Cali Estes, PhD: Author & Founder of The Addictions Academy and The Addictions Coach

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Cali Estes, Ph.D is an author and highly sought after Addiction Therapist and Life/Corporate Coach who specializes in harm reduction and utilizes holistic approaches to treat addiction, as well as mental conditions holding her clients back from reaching their full potential. She works with individuals, drug and alcohol treatment teams and addiction professionals looking to advance their knowledge base.

Dr. Estes has over 20 years experience working with drug, alcohol and food addictions. Her deep understanding of drug and alcohol addiction, including the behaviors and ramifications that are associated with it, place her at the top in the field of addiction therapy. Dr. Estes is an interactive, solution-focused Positive Psychologist and Cognitive Behavioral Therapist. Her unique no-nonsense approach of cognitive behavioral therapy, positive psychology and life coaching combine to provide the perfect support for an addict. Dr. Estes’ background in food addictions and the emotional and physical tolls it takes on one’s psyche and physical well-being is highly unique.

Dr. Cali Estes is a #1 Best Selling Author on Amazon has been featured on CNN, NBC, CNBC, CBS, FOX News, LA Times, Yahoo! News, Philadelphia Inquirer, Reader’s Digest, Entrepreneur Magazine, MSN Money, Max Sports and Fitness, San Jose Mercury, The Fix, Dr. Drew, People Magazine, Washington Post, Yoga Digest, Reader’s Digest, and more. She was also featured in a riveting documentary about addiction, Gone Too Soon: The Story of Emily Cooley.

Dr. Estes is a Certified Masters Level Addiction Professional. She holds a Ph.D from DSU in Psychology and Life Coaching, a Master’s Degree from WCU, and an undergraduate from PSU, International Certification as a Drug and Alcohol Therapist, Master Certified Addictions Professional, as well as 24 certifications and over 20 years of experience as a Personal Trainer, Yoga Teacher, Pilates Teacher, Food Addictions Specialist and Life Coach. Her unique approach to get to the root cause of the problem with each client and relate on a humanistic level makes her desirable in this industry. Dr. Estes is more than a ‘sober coach’. She has a background in clinical and personality psychology, addictions and forensics and has been featured on NBC, CBS, CNN’s Don Lemon, MSN, Dr. Drew Podcast, Washington Post, Fox News, The Los Angeles Times and many more.

Click here for more information on Dr. Cali Estes.

What do I do best?

I motivate people.  I work in the corporate sector with clients that have drug and alcohol problems. They can make millions of dollars, but can’t stop drinking. I work in the music sector with guys who have played to sold-out arenas but can’t stop putting a needle in their arm.  I help them with whatever barrier they can’t seen to break through, and are are stuck.  I have a model that I use for helping people go from stuck to successful.  

What makes me the best version of myself?

My tenacity, my entrepreneurship, and my no-nonsense attitude.  In some relationships those traits could be considered problematic, but I have a ‘forging ahead’ and ‘let’s get it done’ attitude and I put myself out there whether people like me or not and I make things happen.  My tagline is “your opinion of me is none of my business”.  

What are my aspirations?

When I was 14 years old, I had four goals on my bucket list.  I wanted to make one million dollars, by a car off the showroom floor, get a house by the beach, and find a real man.  I was able to achieve all four of those by the age of 35, lost them all and had to start over.  My aspirations now are to travel the world, have a good time and help as many people as I can.  My long-term goal is to open a no-kill shelter, and a treatment center and detox center that is free to anyone who cannot afford it.  

My Biggest Success?

I have had six companies. My fourth one being a 4.1 million dollar company in its third year. I started that company sitting on my living room floor, using my Walmart computer, and turning over a plastic bin to use as a desk. My biggest successes are my companies.  The fact that I can take nothing and make it into something, help a lot of people and reach a lot of people, is a huge success.

My Most Challenging Moment?

Some of my most challenging moments deal with my personal life.  Having to cut my father out of my life because he was abusive.  Writing and publishing”I Married A Junkie” included some of the details of abuse, and I didn’t know how it would be received by my family. I didn’t know if they would disown me, but it was something I had to do.

My Motto?

I have several mottos. I believe in universal life force energy, I believe in Law of Attraction. One of my mottos is “money flies at me from all directions”.  Another motto, I stated previously, is “your opinion of me is none of my business”.  All of my mottos are “get done” things, breaking barriers, hitting glass ceilings and shattering them.

My Favorite People/Role Models?

Wayne Dyer, for the Law of Attraction. Nikki Sixx, in the music world, because he built his brand and became an international sensation. I also like Sir Richard Branson and Mark Cuban.  People who came from nothing, made a ton of money, helped a lot of people and had a lot of fun doing it.

