Psychiatrist talking to young male client

SBIRT — Brief Treatment

Brief Treatment is the service level indicated with moderate to severe risk and should be initiated by a clinician. Brief treatment differs from brief interventions and other treatments. Treatment consists of 1-12 sessions of short duration. It is a structured counseling method that helps patients identify personal beliefs about substance use and how these beliefs influence their feelings and behaviors.

  • Brief treatment (as part of SBIRT) seeks to build awareness and resolve ambivalence about substance use.
  • The Brief Treatment clinical approach recommended by SAMHSA is Integrated Change Therapy (ICT) for Substance Abuse and Co-Occurring Disorders.

ICT responds to the needs of the working clinician in today’s changing service delivery environment, with particular attention to behavioral health clinicians practicing in primary care settings. It is intended to be delivered by a behavioral health clinician (social worker, psychologist or mental health counselor) and enables ease of adoption of this new clinical practice without significant changes to existing programs and systems. Brief Treatment also reduces the need for immediate referral to specialty care.