Emerging Practice

BRIGHT Intervention (Building Resilience through Intervention: Growing Healthier Together)

State/Jurisdiction: Massachusetts
Setting: Clinical Home-Based
Population: Perinatal/Infant Health, Women/Maternal Health,
Topic Area: Substance Use,
NPMs: NPM 3: Risk-Appropriate Perinatal Care NPM 5: Safe Sleep NPM 7.1: Injury Hospitalization – Ages 0 to 9

The US opioid epidemic has become increasingly more complicated and deadly (AMA, 2021). Therefore, intervention needs of pregnant and parenting women with substance or opioid use disorder (SUD/OUD) are more urgent, particularly given the challenges of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Few interventions address the complexities of parenting while in recovery, particularly with a relational attachment focus. BRIGHT (Building Resilience through Intervention: Growing Healthier Together) is an intervention addressing the unique dyadic needs of the maternal-child relationship, maternal mental health, and parenting capacity, while promoting healthy child development. Over the past 10 years, BRIGHT has been offered within substance use treatment, a prenatal clinic, and in the home. Rooted in the principles of Child-Parent Psychotherapy (Lieberman, Ghosh Ippen & Van Horn, 2015) and attachment-informed parenting interventions for mothers with SUDs (Suchman, et al., 2013), the strength-based, attachment-focused BRIGHT intervention includes mother-child dyadic techniques to improve maternal reflective functioning, mother-child attachment, and child social-emotional development and reduce child maltreatment. BRIGHT encourages parental attunement and reflective functioning, play and relationship activities between parent and child, emotion regulation, and recovery maintenance. With Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) funding from 2009 through today, the Institute for Health and Recovery, Jewish Family and Children’s Service (2009-2016) and Boston University School of Social Work have offered BRIGHT as an enhancement to addiction treatment. Promising evaluation findings demonstrated that the intervention improves parenting capacities and maternal mental health (Paris, et al., 2015). BRIGHT is currently being rigorously tested in a randomized controlled trial, the Growing Together Study, with funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA, 2018-2021) as a home-based intervention. This current study includes women with OUD or poly substance misuse, begins during the second trimester of pregnancy in a prenatal clinic for women with SUD/OUD, and continues through 6 months postpartum. BRIGHT benefits the target population by supporting women’s SUD/OUD treatment, screening for and focusing on perinatal mental health, and encouraging best parenting practices.

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Implementation Handout

Boston University
Ruth Paris
Practice Website
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