The Gooden Center Reviews, Cost, Complaints

The Gooden Center


The Gooden CenterThe Gooden Center Review

Clients affectionately call the Gooden Center “the BG,” after the Bishop Gooden Home, the primary facility where residential treatment takes place. As the name suggests, this all-men’s rehab has Christian roots—it was founded by an Episcopal Bishop, Robert Gooden, in 1962. For 21 years it was run by the Rev. Bud Williams, who retired in 2013. Although new CEO Thomas J. McNulty, Pharm. D is not a clergyman and the Gooden Center welcomes men of all faiths, its treatment philosophy remains fundamentally spiritual.

Accommodations and Food

The Bishop Gooden Home is in fact an actual home in Pasadena that was recently refurbished. While the renovations have spruced up the aesthetics, residents are responsible for almost all of the cleaning. Rooms are shared, and meals take place in a large dining area gathered around several round tables.

Treatment and Staff

Patients are assessed upon admission to determine the level of detox care they need. When necessary, 24-hour medical supervision is available, while others undergo ambulatory detox. Although the Gooden Center does take clients with dual diagnoses, it will not admit anyone whose condition is so severe that it interferes with treatment.

There is no in-house psychiatrist; rather, the staff coordinates off-site psychiatric consultations. Medication monitoring is available at the house, and there is a weekly group for those suffering from Axis I issues.

Each day in residence begins with breakfast, meditation, exercise, and chores. After lunch, clients spend 90 minutes each in process group and addiction education groups. Twelve-step meetings take place in the evenings, along with time for journal writing. Individual counseling is also incorporated.

There’s a great emphasis here on family treatment. The staff is keenly aware that families often need counseling too after the damage alcoholism has caused, so that the men don’t return back home into a toxic environment. After residential care, clients can step down to either an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) or day treatment. Outpatients have the option to move into one of several sober living houses near the BG, with a total of 41 beds between them.


The Gooden Center has cultivated a loyal following of alumni that even has its own cycling club. On a man’s sober anniversary, he gets his name and sobriety date printed on a mug that’s displayed at the BG in a glass cabinet.

In Summary

The Gooden Center might not be an ideal fit for those seeking highly individualized, holistic treatment with lots of new-age therapies. But the pricing is low and flexible, and family-oriented Christian men might feel right at home.

The Gooden Center Location

191 N El Molino Ave
Pasadena, CA 91101

The Gooden Center Cost

$9,600 (30 days). Reach The Gooden Center by phone at (800) 931-9884. Find The Gooden Center on Facebook, Twitter and Google+

Do you have a complaint or review of The Gooden Center? Use the comments area below to add your Gooden Center review.



  1. 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. Every Saturday was planned with some sort of field trip such as going to the beach, bowling, watching a movie at a theater etc… The main director 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 form 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. They also vape massive clouds in their office daily but tell clients to never vape inside or else.

    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 here 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. I had also been told I would possibly get kicked out for not washing dishes my roomate had left even though I had passed the cleaning inspection a night before. I also had slipped up one time by doing weed (only drug of choice) and there was no write up or even a stern talk from the head therapist which (mind my hypocrisy) is a problem. 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. There is also a lot of heavy drug talk and derogatory statements made by clients as well. 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.

  2. The Gooden Center is dirty. The counselors are unqualified and there is only one licensed social worker on staff to supervise. They are top heavy in management, who are all addicts and alcoholics with little to no business sense. They break countless laws when it comes to privacy and labor laws. For a so-called Christian organization, they are dishonest. They harbor criminals who should be in prison and allow residents to abuse the few women employees. In short, it’s all about the money that somehow disappears into the pockets of the CEO and is not used to improve the dumpy facilities.

