About Dr. Stephen f. Grinstead

Experience You Can Count On

Dr. Grinstead is an internationally recognized expert in preventing relapse related to addiction and chronic pain disorders and is the developer of the Addiction-Free Pain Management® System. He has been working with chronic pain management, substance use disorders, eating addiction and coexisting mental and personality disorders since 1984. He is also the author of Freedom from Suffering: A Journey of Hope as well as several other pain management books including Managing Pain and Coexisting Disorders, and the Addiction-Free Pain Management® Recovery Guide.

Dr. Grinstead has a Bachelors Degree in Behavioral Science, a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology and a Doctorate in Addictive Disorders (Dr. AD). He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, (LMFT) a past California Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC-II), and a current Advanced Relapse Prevention Specialist (ACRPS). He served on the faculty of UC Santa Cruz Extension Alcohol and Drug Studies Program and also taught at Santa Clara University, UC Berkeley Extension and Stanford University Medical School and served on the faculty of University of Utah’s School on Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependencies as well as serving as an Adjunct Professor at Alliant University teaching Masters Level and Psy.D. Students the Treating the Addicted Family System course for the Marriage and Family Therapy track for five years.

Since 1996 Dr. Grinstead has conducted Addiction-Free Pain Management®; Managing Pain Medication in Recovery; Managing Pain and Prescription Drug Abuse; as well as Relapse Prevention Counseling, Relapse Prevention for Eating Addiction and Denial Management Counseling, seminars and certification trainings for over forty thousand healthcare professionals therapists and counselors at more than 600 training seminars in key cities across the United States and Canada. 

From 2016-2018, Dr. Grinstead was the Co-Founder and Chief Clinical Officer of A Healing Place—A Residential and Intensive Outpatient Chronic Pain Management Program in Camarillo California. Between 2012-2016 Dr. Grinstead also functioned as an Expert Witness in hearings regarding professional license status at risk due to alcohol or other drug use. Prior to 2015 he conducted addiction and mental health forensic evaluations for several different California State Licensing Boards and was a Clinical Assessor for the Maximus Diversion Monitoring Program in California where he assessed safety to work with the public, appropriateness for the diversion program and treatment recommendations.

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Please call and speak with Dr. Grinstead directly to discuss how he can support you and your pain management goals.


my personal emotional support animal


Mark Twain once said, “dogs are not our whole life but they make our lives whole.”  I can attest to that when I think about Becka, our Yellow Lab who serves as an emotional support animal. Not only has she been a blessing to our family, but also to many clients who have interacted with her over the years.

Cynthia K. Chandler, author of the book Animal Assisted Therapy in Counseling states "Animals are an excellent source of nurturance and companionship. Creating additional yet responsible opportunities for human-animal interaction enhances people’s lives. Movement toward greater integration of well-behaved animals into our daily lives at home, school and work is a reflection of enlightened social evolution."

A research project titled, The power of support from companion animals for people living with mental health problems: A systematic review and narrative synthesis of the evidence, by Helen Louise Brooks, et al, noted the following conclusions: "This review suggests that pets provide benefits to those with mental health conditions through intense connection with their owners and the contribution they make to emotional support in times of crises, together with their ability to help manage symptoms when they arise."

Research studies aside, I notice that whenever I'm feeling down or stressed or out of sorts, spending quality time with Becka, particularly outdoors, always makes my life better. In exchange, she asks for very little; a walk, a treat, a ball chase. I've also seen this happen for clients over and over again in the presence of her unconditional love.  Companion animals are a gift, and a balm to weary spirits. Thank you Becka!


My Addiction-Free Pain Management® Manualized system

In this video I talk about my Manualized Treatment Approach for people suffering with chronic pain and coexisting disorders including medication misuse, abuse or addiction. I developed the Addiction-Free Pain Management® System (APM™), which is a complete Manualized Treatment System comprising the three books listed below. Using this System will give you a roadmap for your own manualized treatment plan. My other publications can be found here here

Learn More or Order the Publications: Managing Pain and Coexisting Disorders: Using The Addiction-Free Pain Management® System.   Addiction-Free Pain Management® Relapse Prevention Workbook

 Addiction-Free Pain Management® Recovery Guide: Managing Pain and Medication in Recovery .

 Contact me for your free 15 minute consultation to see if my Consultation, Training or Empowerment Coaching Services are right for you.

Email to 

Or call (916) 893-3155

My publications

I have authored and co-authored a number of books and pamphlets, including those listed below.

Click Photo to Learn More or to Purchase my Chronic Pain Publications
Click Photo to Learn More or to Purchase my Chronic Pain Publications