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Bookhammer, R.S. (1961). The Riggs Story. The Development of the Austen Riggs Center for the Study and Treatment of the Neuroses: By Lawrence S. Kubie, M. D. New York: Paul B. Hoeber, Inc., 1960. 185 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 30:286-288.

(1961). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 30:286-288

The Riggs Story. The Development of the Austen Riggs Center for the Study and Treatment of the Neuroses: By Lawrence S. Kubie, M. D. New York: Paul B. Hoeber, Inc., 1960. 185 pp.

Review by:
Robert S. Bookhammer

At the time of Austen Riggs' death, Lawrence K. Lunt, one of his associates, wrote in an obituary for the American Journal of Psychiatry (Volume XCVII, 1940, pp. 231-234): 'In the death of Dr. Riggs this country has lost its most outstanding psychotherapist and psychiatry one of its most effective exponents … [Dr Riggs deplored] the lack of facilities for providing psychotherapy for patients without financial means; the serious lack in medical schools of the teaching of psychotherapy.'

Although the names Riggs and Stockbridge were already widely known in the thirties, there has been no recorded information about them prior to the publication of this book. Riggs came to the practice of psychotherapy from internal medicine. He was somewhat isolated from other psychiatrists which perhaps accounts for the absence of any mention of either Riggs or Stockbridge in One Hundred Years of American Psychiatry 1844-1944, the commemorative volume of the hundredth birthday of the American Psychiatric Association. This is a regrettable omission for Dr. Riggs had created something new on the American psychiatric scene, a center for the treatment of neuroses. In this project he was directly influenced by his observations of the work of Dr. John George Gehring of Bethel, Maine, who is the subject of the first chapter of this book. This, itself, is a welcome contribution to the history of American psychiatry.

In addition to chapters on riggs' life and work there are accounts of the growth and struggles of the Stockbridge Institute from 1919, later named the Riggs Foundation and since 1953 known as the Austen Riggs Center. Robert P. Knight, medical director since 1947, has written an excellent chapter on the developments which have taken place under his stewardship. From its modest beginnings,

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