Dr. Cali Estes - The Addictions Academy ®

3 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Becoming an Addictions Coach

addiction coaches

3 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Becoming an Addictions Coach

Becoming an addictions coach is an exciting and rewarding venture, but one deserving some preface before jumping right in. This isn’t to say it’s a particularly tricky career path, but if you wanted to jump ahead of the competition and avoid the pitfalls that new or even experienced coaches fall for, then this article is for you.


First things first, we’ve got to cover the basics. There are way too many aspiring coaches out there who think you can just jump into the career path without any preparation and succeed, and it consistently goes poorly. Taking this approach is a guaranteed method to never reach your full potential if it even manages to get you anywhere in the first place.  Clients won’t choose the inexperienced untrained listed person over someone who has either one of those qualities, especially because of the field that we’re in. Addiction is a delicate subject, and a wrong move could set someone back to square one. This is something to take very seriously.

With that out of the way, training for addiction coaching is easy to find and can be completed in weeks, so there’s no harm in getting it done. Let’s look at The Addictions Academy for example. It’s one of the most reliable and effective providers of certification and training out there, and that’s all down to the approach and philosophy.

Founded by Cali Estes, The Addictions Coach and often referred to as The Female Dr. Drew, she’s one of the leading providers of all things addiction coaching with years of experience and proven effectiveness backing her. The Addictions Academy is built around her vision and utilization of the ICF 11 Core Competencies of Coaching.

The course itself has 2 levels, and they cover subjects such as coping skills for clients, active and passive listening skills, basic pharmacology, learning codependency terminology, understanding special populations, and a whole host of other topics. There are no prerequisites to the course, after the lessons, there’s an ethics course, then a few weeks of coaching mentorship to hone your skills, then you’re good to go! What sets The Addictions Academy apart from other services are the bonuses they set for an astoundingly low cost as well. Referrals, job board listing, eligibility to join The Addictions Academy and The Addictions Coach, manuals, exams, and all three credentials.

Do Your Research

After that training, another common mistake is to – yet again – jump right into it. Yet again, bad choice. Preparing is more than certification. You have to know what you’re jumping into. Success is often dictated by a few key components: Client base, location, experience, and where you’re putting your name. When it comes to clientele, there is a range of possible individuals and knowing what to expect is key. Anyone can suffer from addiction, and preparing for clients that may be wealthy, low-income, past criminals, fresh out of rehab or in the depths of a long-running addiction is a keen strategy. Location and experience usually dictate income and traffic, so looking into well-paying areas either nearby or worth moving to is a keen idea, and finally, you have to know where to advertise. Word of mouth works fine, but using resources like The Addictions Academy job board or other platforms is downright necessary at times.

Organization or Independent?

Finally, there’s the big decision: Whether to work independently or as a part of a broader organization. Ultimately, it’s up to the individual. If you’re a self-starter with confidence in your ability, training under your belt, and a desire to make it alone, that can work! That’s the beauty of addiction coaching, it’s a highly rewarding career path. However, if you’d prefer a less risky path with security, community, and a nice paycheck, looking into organizations is a great call.

Share post: