Austen Riggs Center Medical Director and CEO
Dr. Eric Plakun to Speak at Norman Rockwell Museum

Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association
Outlines “The Four Freedoms of Mental Health”

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Freedom from Fear, Norman Rockwell. 1943. Story illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, March 13, 1943. From the permanent collection of Norman Rockwell Museum. ©1943 SEPS: Licensed by Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis, IN

WHAT: Eric M. Plakun, MD, Medical Director and CEO of the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge, MA. Dr. Plakun will share his thoughts on fundamental rights for anyone seeking mental health treatment. Plakun outlined the “Four Freedoms of Mental Health”in an editorial recently published in the Journal of Psychiatric Practice (March 2019). The Four Freedoms he identifies include:Freedom from Stigma, Freedom from Dehumanizing Treatment, Freedom to Pursue Recovery, and Freedom of Access to Medically Necessary Treatment. Part of Norman Rockwell Museum’s lecture series, “Love, Art, and Identity,” Plakun drew inspiration for this topic fromRockwell’s personal example and Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms

WHY: DrPlakun’s talk “Four Freedoms of Mental Health,” complements “Inspired: Norman Rockwell and Erik Erikson,” the Museum’s exhibition about the mutually supportive connection between Rockwell and renowned psychotherapist Erik Erikson, who was on staff at Riggs from 1951 to 1960. The series,Love, Art, and Identity,”inspired by the Norman Rockwell Museum’s three 50th Anniversary exhibitions, examines the ways in which art, human relationships, and culture are fundamental to growth, resilience, and creating meaning.

WHEN:Tuesday, July 30, 2019
4:30 p.m. Lemonade on the Terrace;
5:00 p.m. Talk/Performance in the Main Gallery
Tickets: $25, member $15.
Buy tickets online here:

WHERE:Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MA

About Eric M. Plakun
Eric M. Plakun, MD, FACPsych, DLFAPA, is the Medical Director and CEO at the Austen Riggs Center, a long-term psychiatric hospital and treatment center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, previously serving for 35 years as the director of admissions. A board-certified psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, researcher, and forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Plakun was a clinical instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School for more than 20 years.

Dr. Plakun is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and serves on the APA Board of Trustees representing New England and Eastern Canada. He is a Psychoanalytic Fellow of the American Academy of Psychodynamic Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis, and in 2004 was appointed this group’s representative to the APA Assembly. He is a Fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists and past chair of its Ethics Committee, an Honorary Member of the American Psychoanalytic Association, which recognized him in 2017 for “championing psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapy within American psychiatry and paving the way toward a return to a more individualized treatment model.” He is a member of the editorial board of Psychodynamic Psychiatryand Contributing Editor to the Journal of Psychiatric Practice. Dr. Plakun has appeared on CBS’ 60 Minutes as an expert in forensic psychiatry. He has served as an expert witness in federal class action lawsuits addressing the gap between restrictive insurance company access to care standards and generally accepted standards in psychiatry. In 2003, Dr. Plakun was named by the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society as the “Outstanding Psychiatrist in Clinical Psychiatry.”

Dr. Plakun was co-principal investigator of a prospective follow-along study of treatment outcome that utilized objective measures of psychodynamic constructs. He is the editor of New Perspectives on Narcissism(American Psychiatric Press, 1990) and Treatment Resistance and Patient Authority: the Austen Riggs Reader (Norton Professional Books, 2011), and author of fifty published papers and book chapters on the diagnosis, treatment, longitudinal course, and outcome of patients with [1] borderline and other personality disorders, [2] suicidal and self-destructive behaviors, and [3] treatment-resistant disorders. Dr. Plakun has presented more than a hundred scientific papers on these and other topics at professional meetings around the nation and overseas.