Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST)

For more than 25 years, Mid-Plains Center has offered the Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST) model.  As an intensive family- and community-based treatment program, MST focuses on understanding and addressing all the environmental systems that impact chronic and violent juvenile offenders.  MST recognizes that each system—homes and families, schools and teachers, neighborhood and friends—play a critical role in a young person’s world and all require attention to promote effective and lasting change.

MST is based on evidence

This means it has been proven to work and produce positive results with the toughest kids. It blends the best clinical treatments—cognitive behavioral therapy, behavior management training, family therapies and community psychology to reach this population.

Program Goals

Within a context of support and skill building, the therapist places developmentally appropriate demands on the adolescent and family for responsible behavior.

Results of Research and Studies

  • 47% to 64% decreases in long-term rates of days in out-of-home placements
  • Long term re-arrests reduced up to 70%
  • Improved family relations and functioning
  • Increased mainstream school attendance and performance
  • Decreased adolescent psychiatric symptoms
  • Decreased adolescent substance use


MST therapists go to where the child is and are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The therapist works intensively with parents and caregivers to put them in control.

The therapist works with the caregivers to keep the adolescent focused on school and gaining job skills.

The therapist and caregivers introduce the youth to sports and recreational activities as an alternative to hanging out.

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