Relapse Prevention Competency


This workshop meets the educational requirement eligibility towards Certification.


This clinical skills training is for professional clinicians who want to learn how to help their clients identify and manage the warning signs and high risks situations that lead to relapse despite a commitment to sobriety. The main premise of this training is to start recovery with relapse prevention and start relapse prevention with denial management.  You will learn that relapse is a process not an event and that there are many identifiable warning signs and high-risk situations (Relapse Justifications) that occur far in advance of alcohol and/or other drug use.  This training is designed to provide competency in warning signs and high-risk situation identification and management for relapse-prone clients.  

This is a two-part process including 20 Hours of online training and then completing the optional Competency Certification Portfolio.  Competency Certification is awarded based on the ability to demonstrate competency during the training and to complete a Certification Portfolio demonstrating a full understanding of the Warning Sign Identification and Management process and the ability to apply these methods with a relapse-prone client using the Manualized Relapse Prevention Client Workbook.

Valuable tools will be introduced that will enable you to help your clients take the mystery out of the relapse process and develop a strategic relapse prevention plan.  Participants will be led through a strategic step-by-step denial identification and management as well as the high-risk situation identification and management process. 

The Workshop process ends with teaching you to help your clients develop a relapse prevention plan including the Relapse Intervention Plan (R.I.P) designed to help them identify and manage future warning signs and high-risk situations. This Competency Training includes a combination of lectures, group discussions, and experiential exercises designed to enhance your training process.  

By completing all ten sessions of this Relapse Prevention Competency you will prove to yourself that you know how to successfully apply relapse prevention methods with your clients.  Your confidence will increase.  Your clinical work will improve.  Most importantly, you will help more of your clients to avoid relapse.  Clinicians who are skilled at preventing relapse are in high demand in this era of cost containment.  


  • Explain relapse as a process—not an event—and educate their clients that recognizing and managing early relapse warning signs is a crucial step in stopping a potential relapse cycle.
  • Identify and be able to develop a management plan for the six (6) symptoms of Protracted or Post Acute Withdrawal (PAW) as part of a strategic relapse prevention plan.
  • Develop a strategic Craving Management plan by educating clients about the biological and psychological components of craving and utilize the nine (9) steps of an effective craving management plan that becomes a major component of a strategic relapse prevention plan.
  • Look at denial differently by normalizing and “de-pathologizing” this human defense mechanism in order to explain it to the clients they serve.
  • Explain that Denial Management requires building a Bio-Psycho-Social-Spiritual foundation in order to reduce or illuminate a client’s risk of a chemical relapse.
  • Develop and Bio-Psycho-Social-Spiritual foundation plan to help people better manage relapse triggers and help their clients maintain quality recovery and lower their risk of relapse.
  • Implement a three-part Relapse Intervention Plan (R.I.P.) that includes developing strategic interventions for the client, the client’s clinician, and the client’s three accountability partners.
  • Teach clients to understand and utilize a 17 item Relapse Indicator Checklist on a daily basis in order to reduce the client’s risk of a potential relapse episode.
  • Assist their clients to identify and manage their most important High-Risk Relapse Indicator (aka relapse warning sign) by utilizing a Problem/Solution Cognitive Behavioral Restructuring process.
  • Teach their clients how to develop a strategic recovery plan utilizing community resources that are specifically designed to help them identify and manage future Warning Signs and High-Risk Situations. 


  1. Taking The Mystery Out of Relapse
  2. Starting Recovery With Relapse Prevention
  3. Learning To Effectively Manage Denial
  4. The Role Of Cognitive Behavioral Restructuring In Relapse Prevention
  5. Developing An Effective Relapse Intervention Plan – R.I.P.
  6. Identifying And Managing Relapse Indicators And Introducing High-Risk Situations
  7. Managing High-Risk Situation And Situation Mapping
  8. The Role Of Emotional Management In Relapse Prevention
  9. Understanding And Effectively Using The Relapse Prevention Workbook
  10. Course Review And Preparing for Competency Certification
Target Audience: Psychologists, Social Workers, Certified & Licensed Addiction Counselors, Licensed Professional Counselors, &  Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists
Content level: Beginner to intermediate to advanced
20 CE hour credits approved by ASWB, NAADAC & NBCC
State Board Approval
ADACBGA # 19-12-17-1212
FCB # 5387-A
OCDP Board # 50-29024

Course Features

  • Lectures 2
  • Quizzes 0
  • Duration 2 hours each session total of 20 CE's
  • Skill level All levels
  • Language English
  • Students 0
  • Certificate Yes
  • Assessments Yes
    • Lecture.1
      Relapse Prevention Competency

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.
From 2015 to 2018, Dr. Grinstead was the Co-Founder and Chief Clinical Officer of a Residential and Intensive Outpatient Triple Diagnosis Chronic Pain Management Program in Camarillo California. He is author of the book Thank You Adversity For Yet Another Test: A Body Mind Spirit Approach for Relieving Chronic Pain Suffering, as well as author of several other pain management books including Freedom from Suffering: A Journey of Hope, Managing Pain, Coexisting Disorders, and the Addiction-Free Pain Management® Recovery Guide. Dr. Grinstead is also 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.


Wednesday, September 15th, 16th, 17th 2021 from 10:30 AM to 5:00 PM EST

Final Day 2 Hour Session – September 21, 2021, from 4-6 Pm EST.