Quick-thinking MST therapist diffuses domestic-violence situation
Multisystemic Therapy (MST) sessions are held in the client’s home. It makes sense since that’s often where a youth acts out. The therapy focuses on addressing all parts of young person’s life that contribute to chronic and violent behavior—the home and family, schools and teachers, neighborhoods and friends. MST recognizes that each aspect plays a critical role in a youth's world and each system requires attention when effective change is needed to improve the quality of life for youth and their families.
I visited the home once and reviewed my notes from the initial session before taking the short drive to my new client’s home. A truancy officer, citing low school attendance, had referred the youth to MST. The plan was to meet with Mom to begin assessing the strengths and needs of the child’s ecology. Then, I could tailor the treatment approach to best capitalize on their strong points.