Understanding Cultural Differences to Achieve Success with MST

Posted by Phil- MST Therapist

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: Multisystemic Therapy

A UK Carer Describes How MST Works

Posted by Kashmir Goddard

In her own words. One mum shares her story of her MST treatment

Her relationship with her 14-year-old son had broken down. She argued with her own parents because they had different parenting styles, and she felt like she could no longer go to them for needed support. Most of all Mum was scared. It seemed as if it was too late to turn things around, no matter what she did. Mum was convinced that she had lost her son. She was convinced rules, consequences and rewards would only make things worse. 

What was she to do?

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy

Lessons from Sweden on Implementing Multisystemic Therapy

Posted by Emma Ulfsdotter

A little bit about us

Sweden is a small country in northern Europe with a population of 10 million. It is divided into 290 municipalities, all of which have autonomy. Only 25 have a population of more than 80,000. So, most Swedes live in small towns across the country. This means that there is no state involvement in local programs. The National Board of Health and Welfare gives guidelines for best practices, but these are just guidelines. 

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy

MST Strives to Understand the Cultural Experience of Families

Posted by Karen

Sometimes the key to engaging a family is knowing where they come from

Fifteen-year-old Aaron (not his real name) was referred to Multisystemic System (MST) due to physical and verbal aggression at home, starting fires and substance abuse. His mum was a single parent who had immigrated to the U.K. when civil war broke out in their home country. It was just the two of them. She had left behind two, now adult, children whom she had when she was only 12 and 13 years old. They were raised by others in her family. Mum had significant mental-health problems, including a diagnosis of schizophrenia and PTSD following trauma in her home country. Her Christian faith was very important to her.

The MST treatment did not start auspiciously.

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy

What a Difference MST Can Make: A Poem

Posted by Albert Mills

An award-winning poet helps a family use art to express their experience with MST 

Albert Mills and his twin brother, Nnamdi Chukwuocha, pictured below, were named the 2016 Poets Laureate of Delaware. They’ve been writing poetry and using art to express themselves since they were 7.

As an MST therapist for the last four-and-a-half years with Psychotherapeutic Children’s Services in Dover and Wilmington, Del., Albert has a lot of experience helping youth and families involved with the criminal-justice system. He is known for speaking publically in his community using poetry to talk about community issues, such as gun violence, poverty and the justice system. For Al, poetry changed his life. But to him, it isn’t just a poem. "You're not just writing a poem or an apology letter. You're writing your words. You're telling your story. What is your story?"

What follows is the story of one MST family who chose to use poetry to express the difference it made in their lives.

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy

Investing in Youth by Investing in Multisystemic Therapy

Posted by Lori Moore

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

How to Be an Effective Provider of Multisystemic Therapy

Posted by Michelle Robinson

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: Multisystemic Therapy

Cruising Down the MST Road

Posted by Laura Shortt

Network Partner Conference offers chance to step back and see how far MST has come, and how far we have yet to go

A picture of a long and winding road. It resonated with attendees at the opening of the 2016 MST Network Partnership Conference when executive vice president and clinical director of MST Services, Lisa Reiter, showed one. Many participants sitting in the audience, myself included, have been a part of that long and winding journey that took Multisystemic Therapy from a university-based research treatment model into the real world.


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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy

Multisystemic Therapy is a Top Tier Juvenile Offender Program

Posted by Molly Brunk

MST outcomes data remains strong in 2015

With 2016 drawing to a close, the Multisystemic Therapy (MST) 2015 outcome data is in. And the numbers look good. 

As a top tier program that works to keep at-risk juveniles out of trouble, at home and in school, achieving our goals is bigger than just our organization. Meeting our goals means helping children and families across the world live healthier, more productive lives.

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy

Investing In Social Impact Bonds (SIBs)

Posted by Keller Strother

Using Social Impact Bonds to fund evidence-based programs

Evidence-based programs (EBPs) that help troubled youth are usually funded through the government and philanthropy. But to increase the reach and impact of these practices, the funding base must be expanded.

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy