Austen Riggs April 2017 News & Events


Austen Riggs News and Events

April 2017 News & Events
New Strategic Initiatives at the Austen Riggs Center

Recently, the Austen Riggs Center Board of Trustees and staff undertook a comprehensive strategic planning process that prioritized a number of initiatives designed to expand our role and positively impact the serious mental health issues we face as a society. These include: clinical systems, neural mediators of psychotherapeutic change, human development, biopsychosocial advocacy, suicide research and education, and psychodynamic psychopharmacology. You can read about the first three of these initiatives below:

Strategic Initiatives: Clinical Systems
By Margaret Parish, PhD

Our strategic planning process begins with our core clinical mission. The Austen Riggs Center exists, first and foremost, as a place where people can bring their troubles, learn about themselves, and discover resources and support for confronting the challenges of their lives. The Clinical Systems Strategic Initiative has three parts: redesigning the infrastructure that supports our ongoing clinical work, enhancing specific clinical programs, and seeking ways to offer our services to new groups of people. >>Read more


Strategic Initiatives: Neural Mediators of Psychotherapeutic Change
By Andrew Gerber, MD, PhD

Our Neural Mediators of Psychotherapeutic Change Strategic Initiative will use new neuroimaging hardware and software technologies to better understand both the brain and the mind in mental illness. A national research initiative called the Human Connectome Project (HCP) has assembled, and made available for research, a database from 1,200 healthy volunteers. The data include brain images and physiological recordings, and provide a body of information that constitutes a representation of the brain. >>Read more


Strategic Initiatives: Human Development
By Donna Elmendorf, PhD

I am delighted to announce the launch of the new Human Development Strategic Initiative at the Austen Riggs Center. The primary aim of this new endeavor is to support infant, child, and family mental health in Berkshire County, while also bringing a deeper understanding of the developmental process to the Riggs Staff and patients. The Human Development Strategic Initiative will apply our relational view of early development to a community- based preventative model of care. >>Read more


The Riggs Blog

Check out this popular article from the Riggs Blog:

Empathy, Collaboration, and Trust in Suicide Risk Assessment
By Elizabeth Weinberg, MD, and Katie Lewis, PhD

In their recently published Scientific American article “Suicide Risk Assessment Doesn’t Work” Declan Murray and Patrick Devitt note the limitations of using risk factors in assessing suicide risk and address a significant problem in mental health. We agree with the conclusion that over-reliance on formulaic assessment can interfere with real engagement with patients. We cannot agree, however, that the best recommended practice is to send suicidal patients home with the reassurance that statistically they are likely to stay alive “no matter what we do.” >>Read more







For a listing of upcoming Austen Riggs Center events, visit:

[800] 51.RIGGS | |



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