Gambling Studies Program

Richard J. Rosenthal, M.D.

Program Co-Director


  • Clinical Professor, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
  • David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA


  • Post-graduate – Clinical Associate, Los Angeles Psychoanalytic Institute (now the New Center for Psychoanalysis), 1971-1980
  • Military – Commander, US Navy Reserves, Active duty 1968-1970
  • Director, Neuropsychiatric Unit, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego
  • Residency – Psychiatry, Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York City, 1965-1968
  • Internship – Montefiore Hospital, New York, 1964-1965
  • Medical Degree – MD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1964
  • BA – English, Cornell University, 1960

Research Interests

  • Phenomenology, psychodynamic psychotherapy for pathological gambling, self-injurious and self-destructive behaviors
  • Conceptualization, history of behavioral addiction
  • Psychological approaches to literature (especially Dostoevsky)

Select Publications

  • Richard J. Rosenthal (2019) Inclusion of pathological gambling in DSM-III, its classification as a disorder of impulse control, and the role of Robert Custer, International Gambling Studies, DOI: 10.1080/14459795.2019.1638432
  • Rosenthal, R.J. & Faris, S.B. (2019). The etymology and early history of ‘addiction.’ Addiction Research & Theory, 27(5), 437-449.
  • Rosenthal, R.J. (2015). Why Dostoevsky quit gambling. Dostoevsky Studies, 19, 33-50.
  • Rosenthal, R.J. (2015). Dostoevsky and gambling. In D. Martinsen and O.E. Maiorova (Eds.). Dostoevsky in Context. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK, 148-156.
  • Rosenthal, R. J. (2015). Masochism and pathological gambling. Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 43(1), 1-25.
  • Takiguchi, N. and Rosenthal, R.J. (2011). Problem gambling in Japan: A social perspective. Electronic Journal of Contemporary Japanese Studies, 31 January.
  • Rosenthal, R.J. (2008). Psychodynamic psychotherapy and the treatment of pathological gambling. Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry, 30 Suppl 1, May 2008. Epub Jan 31, 2008. Available in English and Portuguese.
  • Rosenthal, R.J. (2005). Staying in action: The pathological gambler’s equivalent of the dry drunk. Journal of Gambling Issues:eGambling, 13 March 2005. Available:
  • Comings, D.E., Rosenthal, R.J., Lesieur, H.R., Rugle, L.J., Muhleman, D. Chiu, C., Dietz, G., & Gade, R. (1996). A study of the dopamine D2 receptor gene in pathological gambling. Pharmacogenetics, 6(3), 223-234.
  • Rosenthal, R.J. & Rugle, L.J. (1994). A psychodynamic approach to the treatment of pathological gambling: Part I. Achieving abstinence. Journal of Gambling Studies, 10, 21-42.
  • Rosenthal, R.J. (1987). The psychodynamics of pathological gambling: A review of the literature. In T. Galski (Ed.) The Handbook of Pathological Gambling. Charles C. Thomas: Springfield, Ill., pp.41-70. Reprinted in D.L.Yalisove (Ed.) Essential Papers on Addiction. New York University Press: New York and London, 1997.


Richard J. Rosenthal, MD is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Co-Director of the UCLA Gambling Studies Program. He is a California and National Certified Gambling Counselor (CCGC-II, NCGC-II), a Board Approved Clinical Consultant (BACC), and supervisor. He co-authored the diagnostic criteria (DSM-IV), was co-investigator on the first genetic study, and has published articles and book chapters on the phenomenology, course, complications, and treatment of pathological gambling. The National Council on Problem Gambling awarded him their three lifetime achievement awards, for Advocacy (1995), Direct Service (2004), and Research (2018).

Dr. Rosenthal is a board certified psychiatrist and a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He is on the faculty of the New Center for Psychoanalysis and maintains a private practice in West Los Angeles.