MST Therapist Helps Family Escape Domestic Violence

Posted by Ruby A., MST Therapist, The New York Foundling

Hands House Concept

A Bad Situation Becomes Dangerous When Domestic Violence Comes to Light

I was working as a therapist with the Hernandez* family for two months before I started to suspect that there was something else going on. The case originally came in because Manny, a 17-year-old living in the Bronx, was doing drugs, cutting class, violating curfew, and stealing. The family needed Multisystemic Therapy treatment to help navigate these issues and get Manny back on the right path. Little did I know I would soon be treating additional issues—issues beyond Manny’s control.

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, MST, domestic violence

An MST Response to a Domestic Violence Threat

Posted by Gina Ferrara, MST Supervisor, Places for People

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.


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Topics: MST, success stories,, domestic violence

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