Ode to Great Fathers on Father's Day

Posted by Lori Moore

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: MST Success Stories

An MST Supervisor Wins Award for Outstanding Service

Posted by Suzanne Kuepper

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: MST Success Stories

Not Your Typical Father's Day Story

Posted by Laurie Spivey

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: MST Success Stories

An MST Champion Does Whatever it Takes

Posted by Garry Blackburn

Sometimes, it takes a leap of faith. Sometimes, it takes several.

Two years ago, Wigan (a large, former mining town in the north of England) had lots of hard-working and innovative services, but not Multisystemic Therapy (MST). Wigan took a leap of faith and commisioned its first MST team to work with complex cases on the edge of care.

One of the very first referrals to the team was Stephanie*, a 15-year-old girl with many complex behavioral problems. Numerous services over the previous nine years or so had worked with her. Eleven separate professionals/services were involved with the family at the time of the referral to MST, and everything Wigan had to offer had been exhausted.

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Pictured above is Laura Protano receiving her Whatever It Takes award

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Topics: MST Success Stories

Celebrating Moms on Mother's Day

Posted by Laurie Spivey

A mom, a daughter, an MST therapist, Jennifer Cottingham-Lane juggles it all, and does it well

It’s before dawn in Houston, Texas and MST Therapist Jennifer Cottingham-Lane is up packing lunches for her children and preparing for another long day. Jennifer doesn’t even get one day a week to sleep in. Most nights, she goes to bed with her phone’s volume turned way up, just in case one of her MST families needs her. A single mom with two children of her own and a former college athlete, Jennifer coaches 8-10 year olds in track. Her kids run track and play baseball and somehow she manages to fit it all in, even though it means seeing her MST families on the weekends, early in the morning, or in the evenings. Jennifer is a master juggler. She has to be.

mothers day mst jennifer cottingham lane.jpg Jennifer and her daughter, whom she coaches

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Topics: MST Success Stories

Effective Model for Child Abuse and Neglect

Posted by Kellie Allison

Staten Island MST-CAN program can and does make a difference

Just the thought of a parent becoming violent toward his or her child causes a pretty visceral reaction in many people. Most of us love and want to protect children, and the subject of child abuse and neglect makes us feel helpless and hopeless. What can be done with and for a parent who beats a child?

There’s no doubt that it’s a challenge. But there are options other than removing the child from the home.MST-CAN Staten Island Team.jpg

Four members of the Staten Island Family Services MST-CAN team

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Topics: MST Success Stories

MST Intervention Helps Bring a Daughter Home

Posted by Allison Altwer

She was 17, not speaking to her mother and living with her boyfriend, until MST 

In 2016, I began working with Sarah*, a 17-year-old girl, and her mother, Ms. Jones. Sarah was on probation for a physical altercation with her older sister in 2013. The girl was referred to Multisystemic Therapy (MST) by her probation officer for other delinquent behaviors, including disobeying adults at home and in school, verbal and physical aggression toward family members, marijuana use and association with negative peers. Sarah had been in and out of juvenile hall for probation violations and twice served 30 days with an ankle monitor. 

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Topics: MST Success Stories

Multisystemic Therapy Brings Family Back Together

Posted by Lauren Skeels

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: MST Success Stories

Life of Young Chilean Gangbanger Changed with MST

Posted by Kellie Allison

He owned pistols at age 12, but with MST was able to get a fresh start

I’m a sucker for a great success story. Whether it is an athlete’s training that results in a fantastic win or listening to my neighbor’s story about beating cancer. I think it is my love of people conquering great odds that attracted me to the Multisystemic Therapy (MST) treatment model almost a dozen years ago. The process of change is fascinating, and it’s good to be a part of a program that helps families use the therapeutic process to create their own success stories.

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Topics: MST Success Stories

Doing Whatever it Takes to Engage Families

Posted by Joanne Penman

Watch how they do it in the Netherlands...

The mission of Multisystemic Therapy for Child Abuse and Neglect (MST-CAN) is to maintain the family unit while keeping children safe from physical abuse and neglect. It also focuses on reducing the mental health difficulties that often affect these families—children and adults. But we can’t start the treatment if we can’t engage the families. If they won’t open the door—literally.

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Topics: MST Success Stories