Maine Behavioral Healthcare

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Multisystemic Therapy for Juvenile and Young Adult Offenders

Multisystemic therapy (MST) is an intensive, family-focused treatment for youth ages 12 - 17 who demonstrate problem behaviors and are particularly at risk for out-of-home placements, such as juvenile detention facilities or residential treatment programs. The fundamental goals of MST are to decrease problematic behaviors and other clinical problems, increase parental ability to address future difficulties associated with raising an adolescent, and to minimize the risk of out-of-home placement.

MST recognizes that at-risk youth are strongly influenced by the "systems" around them - family, peer, school, neighborhood - and works to promote positive behavior changes within the juvenile's natural environments.

Multisystemic Therapy for Problem Sexual Behavior (MST-PSB) is a unique treatment program designed to serve youth and family in their community. It is an intensive, goal focused treatment program that addresses the many factors that impact problem sexual behavior. MST-PSB has been designed to work with youth ages 10 -17.

  • Reduced long-term rates of crime by juvenile offenders
  • Decreased re-arrests and incarcerations
  • Reduced alcohol and drug use
  • Improvements in family functioning
  • Decreased behavior and mental health problems
  • Reduced days on probation and confinement when juveniles who complete the program reach adulthood
  • Reduced recidivism of problem sexual behaviors and accountability

Therapists are available around-the-clock with on-call support for the youth and family. They can provide prompt response in urgent situations. Therapists are also supported by a team and provide services in the youth's and family's natural environments, including home, school and community.

Length of Treatment

  • The typical length of treatment for MST lasts 3-5 months for 4-6 hours a week.
  • MST-PSB can last 6-8 months for 6-8 hours a week.
  • Youths (ages 12-18 for MST and 10-18 for MST-PSB) who are at high risk for out-of-home placements (such as juvenile detention facilities, residential treatment program and/or hospitals).
  • MST/MST-PSB is home-based therapy, so providers work directly and intensively with all family members.
  • MST/MST-PSB is available in the greater Portland area of Cumberland County and York County.

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