He is a long-time contributing columnist to the Ladies' Home Journal (1972-?), and the author of more than twenty-five works of fiction and nonfiction. In 1962, director Frank Perry made the acclaimed film David and Lisa from Rubin's story "Lisa and David". The film was remade by entertainer Oprah Winfrey in 1998. His book Shrink, The Diary of a Psychiatrist, was written in the times of his residences in different psychiatric hospitals in the West Coast of the United States until his decision to move to New York.
For a clinician who rose to prominence within psychoanalysis during the heyday of what is known as "ego psychology" (a movement often criticized for its equation of mental health and conformity to normative American cultural values, exemplified by the pathologizing of homosexuality), Rubin is iconoclastic with regard to psychoanalytic and cultural orthodoxy. "Compassion and Self-Hate: An Alternative to Despair" (1975), while espousing traditional psychoanalytic notions of repression and defense, emphasizes the centrality of covert self-hate in the phenomenology of neurotic suffering, recommending consciously invoked compassion, a self-help approach which more closely resembles Tibetan Buddhism than psychoanalysis. This dichotomy can be seen in at least one of two ways: as an opening of the psychoanalytic model to existential and spiritual phenomenology (see Epstein's "Thoughts Without a Thinker" for a recent exposition of the idea that psychoanalysis and Buddhist thought can be productively synchronized), or as an unacknowledged radical interrogation of core psychoanalytic assumptions (see DuQuesne's "Killing Freud" for a thorough discussion of this trend in analytic writing).