Dr. Robin L. Kay
Dr. Robin Kay, top-rated Los Angeles psychologist.


Why waste any more time? Life is precious.


I am a licensed clinical psychologist with over 25 years of clinical experience specializing in the rapid resolution of psychological symptoms. Often referred to as one of the best psychologists in Los Angeles, if you are looking for excellence and discretion, you have come to the right place.

In addition to my private practice, I hold an appointment as a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and have been rated as one of UCLA's best clinical professors.


Current Professional Work 


Clinical Practice

I maintain a private practice in Los Angeles, California (with offices near UCLA and Beverly Hills) where I treat individuals and couples via weekly or monthly psychotherapy sessions. I also provide therapy for out-of-town patients. In these cases, the entire course of treatment is generally conducted in three-to-four hour sessions which are customized and occur on a semi-regular basis

My work with patients is active and focused; it is based on full collaboration. My goals are to remove psychiatric symptoms and to help people regain or achieve their highest level of functioning as quickly as possible.



Based on my love of teaching, I concentrate on supervising, lecturing and conducting clinical training groups for mental health professionals in the US and abroad who wish to achieve more success with patients or learn Intensive Short-term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP). In addition, I teach a 1-2 year course on ISTDP and Accelerated Psychotherapy for UCLA psychiatry residents and faculty at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine.

My passion for teaching is irrepressible and resulted in my being honored with the Distinguished Teaching Award by the UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences for my “Outstanding Clinical Faculty Teaching” at the David Geffen School of Medicine.


Educational and Professional Training

I obtained my undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley where I was a University Merit Scholar and a recipient of a Presidential Undergraduate Fellowship. I subsequently earned a Masters degree and Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). My post-degree professional training includes 25 years of clinical experience.

I have been specializing in ISTDP since 1998. I pursued training in many accelerated models of individual and couples psychotherapy, interpersonal neurobiology, emotion regulation techniques and mindful parenting from talented scholars and clinicians including: Allan Abbass, Habib Davanloo, Jon Frederickson, Josette ten Have-de Labije, Robert Neborsky, Pat Ogden, Allan Schore, Daniel J. Siegel, and Marion F. Solomon.


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How I Work

My treatment approach is designed as a structured accelerated model of psychotherapy.  I work collaboratively with people to get to the bottom of their problems and solve them as rapidly as possible. While symptom relief is a fine goal, I aim to help people achieve lasting change. Current symptoms should not be replaced by different symptoms. Within the confines of reality, we will work diligently to help you define your goals and create a life in which you fulfill your adaptive potential.


Outcomes of this therapy include:

  •  Individual relief and success
  • Restoration of interpersonal harmony in relationships (marital, parent-child, friendship, professional)
  • Positively impacting the well-being of future generations


In order to facilitate rapid healing, it is necessary to look beyond the presenting symptoms and help you access and feel the core emotions that have been blocked from consciousness. My specialty, intensive short-term dynamic psychotherapy (ISTDP), was developed to overcome obstacles that most traditional psychotherapies cannot accomplish rapidly or at all. Recent research has supported the efficacy of this approach. For more information on psychotherapy outcome studies, visit www.istdp.ca


My approach combines:

  • Insight into early life stresses and psychological symptoms 
  • Study of attachment theory – the unique factors that affect how we learn to relate to ourselves and others 
  • Understanding the effects of painful life experiences on our brains
  • Expertise on healthy self-care and emotional regulation


I help my patients to become competent and self-sufficient in their abilities to manage their lives successfully and to feel satisfied with their choices...instead of relying on me or others to validate and direct them. 


For whom does my form of psychotherapy work best? 

My form of psychotherapy is most suitable for people who have high motivation to change for the better: to relieve their suffering, end self-defeating patterns and habits, and fulfill their optimal potential. This form of psychotherapy is an active one, and I take a very involved stance with my patients. This is unlike some other forms of therapy where the patient and/or therapist takes a passive stance getting caught up in detailed storytelling detached from core emotion. Your active involvement, courage, and strong "will to get well" aided by my extensive training and structured help will substantially shorten the overall course of your therapy and the duration of your suffering.



Life is precious. Why waste anymore time?


What to Expect 

1) Initial Contact

When you call my office for a phone consultation, I will ask you to give me a brief description of what your current difficulties or concerns are. I will talk with you and tell you how I plan to work with you. Our conversation will allow you to gain more insight into how I believe I can efficiently and best help you overcome your difficulties and change your life for the better. From our conversation, you should get a clearer sense of what's unique about my work, and whether and how I can be of value to you.

