Video captures efforts of MST therapists in Chile, highlights their good work
It is funny how the universe finds ways to answer the desires of the heart. Almost 20 years ago, I was a young missionary in the community of La Florida in Santiago, Chile. I came to love the Chilean people and was fortunate to have many close friendships with the Chilean women I met. They took care of me and made me part of their families.
As a surrogate family member, I was privy to the many heartaches and trials these women faced in rearing their children.
I remember feeling particularly sad about an experience a mother was facing with her teenage son who struggled with drug addiction and wishing I had a solution for her—something that would help her son and cure her heartache. Unfortunately, I did not have the skills to help them. I returned home to Arizona never dreaming of the impact this time in Chile would have on my life or that I would eventually return to the country in a different capacity.
From missionary to therapist
In the years following my mission, I became a counselor and started working as a Multisystemic Therapy (MST) therapist. Through my work in MST, I learned how to help families dealing with problems like adolescent substance abuse. Eventually, I had the opportunity to advance in MST and work as an MST expert for the first teams we started in Santiago. Among those teams was the community of La Florida. Through training and supporting these teams, I taught therapists in Chile how to support parents and caregivers managing a variety of behavior problems with their children including substance abuse.
Recently, I watched a Chilean news video that captures the efforts of MST Chile therapists working with families. La Florida was one of the communities highlighted in this news piece. The therapist in this feature supports a family trying to help their boys get back on track and overcome behavior problems. Through effort and intervention, they were successful in altering the lives of these boys. The happiness of both the youth and their caregivers is evident. Because of MST, this therapist had the skills to make a difference, and I saw my dream for Chilean mothers come true. Look at this news clip, and see the happiness and success for yourself. Then, advocate that MST programs become a part of your community.