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 Thank You Adversity for Another Test, 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 2015-2018, 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.


From 2009 through the present Dr. Grinstead has participated as an instructor for the California  Department of Correction and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Offender Mentor Certification Program (OMCP). This is a voluntary program for long-term and life-term inmates. This program provides them with the training and certification needed to become California Certified Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Counselors. 

Upon graduating from the OMCP, these Offender Mentors are assigned as co-facilitators in Cognitive Behavioral Treatment programs throughout all adult institutions. At the completion of training and required internship hours, Offender Mentors can earn milestone credit, educational merit credit, and obtain an AOD Certification from a certifying organization recognized by the Department of Health Care Services. The certification can be used to obtain employment upon release.

Dr. Grinstead provided Specialty Certification Trainings in Identifying and Managing Resistance and Denial and Relapse Prevention Counseling. He also provided training in Cognitive Behavioral Restructuring, Identifying and Managing Cognitive Distortions and Criminal Thinking Error Identification and management. 

Learn More

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 patients 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!


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