Curriculum Division List

Hi Service Providers:

It’s a great honor to have a person share their “story” with us. To tell us their fears, struggles, accomplishments, and secrets – their successes, embarrassments, hopes, and dreams. To let us know how life is today and how it would be if all the problems magically disappeared. To let us be an ally in their journey of the “in between” of getting from the “here” to the “there” of their personal vision or goals.

It’s my passion to provide services to individuals with co-occurring psychiatric and substance use disorders. In fact, everything I professionally do, learn, and develop is all about reaching, connecting, and supporting the person who is sitting right in front of me. I guess you’d say I’m all about direct service.

I’m grateful that my experiences continually allow me to work with individuals in all levels of care – from hospitalization to outreach services. That I have the opportunity to meet with individuals who present with a wide range of symptom severity and acuity – from low to high to severe to acute. I also feel privileged to work alongside professionals in the mental health, chemical dependency, and co-occurring disorders fields. In that work I repeatedly come across the exact same needs – on both sides of the desk!

Individuals in treatment are hungry to learn about their disorders and how to manage their symptoms. Likewise, professionals are eager to find curricula that is comprehensive and EBP to meet the needs of persons with co-occurring disorders. And service providers who are equally focused in their quest to find easily understood psychoeducation for cross-training themselves or their staff or both.

The very reason I wrote THE BASICS in the first place was to get accurate EPB psychoeducational integrated content directly to the person in treatment. I wanted to assist professionals in being highly successful in the implementation of evidence-based integrated treatment education with a motivational interviewing, personcentered approach with empathy and hope throughout the direct service continuum of care.

To further assist in the implementation of the psychoeducational material into the treatment setting, I began another project in 2010. I wanted to strengthen the support to the person who receives services, as well as the professional who provides the services. So…I began to develop 100 curriculum divisions to provide separate lesson plans, or to create divided topics for 1×1 sessions, or to help folks more easily find where specific information is located in the curriculum for training or cross-training.

The lesson plans are finally in their last stage of development – the tweaking part. They will become available on as they are completed. The Curriculum Divisions are offered at no cost. You are welcome to use any of these as Lesson Plans and Specific Topic Divisions in the continued goal of implementing consistent, evidence-based practice, integrated treatment for individuals with co-occurring psychiatric and substance use disorders.

Regards, Rhonda McKillip





Integrated System of Care; Universal Dual Diagnosis Capabilities; Principles of Empathy and Hope; Motivational Interviewing Approach; Stages of Change Model Design; Strength Based; Skill Building; Solution Focused; Neurochemistry Based Disorders of the Brain; Symptom Identification; Symptoms Management; Best Practices Curriculum Topics, i.e. Nutrition, Stress Management, Cognitive Behavioral, and much more…



Suggestions on Putting the Topic Divisions to Use:

  1. Decide how many groups you will be facilitating or which topics you want to review.
  2. Look at the entire list of curriculum divisions.
  3. Review the descriptions of the topics or lesson plans. (Note: There are actually a number of topics covered in each lesson format.)
  4. Choose whichever lesson plans you wish to:

(a) Add group topics to your existing curriculum, or

(b) Include psychoeducational groups to a program primarily consisting of process groups, or

(c) Completely revamp your current single disorder focused program, or

(d) Familiarize yourself with specific topics for study, or

(e) Learn about specific areas of integrated treatment in preparation for 1:1 discussions.


Integrated Treatment Recovery & Approach

  • Overview of Psychiatric Disorders & The Link Between Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders
  • Biological-Psychological-Social-Cultural-Environmental-Spiritual Approach and Recovery
  • Acceptance, Patience, Attitude, and Gratitude
  • Getting the Most Out of the Group Process: Benefits, Skills, Values, & Techniques
  • Focusing on the Similarities and Not the Differences & Cultural Diversity
  • The Process of Recovery & Treatment Works!

Symptom Identification & Symptom Management of Psychiatric Disorders

  • Depression & Major Depression Co-Occurring With Substance Disorders
  • Diagnosing Psychiatric Disorders and The Mood Disorder Dysthymia
  • Depression in Women, Men, and Seniors & Treatment for Major Depression and Dysthymia
  • The Basics About Bipolar Disorder, Mania & Hypomania and treatment
  • Anxiety & Anxiety Disorders Co-Occurring With Substance Disorders
  • The Basics About Anxiety Disorders & Types, Symptoms, and Treatment
  • The Basics About Thought Disorders & Schizophrenia
  • Medication Issues in Dual Diagnoses
  • Personality Temperament, Traits, Problems, and Disorders

Moving Toward Change

  • The Definitions and Purposes of Denial & Defenses
  • De-Nile Is Not a River in Egypt & The Many Faces of Denial
  • Stages of Change, Motivation, Choices, & Working Through Ambivalence
  • Recognizing Ambivalence & Weighing the Pros and Cons of Change
  • Moving Toward Abstinence & Choosing to Make The Decision to Change
  • Staying Abstinent – No Matter What & Tools for Abstinence

Life Skills

  • Breaking Isolation, Benefits of Laughter & Humor, and Learning to Have Fun
  • Living a Positive and Active Life, & Building Support Networks
  • Reducing Stress to Prevent Relapse, and Spiritual Practice
  • Passive, Aggressive, Passive-Aggressive, and Assertive Communication Styles
  • Assertive Communication Style & How To Be Assertive
  • Vocation & Employment, Problem Solving, and Money & Time Management

