Multisystemic Therapy (MST) offers solutions to families struggling to manage youth ages 12-17 with serious behavioral problems. Many traditional mental health approaches for treating serious adolescent antisocial behavior and substance use have failed to substantiate their effectiveness to reduce or correct undesirable behaviors. The MST model, developed in response to the lack of scientifically validated, cost-effective treatment options, has proven effective in reducing antisocial behavior among diverse populations of antisocial youth.
What is MST?
MST is the most extensively researched intensive family and community based treatment. This evidence based intervention addresses the multiple determinants of serious antisocial and other disorders in children and adolescents. The MST approach views individuals as nested within a complex network of interconnected systems that encompass individual, family, and extra familial (peer, school, neighborhood) factors. Intervention may be necessary in any one or a combination of these systems. In MST this “ecology” of interconnected systems is viewed as the “client”. MST goals are largely accomplished through the mobilization of informal child, family, and community resources that support the long-term treatment gains.
The ultimate goal of MST is to enable parents in acquiring the skills and resources needed to independently address the difficulties that arise in raising teenagers and to empower youth to cope with family, peer, school, and neighborhood problems. MST strives to promote behavior change in the youth’s natural environment, using existing strengths within each system (e.g., family, peers, school, neighborhood, informal support network) to facilitate change.
How it Works
MST clinicians are part of a team of 2-4 clinicians and a supervisor available 24/7 to meet the needs of families and provide intensive work and support. They also meet with other key participants in the ecology of the youth (e.g. school, community agencies) to facilitate a coordinated plan, build on the strengths of the youth/family, and decrease behaviors that are negative or will interfere with sustaining positive changes.
What We Do
Our aim is to provide high quality, individualized training and support to organizations seeking to deliver home-based intensive services using the Multisystemic Therapy (MST) model.
The Division of Public Behavioral Health and Justice Policy (PBHJP) is a Network Partner of MST Services. Our organization can offer assistance with the full development of an MST program by providing organizational development and support services, clinical training, and quality assurance support.
The system that we provide has been carefully developed in partnership with MST Services to ensure that the training, clinical supervision, consultation, and monitoring provided in the successful clinical trials of MST are replicated. Clinical training activities include: an initial on-site five-day orientation training, weekly telephone MST consultation aimed at monitoring treatment fidelity and adherence to the MST treatment model, and quarterly issues-focused two-day training sessions.
Quality assurance support activities focus on monitoring and enhancing program outcomes through ongoing evaluation of MST treatment fidelity and pragmatic therapeutic outcomes. Treatment fidelity is a crucial element of the program as research has consistently indicated that adherence to the MST model is critical to achieving reduced rates of youth recidivism and imprisonment.
Currently the MST network at PBHJP consults with teams across Washington State and Michigan. Trainings occur for these teams on a quarterly basis, covering a range of topics. Past trainings include: Engagement Strategies; Burnout Prevention; Adherence & Fidelity; Solution-focused; School-Based Interventions; Reducing Negative Peers by Increasing Prosocial Activities; Collaboration with Community Providers; and others.
We have also provided the MST 5-day training on an as-needed basis. In order to provide a 5-day training, there needs to be a minimum number of trainees. Please contact Joshua Leblang at email@example.com or 206-685-2254 if you have questions about training or program development.
PBHJP is currently employed in training and consultation to the following facilities:
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Model Programs Guide (MPG) rates MST as "Exemplary".
For more in-depth information on the treatment model go to MST Services.
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