If we decide it would be beneficial to work together, we will schedule an initial appointment to meet for a psychotherapy session.

2) The First Session

We will schedule a 2-3 hour initial session. We will carefully and thoroughly examine the difficulties you have that are causing you concern and specifically identify what you would like to accomplish. While we are together, you should get a clear sense of how we can work together in the most efficient and successful way.

During this first session, people usually experience relief and develop important insights about the causes of their symptoms or self-defeating patterns.  Many patients immediately experience a reduction in their symptoms or achieve changes in their behavior.  The steps necessary for continued success will become clear as the session proceeds.

Together we will decide which course of action to take in future sessions and we’ll schedule additional appointments if we are in agreement that it would be useful to do so.  I will provide you with referrals or resources that may assist you further in maximizing gains from this work.

3) Subsequent Sessions

Subsequent sessions may vary in duration from sixty minutes to two+ hours depending upon your unique needs and goals, your budget, and scheduling constraints.

I will work actively with you to help you reach your goals in a healthy and productive way. We will work actively to help you become more capable of creating better ways to manage your life and your relationships. Most importantly, my aim in therapy is to help you develop the insight and the skills to create the life you are seeking for yourself and the one that you really deserve.

Our work should enhance your ability to meet or exceed your goals.    

Dr Kay's office


Dr. Robin Kay, one of the best psychologists in Los Angeles as well as one of the best clinical professors at UCLA's Department of Psychiatry. 


If you decide you'd like to make an appointment for psychotherapy, you should feel comfortable with both the doctor you choose to help you as well as her treatment methods.


For more information on my approach to treatment, please read How I Work What to ExpectIf you are interested in pursuing psychotherapy to help you resolve your difficulties, you should ask the doctor many questions so that...

1) You have a secure understanding of what you can expect.

2) You can asses whether her particular way of working appeals to you.

You are a consumer and psychotherapy is a business relationship. 

It is your right to ask questions, to have expectations, and to become informed about what you are getting involved in and agreeing to pay for. 

Remember, all psychotherapy is NOT created equal; psychotherapists and methods can differ greatly in their effectiveness.


Recognition for Outstanding Teaching

Dr. Kay has been honored with the "Outstanding Clinical Faculty Teaching" Award
from the UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine.


Dr. Robin Kay was recognized by UCLA's Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine with the "Outstanding Clinical Faculty Teaching" Award.


"You have single-handedly taught us the most important lessons of being a listener, a healer, a therapist. Learning from you has been transformative for me and my patients. I am not exaggerating by saying your course and supervision were the highlight of my entire residency."


"Dr. Kay's course was by far my favorite clinical experience during all of residency.  Dr. Kay presented videotaped therapy sessions at each meeting, and discussed technique, her thought process, and the longitudinal impact of her work on each patient. I will never forget the first class when she showed her work and began to outline technique.  It was as if a lightbulb went on in the room and we all realized this was entirely different from any training we ever had before.”



"Dr. Kay's AB-ISTDP clinic is the most clinically important thing that someone can do in residency, especially if that someone wants to really learn how to do therapy. Many other clinics/types of therapy discuss theory a lot, but this shows the actual work being done, which gives much better insight into technique and effect. Real patient learning.” 



“I think your course is one of the most valuable experiences I have had in my residency education." 



“There is no equal to seeing therapy in action, and having a skilled clinician narrate the moment-to-moment process for you.  
Dr. Kay is also among the kindest, warmest, and most genuine mentors I found during residency.
  I am so grateful to have been guided by her both professionally and personally over the last several years."



"If you want to practice psychotherapy, learning AB-ISTDP from Dr. Kay will forever impact your work by strengthening your observational skills, deepening your understanding of human emotions, and teaching you to block defenses that get in the way of the therapeutic process.”        



“Dr. Kay brings energy to the learning experience that is unusually motivating; my classmates and I leave the weekly seminar feeling rejuvenated and motivated to try to implement the therapy with our own patients.
I would count this experience as the most valuable psychotherapeutic learning of my four years of residency.”



"Dr. Kay's course was a valuable introduction to AB-ISTDP which has been the most challenging and rewarding learning experience for me as a psychiatrist. It has expanded my ability to care for both therapy and medication patients and provides a framework for understanding and approaching patients that is clear, practical and more informative than the DSM."