The Gooden Center

The Gooden Center Pasadena California

Founded in 1962 by five members of Alcoholics Anonymous and Episcopal Bishop Robert Gooden, the Gooden Center provides men with 12-step-based residential treatment in Pasadena, California. The residential rehab offers gender-specific care that allows men to feel more comfortable expressing their emotions and keeps them focused on the primary goal of recovery. Day treatment, outpatient services, and sober living options are also available, and alumni may return every week for an aftercare program for as long as they wish.


Nestled in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, about 10 minutes outside of downtown Los Angeles, The Gooden Center offers a continuum of treatment services for men struggling with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. Clients may access residential care, day treatment, intensive outpatient (IOP) treatment, sober living support, and aftercare. Detox services are not provided on-site but psychiatric treatment for mental health disorders is available.


The Gooden Center’s approach to treatment is grounded in 12-step principles. Clients who are admitted to the center’s residential program participate in a highly structured curriculum that includes process groups, addiction education, 12-step meetings, group exercise, and dedicated time for meditation and journaling. Length of stay is typically 30 days. Day treatment is similar in design with about six hours of programing per day, Tuesday through Saturday, but it is less time-intensive and more focused on recovery and relapse prevention.

The center’s IOP program may be used as a step-down from residential or day treatment, or as a stand-alone option for clients who do not have as severe a chemical dependency to necessitate residential care. IOP sessions, which are offered twice a day, five days a week, last three hours and combine process groups, educational workshops, and meditation.

Clients who complete their treatment may apply for sober living accommodations operated by The Gooden Center. The facility maintains a network of cottages and houses that provides a total of 47 beds. Each residence is overseen by a house manager, and meals are provided. Additionally, continuing care is provided to alumni for life in the form of a weekly aftercare group.


The center’s staff includes a pharmacist, a marriage and family therapist, and certified addiction counselors.


Men participating in the primary residential program live in the 19-bed Bishop Gooden Home, which is set on a tree-lined block in residential Pasadena, and serves as the main location for most of the center’s activities, including meals. Residents are expected to participate in the upkeep of the home by performing daily chores.


Alumni reviews sourced by are limited and mostly positive. Alex, Austin, and Ty all reported positive experiences with the center’s staff and comprehensive programming. Only Michael felt that the program was subpar. His complaints were primarily focused on the facility itself and the lack of counseling options.

Reviews submitted to third-party sites were also mostly positive. The center received an average rating of 4.6 out of five stars on Google, based on feedback from nine reviewers to date, as well as 4.3 out of five stars from seven ratings on the facility’s Facebook page, which it has the ability to manage. Positive reviewers praised the staff and thanked the program for saving their lives.

The only negative commentary found between these two secondary sources came from Mike, who left two stars on Google and detailed “poorly maintained” properties and equipment.

At the time of this writing on Yelp, additionally, there are five ratings which average 4.6 out of five stars, with most praising everything from the center’s community environment to the food. “The thing that made the Gooden Center so much better than other treatment centers was it’s staff. They all seemed to genuinely care and tried their best to help me. They made me feel welcome and safe in a time that I was truly scared,” Anthony wrote.

One anonymous reviewer on CiteHealth provided a rare negative review, expressing disappointment in the staff. “Initially attentive. Poor oversight coupled with a lack of staff professionalism; staff in-fighting, back-biting and administrative politics detracted from client care,” he wrote. It was countered by another reviewer to date, who awarded four stars and left commentary reflective of most other alumni.


Peggy, the one loved one polled by, provided a glowing review of the care her son received while at The Gooden Center. Peggy cited the staff as the facility’s differentiating factor. “The process of finding a facility that is actually willing and capable of helping your loved one is beyond challenging…They have been respectful, kind and actively searching for the right way to help my son through his challenges. This is the first rehab that has been able to earn his trust,” she wrote.

A Yelp reviewer was similarly impressed. “The team there took in not only my brother but our family as well, that wasn’t something we came across before. As my brother started the road towards recovery, we were also given the tools to cope with his disease and how to be the best support we could during his recovery,” Bride wrote in a representative review.


According to its website, the center works with most insurance providers, including Aetna, Cigna, and Anthem. Some alumni-funded scholarships are also available to those who qualify.