  3. I would like to add my experience, as a wife whose husband sought treatment at The Gooden Center. Yes, this program was founded by Bishop Gooden, but it by no means has a “Christian” agenda. I personally sat through Family Groups with a variety of faiths represented and each person’s views were valid and respected. I have not heard that a 30-day residential program was anywhere near $22,000, however, perhaps circumstances called for additional doctor visits, court appearances, psychological evaluations, or even off-site detox treatments. Their costs do vary but are considerably lower than many programs. They are a non-profit and hold fundraisers to help with scholarships for those that have limited financial resources. As for following a good 12-step program, without the added benefit of treatment and a structured environment for education and healing, why even risk that. The 12 step principals are vital for learning to live authentically and finding support in maintaining a sober life; treatment is where you learn disease concepts, find structure in responsibility and accountability, re-establish family boundaries and living/work arrangements to integrate back into a way of life that for some have never existed. I am forever grateful to the staff of the Gooden Center for what they provided for my husband and I. They are the first place I refer other family’s when their loved one’s need help. No treatment center is perfect, however, I would put The Gooden Center up against any other program, as to their abilities and success rates, and you will be hard pressed to find an alumni that is so dedicated and thankful for what The Gooden Center has provided for them and their families.

  4. 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

  5. This article is quite accurate. The Gooden Center is run by some very nice people. But the place is just second rate. I spent 30 days at the Gooden Center and then 4 months in the sober living houses there.

    The place is a pig sty as they have no cleaning staff at all. The men who are in treatment are expected to clean the house. As most of the men are under 25 years old and addicted to drugs and alcohol, the cleaning is far from thorough. When I was there there were several rats in the house, one of which chewed through some wires of the fire alarm system one night, which summonsed the Pasadena Fire Department.

    The food is of very poor quality, and they often ran out, so if you happened to be the last person to dinner, you didn’t get any. The “gym” consisted of some broken down equipment and some rusty weights that were outside in the parking lot behind the building.

    The treatment consisted almost exclusively of AA meetings, which are free to anyone who wants to go. There was no medical doctor on staff and no medical treatment at all. If you happen to require medical care when you were withdrawing from alcohol or heroin at the Gooden Center, you are out of luck. They will tell you to pray.

    As second rate as the Gooden Center is, the sober living houses are much, much worse. They are filthy, overpriced and the staff is so bad that it will drive you back to drugs and alcohol.

    Before spending $10,000 on the Gooden Center, just go to AA meetings and pray 3 times a day. And save your money until you have enough to go to the Betty Ford Center, which is really first rate treatment.

    • What? “As most of the men are under 25 years old and addicted to drugs and alcohol” Hello.. The Gooden Center is a Men’s Treatment Center for drugs and Alcohol. as for the rest of your review , there is cleaning staff, education, communication, step work, multi-family, seeking safety, helping men recover, anger management, codependency, relapse prevention, discharge planning, step work, co occurring disorder and many other groups clients must attend while in treatment. I had sessions with my counselor at least once a week and meet the Therapist in groups or on a one on one basis according to my needs. They drove me to any doctors or psychiatric appts I needed.They have medical doctor on site two times a week, a doctor of psychology on staff that meets with clients and runs group, an MFT that runs family groups two times a week, runs groups and meets with clients.

  6. The Gooden Center is in a class by itself.
    Originally called The Bishop Gooden Home, it was opened in 1962 as a sober living for male alcoholics.
    Many years and many millions of dollars in renovations and healings later, it is one of the best rehabs dedicated to helping men (from ALL walks of life!!) and their extended families in Southern California.
    Its staff is INTELLIGENT: they’re savvy addiction treatment specialists well schooled in treating a horrific disease.
    BG is a sober, spiritual frat house whose “hazing” rituals all involve how guys can help each other stay clean.
    It’s a cliché but true – they saved my life.
    I owe them a great deal.
    May God bless the late Bishop Robert Gooden for planting the seeds that led to this premier facility: he committed a radical Christian work of spiritual and corporal mercy that echoes through the ages.

  7. The Gooden Center is the primary reason I’m alive to write this comment. It wasn’t my first rehab, nor my first miracle; but I have never experienced a fellowship like the one encouraged during my stay at the BG.

  8. On Sept. 6, 2014, less than a month before your article dated Aug. 19, my 24 yr old son entered the Gooden Center. We were told the cost is $22,000 per mo. yet your article states it’s $10,000 for 30 days. Something seems fishy.

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