Austen Riggs Center
Established in 1919, Riggs is known for its internationally-recognized tradition of providing intensive psychodynamic psychotherapy in a voluntary, open, and non-coercive community. Noted psychiatrists who have worked at the Center include Erik Erikson, David Rapaport, Merton Gill, Roy Schafer, and Margaret Brenman-Gibson
Patients not helped in other settings can often benefit from deeper, more thorough psychodynamic evaluation and treatment. Riggs offers a continuum of inpatient and residential programs and services within a core treatment framework that remains consistent throughout the patient’s stay. Riggs’ unique treatment approach is centered around a therapeutic community based on the notion of examined living. The careful exploration of difficult life experiences has the best chance of success if patients are invited to share their strengths with each other and the staff in a serious partnership of mutual problem solving and social learning.
Riggs has an extensive activities program, which is closely coupled to its therapeutic activities, providing to its patients painting, jewelery, weaving, sculpture and woodworking studios, and greenhouses. This program was the subject of a book Activity, Recovery, Growth by Joan Erikson, David Loveless, for many years director of the program, and his wife Joan Loveless.
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