Questions & Answers

THE BASICS Questions and Answers 

Q. What is it?

A. An extremely comprehensive curriculum that includes detailed lesson content and handouts for groups, topics and information for individual sessions, and cross-training for mental health and chemical dependency professionals.

Q. What sets The Basics, Second Edition apart from other publications?

A. It eliminates gaps. When a publication focuses first on training the professional…the professional must second transfer that knowledge into a useful format and into conversational language. THE BASICS is the  treatment by first providing a “ready to present” curriculum.  Secondly, the professional is simultaneously cross-trained on psychiatric and substance disorders by learning literally how to provide treatment to the dually diagnosed population.

Q. Is The Basics Evidence Based Practices (EBP)?

A. With over 1,600 references released in a 1,200 page two-volume set, The Basics, Second Edition is Evidence Based Practice (EBP). It is specifically designed to match the evidence based best practices consistent with the CCISC Model (Minkoff & Cline), Stages of Change Model (Prochaska & DiClemente), Motivational Interviewing (Miller & Rollnick), and the NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) & NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) studies from the Decade of the Brain…to name a few.

Q. Who can use it?

A. Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Professionals; Service Providers who work with the dually diagnosed population; Professionals interested in cross-training in the area of co-occurring psychiatric and substance disorders including, yet certainly not limited to, Counselors • Therapists • Social Workers • Psychologists • Case Managers • Educators • Health Care Providers • Probation Officers • Outreach Specialists • Shelters & Supportive Living Staff  • Justice System Specialists  • Professionals Specializing in Service Delivery at Hospitals, Emergency Rooms, Residential & Inpatient & Outpatient & Community Levels of Care

Q. Why do I need it?

A. Approximately (ranging higher or lower depending on the treatment setting) 50% (Galanter, Gastenda & Ferman, 1988; Regier, Farmer Rae, Locke, Keith, Judd & Goodwin, 1990) of those receiving services at psychiatric or substance disorders treatment facilities are struggling with co-occurring disorders. Evidence Based Practices (EBP) state that services and entire systems cannot afford to assess and treat one disorder at one time, especially for a population who are always presenting with two disorders at the same time. Dual diagnosis is here to stay and that means integrated services are too.

Q. How important is it?

A. Providing consistent psychoeducational information in an integrated treatment approach – while promoting empathy and hope – has become a national priority. The importance of a consistent agency-wide curriculum can’t be overstated, especially when working with people whose very symptoms rob them of consistency either in their moods, thoughts, or behaviors. This means psychoeducational material must be consistent among all service providers – especially within the same treatment setting – whether the curriculum is presented primarily in groups, is discussed predominantly in 1:1 sessions, is referenced mostly to guide treatment planning and case management, or is principally used to cross-train professionals.

Q. Who will benefit from it?

A. Individuals in treatment will receive consistent psychoeducation in groups, in 1:1’s, and throughout a system of care from a cohesive treatment team. Group Participants will practice skills with the use of Worksheet Handouts applicable to each curriculum subject. Professionals will have access to a vast body of knowledge referenced from literally hundreds upon hundreds of sources. Group Facilitators will enhance their expertise with the use of a “conversational style” detailed curriculum. Administrators can eliminate or reduce staff hours devoted to curriculum development. Direct Service Providers will find a continuity of group material for follow-up and exploration in 1:1’s.

Q. What do I get in The Basics, Second Edition?

A. The curriculum contains 1,200 pages released in a Two Volume Set.  Volume I and II contain 8 Subjects, 4 Drug Categories Appendices, and 2 Cross-Training Appendices, each with specific purposes. The two volume set is approximately 2/3rd Subject Material and Handouts for groups or 1:1’s, and 1/3rd Appendices and Tips to Professionals.

Q. How is it organized?

A. Each subject is initially divided into three segments designed as a presentation style of Prepare, Present, and Practice (Rhonda McKillip © 2004). Each subject begins with a Subject Presentation Guide complete with subject goals, objectives, methods, and overview. The eight subjects are then divided into four sections, marked by Suggested Time Frames, with dual purposes of easy presentation in either a 1¼ or 3½ hour single group session or effortless division into multiple group sessions. Two kinds of handouts accompany each subject – Worksheet Handouts to encourage individualizing, internalizing, and implementing subject material, and Inspirational Handouts designed to promote inspiration, humor, and wisdom. All handouts are designed in a way to involve the group in productive conversations and are an integral part of every group. “Tips to Professionals” throughout the curriculum contain helpful tips, cautions, and suggestions. Extensive bibliographies are located at the end of every subject.

Q. How is it designed?

A. The curriculum is designed to incorporate EBP (evidence based practices) now widely accepted as the mainstays in providing treatment for the dually diagnosed population. For example, the curriculum follows the Stages of Change Model (Prochaska, Norcross & DiClemente, 1994). Specific principles and counselor qualities are carefully and purposefully interwoven into the text and the handouts. These include the most significant predictors for treatment success of empathy and hope (Minkoff, 1998); the most important counselor qualities of maintaining a consistent, nonjudgmental, and positive attitude (Montrose & Daley, 1995); and the “spirit” and principles of Motivational Interviewing (Miller & Rollnick, 2002). The overall design of The Basics, Second Edition is an interactive format where treatment individuals are supported and encouraged to be an active participant in their own recovery. The “Master Tips to Professionals” –  located at the back of Volume I – has 67 pages of suggestions, cautions, and information for providing treatment to individuals with co-occurring disorders.

Q. How do I get it?

A. The Basics, Second Edition can be purchased by accessing the ordering page at; contacting the author via email at; or calling McKillip & Associates at (509) 258-7314 to arrange for payment options other than through the website.  Options include VISA or MASTERCARD, Purchase Orders, or check.

“I am delighted to be able to recommend this work for clinicians in both the mental health and addiction treatment fields.”    ~ Dr. Kenneth Minkoff, 2004