Progression of Untreated Disorders

  • Co-Occurring Disorders & Progressive Stages of the Addictive Process
  • Effects of Alcohol, Stimulants, and Cannabis Sativa & Other Drugs on Mental Health
  • Effects of Alcohol, Stimulants, and Cannabis Sativa & Other Drugs on Physical Health
  • Identifying Areas of Problems or Consequences Related to Substance Abuse and Dependence
  • Personal Assessment of the Consequences and Problems of Substance Abuse and Dependence

Symptoms Identification & Symptom Management of Substance Use Disorders

  • Diagnosing Substance Dependence and Why People Use Alcohol and Other Drugs
  • The Differences Between Substance Use, Abuse, and Dependence
  • Identifying the Specific Characteristics of Substance Dependence, Part I
  • Identifying the Specific Characteristics of Substance Dependence, Part II
  • Activity Addictions: Gambling, Sex, Love, Food, Spending, or Religious Addiction
  • Acute Withdrawal Symptoms of Alcohol and Other Drugs
  • Cravings: Defining, Identifying, & Managing Urges to Use Alcohol and Other Drugs
  • Understanding The Brain Chemistry of Cravings & How To Manage Cravings
  • Developing Skills to Refuse Alcohol and Other Drugs & Controlling Cravings Before They Control You

Physical Recovery & Health

  • The Immune System, Stress, STDs, and Reducing Risk
  • Contributors to an Unhealthy Immune System & Strengthening the Immune System
  • Hepatitis and Tuberculosis: Definitions, Transmission, Symptoms, & Treatment
  • Depression, Anxiety, The Immune System, Stress, and Physical Health
  • Ongoing Physical Recovery & Post Acute Withdrawal
  • Safe Medication Practices & The “Twelve Step Program and Medications”


  • Self-Care in Areas of Rest, Medical & Dental Care, and Balanced Living
  • Nutrition and Dual Disorders & Developing Healthy Nutritional Habits
  • The Role of Blood Sugar in Recovery & Managing Blood Sugar
  • The Importance of Healthy Nutrition & Developing Nutritional Planning Skills

Stress Identification & Management

  • Stress, Stressors, and Stress Management
  • Stress and Co-Occurring Disorders & Stress Management Skills

Neurochemistry of Substance Dependence

  • Addiction Is a Brain Disorder & Disruption of the Neurotransmission
  • Addiction Vulnerability Is Primarily Inherited – Exactly What Is Inherited?
  • Identifying Personal Genetic Vulnerability and Risk of Substance Dependence

Emotional Recovery & Health

  • Neurochemistry of Emotions and Toxicity and Emotions As The Brain Wakes Up
  • Working Through and Coping With Neurological Processes
  • Emotions or Feelings and Coping With Stress & Uncomfortable Emotions
  • Co-Occurring Disorders and Depression
  • Understanding and Coping With Guilt, Shame, Anxiety, Worry, Fear & Boredom
  • Understanding Grief and Loss & Developing a Plan to Cope With Grieving
  • Expressing Anger & the Mis-Management of Anger
  • Understanding Resentments & Anger Management Techniques
  • On-Going Emotional Recovery, Hidden Fear, Outward Defenses, and Ways to Express Emotions

Preventing Relapse in Substance Use Disorders & Recurrence of Symptoms in Psychiatric Disorders

  • The Basics About Relapse or Recurrence of Symptoms of Co-Occurring Disorders
  • Mapping Danger Points & Identifying Substance Dependence Relapse Warning Signs
  • Identifying Psychiatric Relapse or Recurrence of Symptoms Warning Signs or Cues
  • Coping With Relapse
  • Culture, Family, Gender, and Relapse
  • Specific Relapse Triggers and Interventions
  • Internal Triggers That Can Lead to Crisis or Relapse
  • Developing “My Personal Relapse and Crisis Prevention Plan”

Family and Social Recovery & Health

  • Gender, Age, Sexual Orientation, Culture, and Family & Substance Disorders
  • The Basics About Family Systems & Developing Relationships With Family
  • The Family in Recovery & Developing Relationships With Others

Thinking/Cognitive Recovery & Health

  • Rational-Emotive Therapy (RET)
  • Identifying Negative Thinking Patterns & Changing Negative Thinking to Positive Thinking

Personal Development & Recovery

  • Fear in Early Recovery & Self-Awareness With the Johari Window
  • Self-Esteem & External, Internal, Physical, and Emotional Boundaries
  • Developing a Relationship With Yourself Through Building Self-Esteem
  • Identifying & Working Through “Character Defects”
  • Codependency Defined & Patterns, Characteristics, and Recovery
  • Identifying and Changing Self-Defeating Behaviors

Self-Help & Twelve Step Groups

  • Self-Help Groups and The Twelve Step Program
  • Getting a Home Group; Getting a Sponsor; Working the Twelve Steps

Spiritual Recovery

  • Elements of Spiritual Health & Personal Circle of Recovery
  • Developing a Relationship With the Spiritual or Higher Self

Maintaining Recovery

  • Living The Program, Maintaining Recovery, Setting Goals, & Maintaining Conflict
  • The Crisis Making Process & The Crisis Coping Process
  • Addressing Violence – Past (Childhood Trauma) and Present (Domestic Violence)
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