"My job is to get people well enough so they don't need me anymore..."
Reef Karim is well known as a clinician, educator, researcher and television personality. The Beverly Hills medical doctor practices as a board certified psychiatrist, board certified addiction medicine specialist and a relationship therapist while providing his expertise for numerous TV shows and feature films as a host, guest expert and medical consultant. Dr. Reef is an Assistant Clinical Professor at The UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and is a Senior Attending Physician of the UCLA Addiction Medicine Clinic.
Additionally, he conducts research at UCLA studying diagnostic criteria and treatment response for behavioral and chemical addictions including sex addiction, pathological gambling, impulse control disorders, cocaine and ecstasy use and has been published in prestigious journals including The International Journal of Neuroscience and The Journal of Addiction Medicine.
Dr. Reef Karim is the founder and medical director of The Control Center for Addictions, a cutting edge, integrated outpatient treatment center for chemical addictions & behavioral addictions (sex addiction, gambling addiction, shopping addiction, food addiction and gaming addiction) as well as programs dedicated to dating/relationship therapy and Hollywood disorders. Dr. Reef has been called “a medical messenger in a pop culture world” as his medical and psychological expertise focus on the world of sex, drugs & relationships. He has also worked as a medical consultant to several cutting edge and upscale rehabilitation facilities dealing with addiction and mental health dysfunction including the well known “Wonderland” and “Summit Centers Malibu” residential treatment facilities.
Armed with significant medical training, clinical experience, street smarts and a great sense of humor, Dr. Reef is also a highly sought after national and international speaker – particularly on the subjects of addiction, mental health and dating/relationships. Dr. Reef’s speaking engagements are always a packed house – “The Neuroscience of Spirituality”, “The Science of Dating”, “Out of Control Behaviors”, “The Art of Personality Profiling”, “Drugs, Pop Culture & Partying“… each presentation is highly entertaining yet grounded in medical, psychological and forensic science.
Born in England to Indian parents and raised outside of Chicago, Dr. Karim’s medical background is diverse. He trained at top medical establishments such as UCLA, The Mayo Clinic, The Cleveland Clinic and Northwestern in addition to studying international medical practice in Africa and Eastern medicine in Turkey. From Native American reservations to urban rave clubs, Dr. Reef has observed how cultures interact with the psyche and health.
In addition to his expansive medical career, Dr. Reef is an outspoken advocate for mental health issues. He is actively involved in several community outreach programs for troubled adolescents, and he counsels teens at youth camps on topics including drug use, sex and teen pregnancy. Following the tsunami disaster of December 2004, he traveled to India to advise a group of physicians on post-traumatic stress disorder due to a natural disaster. Dr. Reef has also assisted the Pakistani consulate after the Pakistan earthquake and he worked with the Red Cross after 9/11 in disaster medicine. Currently he works with the Entertainment Industry Council, Depression is Real Coalition, Mental Health America and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill to promote mental health awareness and de-stigmatization.
For his efforts in medicine, advocacy and entertainment, Dr. Reef was named “One of the most influential Indians in television” by the Indian Journalists Society and he was voted one of People Magazine’s “Sexiest Men Alive” for his domestic and global work in media and medicine.
Dr. Reef’s affable Midwestern demeanor combined with his sense of humor make him the quintessential talk show host and guest. He has been a sex and relationship expert on E!’s “Chelsea Lately”, VH-1’s “The Love Lounge” and MTV/KROQ’s “Loveline” and has been interviewed as a medical expert discussing addiction, relationships and mental health issues on “Oprah”, “Larry King Live”, “Anderson Cooper 360”, “Good Morning America”, “The Today Show”, “Dateline NBC”, “CNN Headline News” and many others. He also hosted his own profiling reality show on Court TV – “House of Clues” based on his profiling and forensic experience while working with the LA Sheriff’s department at the Twin Towers correctional facility. And in the world of radio, Dr. Reef worked regularly on 97.1 FM in LA with Tim Conway Jr. and Reef has guest hosted on KFI AM 640.
His strong interest and background in film and television has brought him to the attention of many film and television directors and producers who have asked him to be the technical medical advisor on projects including the films “Thirteen”, “Laurel Canyon” and “Lords of Dogtown” and the television series “Private Practice” and “Alias”. In addition, he profiled the characters in the feature film “The Bourne Identity” for the film’s DVD bonus material.
To prove the theory that “laughter is the best medicine”, Reef also heals through the art of comedy. In studying improvisation and stand up technique for years, he brings up issues related to sex, drugs, and relationships at well known comedy venues and in speaking engagements.