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

My spot to sit and manifest is Laguna Beach, Ca.  I also like Alaska.  I will go anywhere.  I’ve been to most of the islands, even though they aren’t my favorite places. I am looking forward to traveling to Europe next.  

My Favorite Products/Objects?

Because I do the Law of Attraction and I am Shamanic Practitioner, I do a lot of work with Reiki and Reiki-infused candles. Also candles that correspond to certain things like well-being or bringing in your angels, and masters of descendants. I do a lot of smudging and saging. I also enjoy drumming and drum circles. These are things I use to keep myself balanced and connected to Spirit.

My Current Passions?

I love working out, I love yoga.  I love travelling.  I have to be by the water so anything landlocked is not for me.  I love drumming. I enjoy going to music venues.  My husband is a touring musician, so going to his shows and travelling around the country with him is fun and one of my current passions.


How did you get into the industry?

I began my career at SCI Rockview, which is a male, medium security prison back in the early 90s. I had wanted to be an FBI agent, and had done my internship at the prison, figuring I would get a handle on what it would be like to work with different types of criminals.  They put me with the drug and alcohol clients and that spun off my career as a drug and alcohol counselor, addictions coach, and what they call me now is “The female Dr. Drew”

Any emerging industry trends?

The newest industry trend is addiction to technology.  So people that are addicted to their phone, addicted to social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc. and how they spend more time on the phone, on social media in their email than actually communicating with other people.  The Denver Post released a study that the average person spends 11 hours on technology as opposed to actual interaction.  

Another industry trend we are seeing is an increase in harm reduction for addiction.  This includes the Medically Assisted Therapy (MATs) and we are seeing people try different ways besides the 12-step program to get and stay sober.

Any industry opportunities or challenges?

The biggest thing with the addiction industry is a move from total abstinence to partial abstinence. It is also using cannabis or kratom as a way to detox off of opiates.  These are things we would not have utilized or thought of in the past. It used to be strictly 100% total abstinence, and now we are seeing other methods and other ways to help you stay sober

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?

I created The Addictions Coach and The Addictions Academy to be able to train as many people as possible in recovery coaching and intervention and also to help as many people as we possibly could, from the high-profile individual all the way down to the person next door who doesn’t have any money.  I’ve expanded this while writing a book called I Married A Junkie, which you can find at The book talks about my husband’s relapse during my time building these companies and brand. From here, I have another book coming out called The Seven Keys To Tap Into The Wealth Inside You which talks about how to be authentic, finding your tribe, and finding your purpose in life.

What's next for the Business in the near future?

Also discussing The Seven Keys To Tap Into The Wealth Inside You, that will be our next class,  along with a brain health class that we are offering as well, to teach people about the neurotransmitters in the brain and how they affect your everyday lifestyle and if you’ve been drinking and using drugs, how you have destroyed different parts of your body.  

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?

We utilize many different types of marketing but the biggest key initiative for the success of the business is to make sure your  staff is happy.  If your staff is happy, your customers are happy.

Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)

In 2014 I was slammed on social media by some of the top competitors in the industry.  They posted a lot of things about me and almost ruined my company.  That was probably the biggest challenge I had, and knowing it wasn't about me it was about them sort of  got me through, but knowing they were affecting my bottom line was my biggest hurdle.  I learned out of that, to never take anything for granted, and as long as you're climbing the ladder the top dog will always try to kick you off the ladder.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?

As a client of The Addictions Coach,  you're getting complete wrap around services one-on-one, totally tailored to the client.  On The Addictions Academy side, for the student, you are getting classes online in a live virtual classroom that no one else is offering.  We have different levels including Recovery Coaching Levels I and II, which no one else offers. We also offer a family environment where we help you find clients and continue your path with starting your own business. So we do offer a lot more.  We have facebook groups, mentorships, and supervisions that no one else offers.

How do you motivate others?

I personally was called the “battery recharger”, because the biggest thing I have done is help people recharge their batteries. For me, motivating other people is very intrinsic, if you meet me, I’m super high energy, I’m always on the go, I’m pretty much working 24/7, even when I’m vacationing I’m working.  I like to keep people in an up beat state, so they feel as good as I do about helping other people.  

Career advice to those in your industry?

Research it, get on it, do it, market it and go completely out there.  The more you put yourself out there, the more clients you're going to get. If you sit at home and do one little bit of marketing online, you are not going to get clients. Put everything you have into it, and definitely buy my book The Seven Keys To Tap Into The Wealth Inside You, or take that class, if you are stuck, or have trouble asking for money.