Building Recovery by Improving Goals, Habits, & Thoughts

BRIGHT group

Building Recovery by Improving Goals, Habits, and Thoughts (BRIGHT) is a group cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, to treat depression in people with substance abuse problems. BRIGHT is a 16-week program with four modules focused on Thoughts, Activities, People, and Substance abuse. Each module explores how these domains affect one's mood. In a quasi-experimental controlled trial, BRIGHT improved depression symptoms and substance use in individuals with substance abuse problems when delivered by addiction counselors.

In a follow-up project, BRIGHT was expanded to treat depression and problems associated with alcohol or drug use (BRIGHT-2). BRIGHT-2 is an 18-week program with three modules focused on Thoughts, Activities, and People. Strategies for managing substance abuse are integrated throughout each module.

BRIGHT and BRIGHT-2 are based on detailed treatment manuals. The manuals are user-friendly and were designed to help non-mental health professionals deliver evidence-based treatment. Program materials include leader introductions, session-by-session leader manuals, and session-by-session member workbooks. All materials are available for free online.

BRIGHT and BRIGHT-2 were collaborative efforts between the RAND Corporation and Behavioral Health Services, a not-for-profit community-based healthcare organization providing substance abuse, mental health, drug-free transitional living, older adult services, HIV/AIDS education and prevention, and other related health service to the residents of Southern California. BRIGHT was sponsored by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and BRIGHT-2 was sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

RAND has collaborated with the VA to develop a series of interactive, online trainings that provide:

  • an overview of the basic concepts of CBT for depression
  • an introduction to BRIGHT for treating depression in clients with alcohol and drug use problems
  • a session-by-session “refresher” for individuals to review before leading a BRIGHT group for the first time