The Gooden Center Reviews

After 3 months of being at the Gooden center I can honestly say it is mediocre at best. I started out at the Hochman house which serves as one of the residential treatment program houses. While the assistant staff at the house was very friendly, they were all extremely young (mid 20’s) and acted no different from people my age (I’m 20) . The Hochman house is a very good place to START treatment at, they keep people busy with decent groups and AA meetings and the house itself is gorgeous. Clients are required to clean for about 30 min each morning leaving the place to be as clean as possible. As for the food at Hochman many meals were delivered cold even though it was all made about 2 blocks away at the Main House. While being there you are allowed to have your phone for one hour and laptop for about 2+ hours at night. The main director/therapist for the Hochman house was a bit old school but friendly to deal with and easy to talk to. The therapists and psychiatrist were decent but it was very limiting how many opportunities there were to talk to them without a request. They also aren’t there every day. Overall the Gooden Center is a good place to go for its 30+ day detox residential treatment program. After the the Hochman house the Gooden center offers a partial hospitalization program (PHP) and an intensive outpatient program (IOP). These programs to my knowledge take place at their Holliston location. It is set up with 3 small bungalows for PHP/IOP clients and one big house for residential treatment in the back. Coming from the Hochman house to Holliston was a complete change. The small bungalows while cozy at times were often smelly or dirty and filled with roaches. There was also an issue were we got a bed bug infestation and had to sleep 6 days in bed bug ridden rooms. They do make the clients clean their space twice a week but it easily reverts back to a mess within a day. The staff at this location was not all that friendly and were never consistent with treatment goals for clients. You are required to go to 4 AA meetings a week while in PHP/IOP or else you could get written up and and talked to by the head therapist/director at Holliston PHP/IOP. While I was there though (may not sound good on my part) I never went to an AA meeting or got written up for it. The only write ups and being talked to would only be for not cleaning when I was supposed to. The food is also a bit of an issue while being at PHP/IOP, while it is freely available and actually hot when served it is about a 15-20 min. walk and back to get to the main house to eat. Also if you miss the 30 minute time frame for food at each mealtime there is nothing you can do. There are 4 groups a day for PHP they are very repetitive and are far from being an interactive experience. A lot of the time you can see staff boring clients in groups by reading things from a packet of information that had been read a week and a half prior. There is a non-daily 30-45 music listening group that does for some reason bring everyone to life though. Not many field trips are offered while at PHP the only places they take you are parks, and rarely (each only happened once) DTLA a hike or a movie. The majority of the time there is only one hour to do these activities and a park is most convenient for the staff. While in IOP the 4 groups a day become 2 morning groups only. It leaves a lot of free time past 11 a.m. but most clients don’t do much with that time nor are they enforced to. It is quite frankly a depressing bore. Many of the guys in both Hochman and Holliston have a BRO/FRAT mentality from my perspective. If you do not necessarily act within these lines it could be very difficult to socialize. I complained only once about the comments made by clients but the staff was far from helpful. If you choose to come to the Gooden Center ONLY stay for 30+ days at residential treatment and go somewhere else after if further treatment is needed. Try PHP/IOP at your own risk.
I do not write reviews but I have to give thanks to this amazing rehab center. I was one step away from drifting into the world of hopelessness before I found the Gooden Center. The process of finding a facility that is actually willing and capable of helping your loved one is beyond challenging. I was starting to believe that it was not possible. The Gooden Center is truly a blessing. They have been respectful, kind and actively searching for the right way to help my son through his challenges. This is the first rehab that has been able to earn his trust. He still has a ways to go... But, I have hope again knowing that he is being cared for by the amazing staff at the Wooden Center. I am so grateful!
Staff, Counsellors and the group were all strengths. Distance to my Dr was an issue for me. I am five years sober & a liver transplant survivor. I am actually opening a sober living home in the next two months!
What this man [Reviewer Michael] says is not true. The Gooden Center is the best Rehab I have ever been to did you have cleaning staff the food is exceptional the community there and the Brotherhood is amazing and has helped keep me sober over hundred days. The sober livings of which I am in one right now are amazing as well granted they are little old but they're well kept up and the Fellowship is amazing and too they do regular testing. Most insurances will cover residential treatment. I'm sorry there's no man has a negative experience not let this one man's review stop you from experiencing what has helped save my life.
I was referred to The Gooden Center by the caseworkers at Betty Ford as I could not afford their program. They stated The Gooden Center was as solid recovery program and more than just a treatment center. I had been to six detox centers and a few outpatient programs prior to my admit to The Gooden Center. I completed the 30 day residential program and continued to participate in the Free for life AfterCare program they offered. I needed to get back to work and this provided me with a ongoing evening recovery program and alumni support. The Gooden center house is a three story home built in 1894 and is located in Pasadena. I loved the food and staff. They have 24 hour staff and everyone in the house has a curfew, wake up time and minor chores( sweeping dining room, wiping down tables after meals and taking the trash out etc.) to help reestablish a normal routine and have a sense of ownership in his recovery and the home. The program helped me reestablish self worth, self esteem, the ability to connect with other men as I had grown disgustingly antisocial. I left with a strong understanding of the Biomechanic of addiction and they helped to demystify the 12 step concepts I had been unable to grasp in the past. I left this treatment center knowing more about my disease, addiction and the other internal issues that caused me to continue drinking despite the negative events and court recommendations to stop drinking and using. I still attend the Alumni bike rides, picnics, and events to this day. I will attend the Bowling night this November 17th, 2015 at Bowlmor in Pasadena. The cost was under the above state cost by another reviewer. It was under $10,000