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.

  • Austen Riggs Center

    This past December, the American Psychiatric Association's Board of Trustees approved the formation of a Caucus on Psychotherapy. According to Riggs own Eric Plakun, M.D., chair of the Assembly’s Task Force on Psychotherapy, the purpose of the Caucus is to “promote communication and networking among APA members who share a special interest in psychotherapy”.

  • Steven Ackerman, Ph.D., Staff Psychologist

    The alliance negotiated at admission makes treatment in an open setting possible. Steven Ackerman, Ph.D., Staff Psychologist, describes the importance of the alliance as it relates to treatment at Riggs.

  • Psychotherapy

    According to the American Psychiatric Association Practice Guideline on Borderline Personality Disorder, the most effective treatment modality is not medication, but psychotherapy. This is why we make intensive individual psychodynamic psychotherapy a foundation of every treatment at Riggs.

  • The Lavender Door’s gallery at the Austen Riggs Center

    Just down the road from the main Riggs campus is a small historic building where professional artists offer individual instruction and workshops in fiber arts, woodworking, ceramics and visual arts to Riggs patients.

  • Margaret Kotarba, Senior Social Worker

    Margaret Kotarba, LICSW, explains the role of the social worker and the value of the family's involvement in the treatment.

  • National Nurses Week 2014

    Austen Riggs held a blog competition among staff members where we asked them to write about what makes Riggs unique. This is the fourth blog in the series, written by Dianne Heckman, Primary Charge Nurse.

  • Erikson Institute

    The Erikson Institute, the educational, research and application arm of the Austen Riggs Center, is pleased to announce its interdisciplinary and educational offerings for 2014.

  • Stockbridge Main Street

    In 2013, the Austen Riggs Center conducted a comprehensive Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) in order to identify and evaluate the key mental health needs of the communities we serve. The assessment was completed in response to emerging federal regulatory requirements, and served to deepen our understanding of the needs present in our community.

  • John P. Muller, PhD

    On December 31, 2013 John P. Muller, PhD stepped away from his job of twenty years as the Director of Training. He has left his erudite and sensible mark on a generation of Fellows who have developed as psychotherapists and, indeed, as human beings under his tutelage.

  • Linda Cardellini in the film RETURN

    Whenever a person or persons belonging to a group carry out a task related to the larger group’s functioning, there exists the possibility for thoughts, feelings, and experiences to be split off and dissociated, held by the subgroup. When those experiences are threatening, as they are in war, this provides some sense of security to the larger group. It is, however, a false and brittle sense of safety that leaves everyone vulnerable.