Dr. Rubin Khoddam, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist (PSY31388) who specializes in the treatment of addiction and trauma as well as mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression. In addition to these specialty services, Dr. Khoddam also has extensive training in treating individuals as well as couples with a variety of mental health concerns, whether that be dealing with a difficult life transition, understanding life patterns, healing from past traumas, or seeking more meaning and purpose in their lives.
Dr. Khoddam strives to come from a place of compassion and empathy because, as humans, we all have patterns, messages, and lessons that seem to constantly show up in our lives. These patterns seem to show up over and over, context after context, but with a similar theme. The more conscious and mindful we can become of these patterns, the more freedom we can have from them.
Dr. Khoddam is able to provide short-term treatment focused on specific issues or diagnoses, such as Cognitive Processing Therapy for trauma, as well as longer-term treatment that incorporates more insight-oriented focused interventions. Regardless of treatment duration, Dr. Khoddam strives to integrate evidence-based interventions, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy among many others, with insight-oriented dynamic approaches to help bring about conscious mindful living that is consistent with your life goals.
My speciality is in individual and couples treatment of addiction, trauma, and mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression. I have been trained extensively in various evidence-based practices to treat these issues, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy for Trauma, Prolonged Exposure for Trauma, and Integrative Behavioral Couples Therapy among others. However, regardless of whether you are deciding to come to therapy to treat a specific diagnosis, decrease your substance use, deal with a difficult life transition, manage a relationship, or to find more meaning and purpose in your life, I am here to support you on your path. In addition to specific treatment modalities, I also see my work as helping you become more conscious of the patterns in your life so that you can not just live the life you want, but learn the skills to course-correct when you inevitably go off path – as we all do. I strive to do this in palatable, supportive ways by integrating humanity, understanding, authenticity as well as the evidence-based research and years of practical experience to help you do your work as we all strive to do our own.
Substance Use Treatment Philosophy
I have worked in the mental health and addiction field for over 10 years and my passion has only grown. When treating any mental health concern, but in particular co-occurring issues, I believe that there is no one-size-fits-all approach and what works for one person may not work for another. It is for this reason that I schedule an initial consultation with each person who is interested in receiving services to determine your goals so we can develop an individualized treatment plan that best suits your needs, including possible participation in the IMPROVE Outpatient Substance Use Program.
I see substance use treatment as a microcosm for something that we all strive to do every day, which is to change our behavior, to do better. The difference is that alcohol and drugs exert powerful influences on our brain through the release of dopamine. However, at its core, we all struggle with something. We all have used something “out there” to make something “in here” feel better. Many of us call that something alcohol or drugs while many others call it relationships, gambling, reassurance seeking, sex, shopping, etc. I aim to balance the commonality in our experience with the specifics of your presenting issues to bring understanding and humanity to my evidence-based practice of substance use disorders.
When you come in for therapy, you can expect to experience a warm, inviting therapeutic environment where you will be seen for exactly who you are in this moment. You can expect me to bring my knowledge and experience to help you have a better understanding of yourself and your patterns while also learning new skills to help you bring you back to yourself when you inevitably go off track, as we all do on our journey. I hope to balance insight into your patterns with mindful compassion of your experience as well as acquisition of skills to help you manage your moods and triggers as we collaboratively work towards your goals.
Currently, Dr. Khoddam is the psychologist and team lead for a staff of social workers, addiction therapists, and social science technicians on a track of 30 beds at a residential treatment facility at the West Los Angeles VA helping individuals begin their recovery journey free of substances. Dr. Khoddam earned his doctorate from the University of Southern California after graduating cum laude from the University of California, San Diego. Throughout his training, Dr. Khoddam has worked extensively in academic medical centers, including within the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, USC Keck Hospital Department of Neurology, as well as community clinics, such as Homeless Healthcare Los Angeles.
Dr. Khoddam’s research interests focus on understanding mechanisms to help prevent the progression of substance use disorders in adolescents and adults. Dr. Khoddam has received funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and has published over 20 articles in peer-reviewed journals within the substance use field. He has published in many journals, including Addiction, Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, and Alcohol and Drug Dependence. Dr. Khoddam also publishes blogs regularly on Psychology Today with hopes of integrating science, self-help, and practice.
Lastly, Dr. Khoddam was selected as a scholar of the Elyn Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics Scholar at the University of Southern California and has been a member of the Research Society on Alcoholism’s National Advocacy and Public Education Committee.
Culture and Diversity
As the youngest of four children and raised by immigrant Persian parents, I recognize the unique cultural identities that have shaped our personalities. Many of us have faced hardships throughout our life that were endemic to our specific family and some of us have experienced more pervasive oppression as a result of systematic, sociopolitical forces. Unfortunately, some of us have experienced both. All of these factors and many more are critical to helping me understand the totality of your life experience and will help uswork together to move your life forward with the realities of these experiences.