Overcoming Challenges of Doing MST in the Inner City

Posted by Sherry Albert, Chief Operating Officer, Community Solutions, Inc.

Jul 11, 2017 8:15:00 AM

Lessons learned from other MST teams and an experienced expert to meet the challenges of working in the inner city

Two years ago, CSI's (Community Solutions Inc.New Jersey Multisystemic Therapy (MST) teams were struggling. Retaining staff and achieving positive outcomes for families was proving to be very difficult. Everyone was invested—they were just unsure if MST could work in their neighborhoods. The communities were experiencing high levels of violence, and families were increasingly losing hope. The program manager of the New Jersey teams wasn’t sure if MST alone was a viable treatment option given everything that was happening in the area. The program leadership wondered whether therapists would be safe when they went to see families. Could they successfully engage people who had strong distrust of professionals? Could they help families rearrange their ecologies so that young people did not get rearrested during the course of MST? Could they work to get young people back to school?

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Michelle Robinson receiving her WIT award at the 2017 International Conference pictured alongside Scott Henggeler

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Topics: Whatever it Takes Awards

The Long Road to Closing Youth Prisons

Posted by Dan Edwards, President, Evidence-Based Associates

Jul 5, 2017 8:45:30 AM

Fight for alternatives to locking kids up. Fight for evidence-based programs.

It’s often said that if a young person ends up in prison, it’s a sign that the “system” failed somewhere along the way. Early warning signs were missed, help was not available or it came too late. Often, good people and good programs were simply not available due to lack of funds.

Is there really a lack of funds, or are available funds just being spent the wrong way?

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform,

Keeping Families Intact with MST-CAN

Posted by Lori Cohen, MST Services

Jun 29, 2017 8:16:34 AM

Here's why a supervisor fell in love with the MST model

Remy Schonhaut wasn’t looking to join an MST program. Instead, it found her. And she’s more than glad it did. 

She was working in a residential program when she saw an opening for a supervisor at a prevention program based Multisystemic Therapy (MST) called MST-CAN. “I quickly fell in love with the MST model and its unique approach of keeping children in their home with their families,” Remy said. 

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Remy, middle, with her mother (left) and Scott Henggeler (right) at the International Conference 2016

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Topics: MST-CAN,

Are 'Troublesome Youths' Costing Norway Too Much?

Posted by Ingvild Tisløv, MST Expert

Jun 27, 2017 8:30:58 AM

An MST expert's response

In the Norwegian newspaper, Dagsavisen, Marianne Dæhlen, a researcher at Norwegian Social Research (NOVA), Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, questioned whether Norway uses too many resources on "troublesome youths." She maintained that young people today behave better than ever and that specialized measures aimed at those with behavioral problems cannot be defended in an economic perspective. In my opinion, she fails to see the whole picture. 

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Topics: engaging families

A Call to Action for Bipartisan Support of Juvenile Justice Reforms

Posted by Lori Moore, MST Services

Jun 22, 2017 8:15:00 AM

We need to  pass the Juvenile Justice Deliquency Prevention Act among other juvenile justice reforms in the United States

There are not many things that draw out bipartisan support in the United States federal government these days. However, the House and the Senate agree on one thing across the aisle—we need to make the reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) a priority. How we go about doing that, of course, is where the conversations continue.

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Topics: Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act

Understanding Cultural Differences to Achieve Success with MST

Posted by Phil, UK-Based MST Therapist

Jun 20, 2017 8:15:00 AM

When a therapist gets a new case, other professionals will sometimes warn, “there are cultural issues.” 

But what are “cultural issues”? 

I got the “cultural issues” advisory with a new case. The social worker described the girl’s poor behaviour as “very cultural.” Whatever that meant. So, alongside the usual startup work, I set out to find how her background might be driving her actions and poor choices.

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Topics: success stories,

Ode to Great Fathers on Father's Day

Posted by Lori Moore, MST Services

Jun 15, 2017 8:15:00 AM

Celebrating Father's Day by acknowledging the importance of fathers--especially her own

I am not going to lie. Growing up, I was considered a pretty unruly child. I was that youngster who drove teachers crazy. I got check marks on my report card for “constantly talking.” In elementary school, my teachers developed a behavioral contract to try and reinforce any positive behaviors. I have to admit I didn’t always earn many rewards. Not that I didn’t try. I just found it hard to sit still and behave. I wanted to have fun, be the class clown and entertain my fellow students. I wasn’t really all that interested in learning. It didn’t get much better in high school. I’d say I went to school for homeroom, recess and lunch. I liked being social. I am the youngest of 11 children. I guess that explains a lot.

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Topics: success stories,

An MST Supervisor Wins Award for Outstanding Service

Posted by Suzanne Kuepper

Jun 13, 2017 8:16:00 AM

Becky Womboldt honored by her agency for integrity, passion, and perseverance

Burnout is a constant struggle for anyone in the mental-health field. But for Becky Womboldt, Multisystemic Therapy (MST) supervisor of the Highfields Livingston team in Howell, Mich., it’s the model itself that keeps her grounded and able to push through roadblocks.MST Supervisor wins Latona award Highfields.jpg

From left to right: Becky, Addie Lanterman, Cheryl May, Tammy Ruterbusch

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Topics: Whatever it Takes Awards

Not Your Typical Father's Day Story

Posted by Laurie Spivey, MST Services

Jun 8, 2017 8:15:00 AM

When a gang leader uses his influence for the good of his child

This is a story about a father. Mind you, not your typical Father’s Day story. This is about a man who knew his influence and used it to change the direction of his son’s life. It’s about a therapist who understood the importance of fathers, and who had the insight and willingness to do “whatever it takes” to change the life of a kid, a kid that most people thought was a lost cause. 

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Topics: success stories,

Norwegian MST Program for Child Abuse and Neglect Wins Favor

Posted by Ani Vik, MST-CAN Supervisor

Jun 6, 2017 8:15:00 AM

One mom's testimony about MST-CAN moves a minister to support the program

I first heard about MST for Child Abuse and Neglect (MST-CAN) when Cindy Swenson talked at a national conference arranged by the Norwegian Centre for Child Behavioral Development (NUBU) in 2013. After several years of working as an MST standard therapist and clinical supervisor, I hoped this MST adaptation would come to Norway. When Bærum municipality decided to adopt MST-CAN in 2016, I knew that it was going to be a good change for me—the opportunity to work with the same program I knew and loved, but with a few new challenges thrown in. And most importantly, with a population I deeply care for and for which I wanted to make a difference.


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Topics: MST-CAN,

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