Defying Boundaries: Unraveling the Barriers to Family Therapy

Posted by MST Services


Families can be a person’s primary source of support as well as stress. When used correctly, family therapy plays a pivotal role in addressing and resolving familial tensions, improving relationships as well as the wellness of individual family members.  

Family therapy can help improve boundary-setting and communication skills. It can also provide a space for families to process and share their emotions, enabling family members to understand one another’s perspectives and offer meaningful support to each other. 

Unfortunately, some families can run into difficulties with family therapy. Common barriers include logistical issues, cultural beliefs and values, lack of awareness, and even skepticism or hesitancy from family members to participate. Recognizing and addressing these barriers is crucial for the success of therapeutic interventions. 

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, Evidence-Based Programs, Family, Parents

What makes MST Cost-Effective?

Posted by MST Services


Multisystemic Therapy (MST) is an evidence-based therapeutic approach designed to address at-risk young people's behavioral challenges. For young people who meet MST Program criteria, MST is a treatment that can be more effective than incarceration and juvenile detention. MST treatment has been shown to reduce recidivism, whereas incarcerated young people will often re-offend by committing further crimes or acts of violence. 

MST isn't just renowned for its efficacy — it's also an economically sensible choice. Not only is it more cost-effective than incarceration, but it also reduces costs to the community and state by preventing recidivism.  

A study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found that the net benefit of MST is up to $200,000 per youth. The study found that every dollar spent on MST saved taxpayers and crime victims $5.04 in the 25 years after treatment. 

But why is MST so cost-effective? Let’s discuss how MST prevents recidivism, reduces crime, and uses pre-existing resources to treat at-risk young people. 

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, Evidence-Based Programs, evidence-based, cost-effective

How Therapists Can Empower Parents to Raise Healthier Children

Posted by MST Services

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The cornerstone of a child’s well-being, growth, and development is often rooted in their caregivers' mental and emotional health. Parental figures influence how children process information, behave, and interact with the world around them.   

However, parents are human — and many parents struggle with maintaining their mental stability. Any parent can grapple with anxiety symptoms, attachment issues, and executive dysfunction, all of which can affect their parenting.  

In these situations, Multisystemic Therapy (MST) can be a key source of help. Recognizing the profound connection between parental well-being and children's mental health, MST focuses on holistic therapeutic interventions for at-risk youth. MST treatment looks at the whole family, including the parents, who may need extra support both as a parent and as a human being.   


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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, Mental Health, Evidence-Based Programs, Families

Promoting Mental Health Awareness in Schools: Breaking the Stigma

Posted by MST Services


Because children spend much of their time at school, schools can be the perfect setting for promoting mental health awareness. Schools can help students learn about mental health and access helpful resources. But in order to take full advantage of this opportunity, we must first break the stigma attached to mental illness. 


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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, Mental Health, Evidence-Based Programs, Families, School

Transforming Juvenile Justice Through the Holistic Power of Multisystemic Therapy

Posted by MST Services


Although significant strides have been made in improving the juvenile justice experience, there is still room for improvement. While its aim is to prevent youth from engaging in further criminal activities, there may be times when the desired outcomes are not achieved, as many children placed in juvenile detention facilities re-offend after being released.  

It's important to consider that youth who interact with the justice system tend to experience mental health difficulties, substance use, violence-related trauma, and poor academic performance - all factors that increase the risk of reoffending.  

To address these issues and reduce juvenile delinquency, a holistic approach is necessary to tackle the underlying challenges contributing to the problem. 

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, Child Welfare, Mental Health, Evidence-Based Programs, Families

Building Bridges: Overcoming Therapist-Client Relationship Barriers

Posted by MST Services

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Therapy can be a positive tool for change in a person’s life. However, the relationship between a therapist and their client significantly impacts the effectiveness of the treatment.  Unfortunately, many barriers can threaten the therapist-client relationship, including communication breakdowns, power imbalances, and conflicting goals.  

Addressing these struggles early can prevent them from escalating and affecting treatment outcomes. In addition, when therapists approach these struggles with intentionality and self-awareness, it can ultimately improve the relationship and help the client reach their therapy goals. 

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, Child Welfare, Mental Health, Evidence-Based Programs, Families

MST-BSF Now Approved and Supported by the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse

Posted by MST Services

AdobeStock_306200586We are excited to announce that MST-BSF has been approved as supported by the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse! This is a significant achievement for MST Services, as being "supported" means that Multisystemic Therapy – Building Stronger Families (MST-BSF) has met the rigorous standards for evidence-based interventions set by the clearinghouse and highlights the effectiveness of the program in helping children and families.

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Topics: Child Welfare, Evidence-Based Programs

Boosting Teen Mental Health: The Connection Between Self-Esteem, Social Media, and Body Image

Posted by MST Services

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How you view yourself, your qualities, and your capabilities — in other words, your self-esteem — plays a major role in your mental health. This is true for people of all ages, including teenagers. A healthy level of self-esteem can set a teenager up for success as it can empower them to set boundaries, bounce back from challenges, and make positive choices.   

Unfortunately, many teenagers struggle with low self-esteem. Adolescence can be challenging, and hormonal shifts, physical changes, and social challenges, coupled with new responsibilities and peer pressure, can affect a teenager's self-perception.  

May is National Teen Self-Esteem Month, which offers us the opportunity to reflect on the connection between self-esteem and mental health, as well as how to build self-esteem in teenagers.

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, Child Welfare, Mental Health, Evidence-Based Programs, Families

How the MST Model Engages and Motivates Clients in Family-Based Therapy

Posted by MST Services

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The outcome of any form of counseling depends on how well the therapist is able to engage the client and their caregivers in sessions.  The same can be said for family therapy interventions. If the therapist isn’t able to engage family members, it can impact how well interventions will be implemented that positively affect the entire family.  

When it comes to family-based counseling, therapists measure client engagement in the following ways: 

  • Attending the sessions regularly

  • Sharing openly during the sessions

  • Being willing to discuss difficult topics 

  • Participating in exercises and activities during the session 

  • Completing therapy homework between sessions 

  • Attempting to integrate insights into their day-to-day life 


When a therapist is able to engage clients, they are likely to achieve better outcomes more quickly, not only for the client but the entire family.  

Multisystemic Therapy (MST) works to address known barriers to client and caregiver engagement and utilize the strategies below, though this is not an exhaustive list.  

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, Child Welfare, Mental Health, Evidence-Based Programs, Family, Caregivers, Families, Motivational Interviewing

Teen Mental Health: The Importance of Resilience in Teens

Posted by MST Services

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Resilience is a skill that can be learned at any age. Building resilience can help us cope in the aftermath of tragedy and trauma, and it can help us maintain mental health. With World Teen Mental Wellness Day in mind, let’s consider how we can help the teens in our lives develop resilience. 

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform, Multisystemic Therapy, Child Welfare, MST Success Stories