Bahram Edward Kaikhosrow Shahrokh, Psy.D., is a 2019 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Santa Barbara.

Dr. Bahram Edward Sharrokh

Dissertation Committee

Brett Kia-Keating, Ed.D Committee Chair

Ron Pilato, Psy.D Committee Member

Janice Stimson, Psy.D External Expert


12-step, addiction, alcohol use disorder, alcoholism, comorbid, dual diagnosis, evidence based, long-term sobriety, medication, mental health, old-timer, opioid, qualitative, recovery, relapse, substance abuse, substance use disorder, trauma, treatment

Document Type


Publication Date



While psychiatric medications have been categorized as the same as substances of abuse in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), medications for common medical disorders were not affected by this disapproval of medication. It may be time for a new dialogue (Woody, 2015). According to Gjersing and Bretteville (2018), there has been a concerning increase in overdose deaths in the last decade. This includes a threefold increase in overdose deaths from prescription narcotics and six-fold increase in overdose deaths from heroin in the United States. When prescription opioid users find difficulty in obtaining pills, they may move on to heroin, which is much more readily available on the streets, in an effort to avoid painful opioid withdrawal. For this study, individuals who had previously achieved long-term abstinence from alcohol or substance use but relapsed after a significant amount of time sober were interviewed in order to better understand their experience with relapse as well as their experience returning to at least partial remission. Thematic analysis was conducted on interview data. The results from this phenomenological analysis of interviews with eight participants identified several themes regarding the experience of being a long-timer, relapsing after a substantial amount of time abstinent, and challenges to as well as factors in returning to AA. These themes are organized as long-term recovery, relapse, and a new beginning. Long-term recovery is further explored as acute treatment only, treatment did not utilize evidence-based interventions, treatment did not address emotional issues, contact with mental health, long-timer, and complacency and drifting. Relapse is further explored as medical issues, new trauma, and justification of the use of medication or marijuana. A new beginning is further explored as recovery challenges such as feelings of ostracism, age-related issues, and shame as well as recovery factors such as finding acceptance and love within the fellowship, cognitive reframing, and re-engaging the program with enthusiasm. This Dissertation is available on Open Access at AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive, and OhioLink ETD Center,


ORCID: 0000-0003-1650-0256


B. Edward K. Shahrokh completed his B.A. at UCLA in Philosophy. He connected with the idea of a unique psyche or soul that guides our intellect and behavior when reading Aristotle’s “De Anima (On the Soul).” Following some time off after graduation, he began his studies at Pepperdine for an M.A. in psychology. He completed his graduate studies as a Psy.D at Antioch University Santa Barbara.

Edward’s initial training came in the form of volunteering at a community mental health clinic where as a Certified Rape Crisis Advocate, he provided emotional support to victims of sexual assault during periods of overwhelming emotional crisis via hotline. His first practicum was completed at The Matrix Institute where he learned their evidence based model which utilizes motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy and psychoeducation for the treatment in substance in predominantly group settings. He assisted in launching a program that allowed non-violent offenders who were mandated to complete an outpatient program as well as others to utilize Medi-cal for services. During his second practicum at the Salvation Army in Santa Barbara, CA, he was able to fine tune his individual therapeutic technique by using a strict psychodynamic approach. Prior to his pre-doctoral internship, he was able to obtain some experience working with adolescents with severe mental health issues at Polaris Teen Center where he conducted family, group and individual session as well as assessments as a psychological assistant. He was able to find his own eclectic approach in working with individuals for intensive individual therapy as well as building a reputation as a family therapist by utilizing systems, structural and attachment theory. In addition, he was able to begin training in dialectical behavioral therapy. For internship, Edward provided assessment, individual and group therapy, and crisis intervention for male inmates at the California Institute for Men as part of the Southern California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Consortium. His rotations were the Administrative Segregation Unit and Mental Health Crisis Bed thus permitting the utilization of forensic coursework to benefit inmates with severe mental health issues, personality disorder and other relevant issues. He also assisted in launching a sex offender group as well.

Edward plans to obtain licensure as a Clinical Psychologist in California. He will be returning to working with adolescents with mental health issues for his post-doctoral hours as a psychological assistant. He hopes to remain in residential and IOP settings in order to work with a variety of individuals while building his private practice with long term clients utilizing existential, cognitive behavioral, psychodynamic and dialectical behavior therapy. He plans to teach as an adjunct faculty member in order to channel the gift of psychology to students in the similar way this gift was channeled to him as a student.

Posters and Presentations:

Shahrokh, B.E. (2019, June). The experience of relapse after long-term sobriety and subsequent return to sobriety: a qualitative study. Community Presentation at Antioch University, Santa Barbara, CA.

Shahrokh, B. E. (2018, July). The impact of parentification and role-reversal. Presentation at the Adolescent Young Adult Collective (AYAC), Malibu, CA.

Shahrokh, B.E. (2015, June). The experience of relapse after long-term sobriety and subsequent return to sobriety. Poster at Scholar’s Day, Antioch University, Santa Barbara, CA.

Ostrom, A., Shahrokh, B. E., Ruben, E., Chen, T., & Martinez, T. (2012, April). The effect of life outlook on the prognosis of depression. Poster presented at the Western Psychological Association Conference (WPA), San Francisco, CA.

Additional Certifications and Trainings:

ACT Training, May 2019

Association for Contextual Behavioral Science

BLS CPR (Adult/Child/Infant), April 2019

American Academy of CPR & First Aid, Inc. (Certificate # AB1067383-BLS)

Licensed Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor-CA, May 2018

California Consortium of Addiction Programs & Professionals (Credential #LCi12350518)

Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor, November 2017

California Association for Alcohol/Drug Educators (Certificate #1712727 IV)

Motivational Interviewing Workshop, November 2012

Matrix Institute on Addictions

Matrix Model Basic Training, April 2012

Matrix Institute on Addiction

60 hour CalEMA Sexual Assault Counselor (Advocate) Training, October 2009

Valley Trauma Center