A First Timer to the MST International Conference Reflects on MST

Posted by Alessandra Longo

Mar 23, 2017 8:15:00 AM

Getting rejected from traditional therapy jobs was the best thing that could have happened to this MSTer

I frequently think back to my job search right out of graduate school. Two years of training as a social worker and a third year gaining extra knowledge in children’s developmental psychology left me eager to serve the most vulnerable. Interviewing for various outpatient mental-health clinics left me feeling discouraged. I still find it hard to forget feedback I received after one interview that boiled down to, “I’m afraid you’re too positive for this position.”

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Should Troubled Teens Go to Wilderness Programs or Boot Camps?

Posted by Laurie Spivey, MST Services

Mar 21, 2017 8:30:00 AM

If you're thinking of sending your teen to a wilderness program or boot camp, think twice

It's not uncommon for an overwhelmed parent to say, “I need to send him [or her] someplace else.” Whether a young person is running away, refusing to attend school, using drugs or is involved in crime, many parents come to believe military-style boot camps or wilderness programs are the only options left. Heavily marketed and popularized in the 1990s, some parents see boot camps as the way to send a clear message to their kids that their behavior will no longer be tolerated.

But is a boot camp or wilderness program really the most effective way to handle a teen’s unacceptable behavior? There may be more effective alternatives.

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Topics: juvenile offenders

Multisystemic Therapy Brings Family Back Together

Posted by Lauren Skeels, MST Therapist

Mar 16, 2017 9:50:17 AM

This mother had lost all hope, but then she met her MST-FIT therapist, Lauren

When I first met Ms. Minton*, she was in a very fragile place. She was in poor mental health and felt the professionals dealing with her case were judging her. It felt as if she was fighting a losing battle. Social services were threatening to remove all her six children. By the end of their MST-FIT treatment, she was confident dealing with professionals that recognized the difficulties her family was experiencing, and they were all working much more effectively. This is a letter she wrote thanking her supervisor, Dr. Phil Reynolds. *Names have been changed for confidentiality 

I wanted to contact you regarding the therapy that MST has provided us as a family. MST is no longer working with my family as we currently no longer require your support. That is something I thought I would never say!

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Topics: success stories,

Are Americans for Juvenile Justice Reform?

Posted by Molly Brunk

Mar 14, 2017 8:15:00 AM

A recent survey says, yes, rehabilitate youth instead of incarcerate

So, just what do Americans think about reforming the country’s juvenile justice system? Do they think it important to switch the focus from incarceration to rehabilitation? Should something be done about the racial disparities? Should young offenders get more help for self-improvement? Is there a great divide politically over the issues?

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform,

How a Juvenile Probation Department Works With MST

Posted by Sed Lewis, Georgia State Director, Community Solutions, Inc.

Mar 9, 2017 1:10:00 PM

An effective collaboration between Fulton County Probation and Multisystemic Therapy yields positive results

TV shows give the impression that the primary purpose of probation departments is to tell police officers the whereabouts of suspects. That is hardly the case.

Among other duties, probation officers supervise offenders, make sure they don’t leave their jurisdiction, are working and keeping out of trouble. There is—or should be—a basic difference between departments that handle adults and juveniles. Adult departments are designed to be punitive to deter further criminal behavior. For juvenile departments, the mission is to provide treatment and rehabilitation for youth that have violated local, state, and federal laws—while keeping the community safe.

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Topics: juvenile probation

Investing in Youth by Investing in Multisystemic Therapy

Posted by Lori Moore, MST Services

Mar 7, 2017 9:45:00 AM

The C-Rep Behavioral Health Agency makes a difference in Fayetteville, North Carolina

"When we identify our youth by what they do, and label them 'youth offenders,' instead of who they are, we limit them and ourselves to all the possibilities of what they can become. Even if those very young people have made choices to go down the wrong path, don’t they deserve someone to invest in their lives and in their future?" —Tony Haire, PhD.

This story could have turned out a lot differently. It could have ended with Tony Haire in jail. But it didn’t.

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, MST

How to Be an Effective Provider of Multisystemic Therapy

Posted by Michelle Robinson, MST Expert, Community Solutions, Inc.

Mar 2, 2017 8:30:00 AM

There is a question that occasionally keeps me up at night

Sometimes, when I can’t fall asleep, I think about what it means to be an effective model purveyor of Multisystemic Therapy (MST). I understand that, on the surface, it’s about oversight and fidelity to this evidence-based model that we provide to youth and families. But I want to dig deeper into this idea. What does it take to not just be an effective model purveyor, but an exceptional one? What does it take to create an environment in which an evidence-based model like ours can grow?

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Topics: MST, Multisystemic Therapy

This Story Has A Sad Ending

Posted by Lori Cohen, MST Services

Feb 23, 2017 9:35:21 AM

So if you don’t like sad, don’t read it.

We live in a lovely neighborhood in a residential community outside Boston.

It’s quintessential New England. Cul-de-sac, walking distance to school, the library and shops. Full of big backyards with swing sets and slides. I raised my two kids here. They are now in their 20s.


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Topics: family stories,

Unraveling Zero Tolerance Documentary

Posted by Sue Dee

Feb 21, 2017 8:15:00 AM

Short documentary sheds light on shortcomings of a zero tolerance policy

You’ve seen the news headlines—fear and violence widespread in our schools. Some of you might have seen the movie, “Lean on Me ,” about the New Jersey school principal, Joe Clark, who took matters into his own hands to keep “those kids” out of his school. The response of “zero tolerance” made sense—or did it?

In only 12 minutes, you can learn a lot about how we got to where we are and how we might do something better for our youth.

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Topics: Zero Tolerance

The Last Two Battlegrounds to Raise the Age: New York and North Carolina

Posted by Sarah Johansson, MST-SA Supervisor

Feb 16, 2017 8:28:00 AM

Only two states remain that automatically charge 16-year-olds as adults

The need to raise the age of criminal responsibility has been written about here more than once. (Charging Juvenile Offenders as Adults parts one and two being two examples). Progress has been made, but our fight is not over. There are still two states left that prosecute and place children in the adult criminal-justice system—North Carolina and New York. 

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Topics: raise the age

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