Multisystemic Therapy®

Multisystemic Therapy (MST®) is a unique goal-oriented, comprehensive treatment program designed to serve multi-problem youth. It uses treatment strategies supported by research showing that youth who break the law repeatedly and/or abuse illegal substances have difficulties in family relations, school performance, peer relations, or neighborhood and community relations. Therapy is provided in the home, school, and neighborhood and community settings. Treatment can be intensive—often including multiple family contacts and other participants every week.

The program is most effective in helping youth with chronic, violent, delinquent behavior and those with serious emotional problems, including:

  • Truancy and academic problems
  • Serious disrespect and disobedience issues
  • Aggressive behavior such as fighting and property destruction
  • Criminal behavior
  • Drug and alcohol problems
  • Running away from home

MST for Problem Sexual Behavior®

Multisystemic Therapy for Youth with Problem Sexual Behavior (MST-PSB®) is a clinical adaptation of MST that has been specifically designed to treat youth for problematic sexual behavior. Building on the research and dissemination foundation of standard MST, the MST-PSB model represents a state-of-art, evidenced-based practice that was uniquely developed to address multiple determinants underlying problematic juvenile sexual behavior. The treatment is the only sexual offending model that is designated as a Blueprints Model Program by Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development. Applewood Centers is the only agency in Cuyahoga County offering MST-PSB.

How the Program Works

Applewood Centers therapists provide a complete functional assessment of the youth in the context of their family, school and community. The therapist seeks to understand the youth’s problems and the factors that contribute to those problems. Treatment focuses on helping parents build supportive social networks and empowers parents to address the needs of their child more effectively. Therapists are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The therapy’s interventions are developed with full collaboration of family members and key figures in the youth’s life and can include any combination of the following services:

  • Family therapy
  • Individual sessions with youth or parents
  • Chemical dependency assessment
  • Evaluation of the youth’s peer network and arranging alternative activities
  • Consultation with schools
  • Coordinating activities with school systems, court and other social service agencies
  • Arranging a psychiatric consultation

About MST

Developed at the Medical University of South Carolina’s Family Services Research Center, MST is the only family-focused and community-based treatment program that has been the focus of several major research studies. This therapy approach has demonstrated significant clinical effectiveness for youth with complex emotional, social and academic needs. Multisystemic Therapy emphasizes long-term change that families can maintain following treatment. To learn more about Multisystemic Therapy, visit

How to Make a Referral

To make a referral or obtain additional information about how Multisystemic Therapy or Multisystemic Therapy for Problem Sexual Behavior might be beneficial for a youth you know, please call us at the following numbers. Our professionals will talk with you confidentially about your concerns and determine if this program would be a good fit.