Austen Riggs Center

For Patients

Profile for Patients

The Austen Riggs Center is a small, not-for-profit, open psychiatric hospital and residential treatment center that is internationally-known for its respectful work with emotionally troubled individuals who have failed to benefit from previous treatment. Many individuals struggling with psychiatric problems can find themselves caught up in care that is characterized by chronic crisis management and interrupted by frequent short-term hospitalizations. The goal of treatment at Austen Riggs is to help individuals in such a struggle take charge of their lives more fully so they may return to more fulfilling engagement after discharge.

Established in 1919, Riggs is known for its tradition of providing intensive psychodynamic psychotherapy in a voluntary, non-coercive therapeutic community environment. Patients not helped in other settings can often benefit from deeper, more thorough psychodynamic evaluation with either a psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist who has specialized training. Riggs offers a continuum of inpatient and residential programs and services within this core treatment framework that remains consistent throughout the individual’s stay.

Austen Riggs is designed as an open and voluntary setting, with no locks, seclusion rooms or privilege systems. With this freedom are responsibility and an expectation that patients will take authority for their own treatment. The unique treatment approach is centered around a therapeutic community based on examined living: the careful exploration of difficult life experiences. Patients have the best chance of success if they are invited to share their strengths with each other and the staff in a serious partnership of mutual problem solving and social learning. The therapeutic community is structured as a series of interconnected patient and staff groups and programs, ranging from community meetings, social support groups and symptom-focused groups to patient-government structures, community activities and a work program. It is supported by interpersonally-focused nursing and an innovative fine arts program.

More Information

Billing and Insurance

Financial consultation is offered with every inquiry and admission. While we do not participate with insurance plans, our admissions and billing staff make every effort to process individual claims. Through the generosity of Riggs donors, we also provide financial assistnatce to those in need.

For information on financing your stay at Austen Riggs:

Request an Appointment

Admissions Coordinators are available M-F< 8:30am — 5:00pm Eastern Time to give information and book tours for prospective patients and families. Call 1-800-51-RIGGS (74447) or request information online.

Contact us through our website form:

Support and Therapy Groups

Through ongoing assessments and education, nurses help patients to live meaningful lives while in treatment. In addition to individual nursing support, patients have access to up to 20 groups a week, from process and program groups to symptom-focused groups and patient government groups.

For more information on the Austen Riggs therapeutic community and groups:

Planning Your Stay

The shortest length of a stay at Austen Riggs is six weeks; our hope is that individuals can take the time necessary to allow the therapy process to unfold. Admissions Coordinators will help you each step of the way through the admissions process. Once admitted, each new patient is assigned a sponsor—a current patient who will help you get oriented during your first few days.

For more information about the admissions process:

Visitor Information

Austen Riggs is located in the small, New England town of Stockbridge, MA. Patient-led tours are offered if scheduled with Admissions in advance. Visitors are welcome when prior arrangements are made with the patient.

For location and directions:


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