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Creative Care’s reputation for clinical excellence can be traced back to 1989 when founders Dr. K and Dr. Karen Khaleghi dedicated themselves to pioneering a residential treatment setting rooted in attachment-based healing. Drs. Khaleghi believed that Clients’ struggles with substance use were the manifestation of underlying mental health conditions – thus the importance of a dual diagnosis with correlating treatment – and that those core mental health conditions could be understood through a compassionate lens.

dr k creative care

Morteza Khaleghi, PhD, LMFT

Renowned for his clinical insight and pioneering efforts to bring psychoanalytic thinking to dual diagnosis populations, Dr. K has led the Creative Care organization to find and understand the deeper issues impacting each person. Dr. K was trained at the California Graduate Institute where he obtained his doctorate. He has been working in the field of addiction and acute mental health since graduating and has been integral in the continued development of the dual diagnosis treatment methodology.

dr-karen creative care

Karen Khaleghi, PhD

First, as a parent, second as a practitioner, Dr. Karen Khaleghi speaks to parents and organizations about the formation of addiction, the critical aspects of nature and nurture, and the resulting disconnection between emotions and behavior. Both she and Dr. K feel strongly that there needs to be more of a dialogue about the genesis of addiction and the path to recovery, a process they call “connecting the dots.”

Founders Letter

I remember my heartbreak so intensely. My brother had attempted to take his own life. I took him to a premier hospital, but they insisted on discharging him the next day. I searched for a place that could help him and, though my resolve was relentless, I could not help but come away empty-handed. Every program offered the same circuit of detox, convalescence, and behaviorism based on perceived moral flaws. The options were these or nothing.

It was 1981 when I lost my brother to his second suicide attempt due to a mix of benzodiazepines and alcohol. The loss of my beloved brother and my own childhood trauma – stemming from my mother’s death – drove my professional mission: to adequately treat people with acute mental health difficulties and addiction issues by unearthing and understanding the underlying causes of these conditions. I believed then, as I do now, that every suicide is preventable. Every mental health condition is treatable. Every half can become whole again with a tender hand and a dedicated community. That is Creative Care.

In 1989 we opened our first facility. We became the first entity in Southern California to uncover, identify, and treat the underlying issues and trauma while simultaneously treating addiction. Creative Care thrives today because of a team we call family and an approach that is innovative, evidence-based, and above all, compassionate. My gratitude is endless. I ask that none of us forget the difference a loving and brave community can make to the world.


Warmest regards,

Morteza Khaleghi, PhD, LMFT

Creative Care

Founder and CEO