Normalizing Denial: Identifying And Managing Your Inner Saboteur*



Using terms like the “inner saboteur” or self-defeating defenses is an important part of helping our clients recognize and manage their denial.  One important goal of this workshop is to educate, normalize, and de-pathologize denial so we can help our clients recognize that it is a normal part of being human.  Participants will learn how to identify and manage their personal denial patterns in order to be more effective in helping their clients see theirs.  They will be encouraged to explore their own personal defenses and how they developed in order to be more effective with the clients they serve. Special emphasis will be placed on building a collaborative relationship with clients.  

By attending and participating in this workshop participants will be able to deal more effectively with clients exhibiting denial and treatment resistance.  Upon completing this workshop participants will be able to understand the philosophy of resistance and denial as well as learning how to effectively intervene and disrupt clients’ self-defeating patterns of behavior. 


  • Identify and manage at least one of their personal Big Five Denial Patterns.
  • Identify and manage at least one of their personal Small Seven Denial Patterns.
  • Discuss the psychological defense mechanisms were developed and how they have been both helpful and harmful.
  • Explain the five steps of the self-defeating thinking cycle by looking at least one instance they experienced negative consequences and then track the five steps and how they could have intervened at each step to avoid those negative consequences.
Target Audience: Psychologists, Social Workers, Addiction Counselors, LMFT, & Licensed Professional Counselors
Content level: Beginner to intermediate
2 CE hour credits approved by ASWB, NAADAC & NBCC
State Board Approval
TX 2041-19
ADACBGA # 19-12-17-1212
FCB # 5387-A
VCB EP # 143
OCDPB # 20-703353 (R1)

Course Features

  • Lectures 2
  • Quizzes 1
  • Duration 2 hours
  • Skill level Beginner to intermediate
  • Language English
  • Students 14
  • Certificate Yes
  • Assessments Self

    • Lecture1.1
      Normalizing Denial: Identifying And Managing Your Inner Saboteur*

    • Lecture2.1
      Normalizing Denial: Identifying And Managing Your Inner Saboteur*
  • QUIZ 1

    • Quiz3.1
      Normalizing Denial: Identifying And Managing Your Inner Saboteur* 15 questions
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.