Multi Systemic Therapy

Emerge Aotearoa's Multi Systemic Therapy (MST) service is a community-based programme that can help families/whānau manage a young person's challenging behaviour.

Anti-social behaviour such as truancy, substance abuse, criminal offending, and self-harm can have a huge impact on family relationships. The MST service provides a therapist to work with whānau for five months, several times each week, to provide support in the home, school or community. The intensity of the service is to ensure rapid progress towards behavioural changes such as getting the young person to attend school or work.

Outside of the therapist visits, the service ensures someone from the team is available on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

How does Multi Systemic Therapy work?

Emerge Aotearoa will do an assessment to gain an understanding of why the challenging behaviours are happening and develop a plan with the young person and their family/whānau to address them. Our focus is always on long-term change.

We use a strengths-based approach to build confidence in whānau to manage behaviour more effectively. Our team also work to make sure whānau have good support within their communities. We will consult with schools, courses, alternative education providers and workplaces.

Any other agencies involved with the young person or whānau are included in the process so that everyone is working towards the same goals.

Multi Systemic Therapy aims to:

  • improve caregiver or parenting methods
  • improve family/whānau relationships
  • decrease youth alcohol or other substance abuse
  • improve a young person's education, job or training opportunities
  • involve youth in positive activities
  • address offending behaviour and reduce the risk of youth entering the justice system.