the latest news from the Austen Riggs Center.

    Read the winter 2020/21 issue of the Austen Riggs Center’s newsletter, ARC News, featuring stories on Secrets We Dare to Speak, Clinical Scholarship & Local Community Outreach, Austen Riggs Center Virtual Tour, and Virtual Learning and Events . 

  • At the core of each patient’s work at Riggs is intensive psychotherapy.

    Far too many of us do not have access to the mental health care we need, even if we have health insurance, and especially if we are members of a minority group. Efforts to achieve true mental health parity through legislation and litigation, as well as individual and organizational advocacy, are central to addressing these health disparities and increasing access. 

  • Marina Bayeva, MD, PhD, is a Fellow at Austen Riggs.

    Austen Riggs Center Medical Director/CEO Eric Plakun, MD, and Fellow in Psychiatry Marina Bayeva, MD, PhD, will present vital perspectives on the future of psychotherapy in psychiatry during virtual and on demand 2021 APA Annual Meeting sessions from May 1-3. 

  • Poor relationship quality and reduced frequency of social contact during the COVID-19 pandemic were associated with greater reports of loneliness and disturbed sleep patterns, both of which could contribute to declines in mental and physical health, according to preliminary findings of a study by Austen Riggs Center Research Psychologist Katie Lewis, PhD.  

  • Austen Riggs provides intensive psychodynamic psychotherapy in a open community.

    The Austen Riggs Center announces a call for entries for its 2021 Austen Riggs Erikson Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media. 

  • APsaA Logo

    Several Riggs clinical staff members will be participating and presenting at the virtual 2021 National Meeting of the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) on a variety of topics including technology, identity, and relationships; treatment resistance; medical student education; and more. For additional information about the meeting, please visit: www.apsameeting.org.  

  • Eric M. Plakun, MD, DLFAPA, FACPsych

    The Austen Riggs Center is pleased to announce the re-election of Medical Director/CEO Eric Plakun, MD, DLFAPA, FACPsych, to serve his second three-year term as the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Area 1 Trustee*. 

  • Austen Riggs Center former patient Nina Gutin, PhD, reflects on her time at Riggs and what she learned while in treatment.

    I was a patient at Austen Riggs many years ago. Shortly after I “graduated,” I was asked to help start a patient “Alumni” network at Riggs, which is still ongoing. I decided to become a psychologist myself and now maintain an involvement with Austen Riggs on a professional level. With the perspective of someone who has been “on both sides of the couch,” I have strong feelings about my treatment then, and for what continues to pass as “treatment as usual” in the majority of contemporary treatment settings.  

  • In November 2020, a federal magistrate issued a stinging rebuke to the United Behavioral Health division of UnitedHealth Group, the nation's largest behavioral health insurer, saying it could no longer use its overly restrictive guidelines to deny mental health and substance use treatment and compelled them to reprocess over 50,000 claims. 

    In this video, Austen Riggs Medical Director and CEO Eric M. Plakun, MD, who served as plaintiffs’ expert in Wit v. United Behavioral Health, details how the order hands clinicians and professional groups a powerful tool to reclaim their role in determining access to care for patients.