About Dr. James Tobin

James Tobin, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist (California License: PSY 22074) with a psychotherapy practice in Newport Beach, California. He also offers consultation services remotely to address personal and professional challenges. He has been licensed since 2001.

Dr. Tobin approaches his patients and clients from a developmental perspective that emphasizes the role of social relations in the formation of identity and the evolution of self-concept. For Dr. Tobin, one’s identity is rarely self-constructed but, instead, largely the product of others’ notions, wishes, and needs or difficulty in negotiating the needs of others vs. one’s self. The family of origin is the initial social system where one’s identity is typically created and defined by others, a process that often continues across the lifespan in diverse relational contexts including romantic relationships and professional work settings. To the degree that a person becomes tethered to others’ views of who he or she is, Dr. Tobin contends, the individual is held captive in a state of self-deception and, gradually, loses the capacity to generate a life that reflects one’s subjectivity and unique personhood.

Dr. Tobin views the deconstruction of, and resistance to, social formations of one’s identity as the essential challenge of adult development. If this challenge is met, a person is liberated through the reconfiguration of identity into a self-generated and flexible process of meaning. According to Dr. Tobin, this is the necessary condition for establishing a life trajectory consistently open to alternative pathways and for developing one’s capacity to fantasize, create, love, and achieve a sense of self-directed fulfillment. Conflicts, emotional distress, relationship difficulties, and failed attempts to attain personal and professional aspirations are usually connected, in one way or another, to a person’s often unacknowledged inhibitions in establishing an identity distinct from relational influence and unrestricted by limiting assumptions.

Education and Clinical Training
Dr. Tobin received an A.B. magna cum laude in Psychology and Social Relations from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He completed his pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship in the joint child/adult track at the Massachusetts General Hospital, a Harvard Medical School training site. He is a former advanced candidate in psychoanalysis at the Psychoanalytic Institute of New England, East (PINE).

Dr. Tobin’s academic training focused on how the capacity to form and maintain romantic relationships is affected by relational distress early in life. He has conducted empirical research on the nature of attachment between depressed adolescents and their parents, leading to a clinical orientation that emphasizes the interpersonal processes underlying diverse forms of distress and psychiatric conditions. Dr. Tobin received advanced clinical training in individual, group, and couple/marital therapy.

Teaching and Supervision
Dr. Tobin is currently Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Psy.D. program at Argosy University/The American School of Professional Psychology in Orange, California, where he teaches courses at the graduate level on clinical process, psychopathology, and brief and long-term psychodynamic treatment. Dr. Tobin currently supervises doctoral candidates in psychotherapy at the Argosy University Therapeutic Assessment and Psychotherapy Service (AUTAPS), and therapists of all levels of experience in his private practice.  He formerly served as Clinical Instructor at Harvard Medical School and staff psychologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital. In these roles, Dr. Tobin supervised psychiatry residents and psychology interns learning to conduct group and couple therapy.

Professional Membership/Certification

  • Member of the American Psychological Association
  • Member of the Western Psychological Association
  • Certificate of Professional Qualification in Psychology Awarded by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards
  • Member of the Orange County Psychological Association


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220 Newport Center Drive
Suite 1
Newport Beach, CA 92660