Offense-Specific Interventions – Multisystemic Therapy – Problem Sexual Behaviors (MST-PSB)

What is MST- PSB?

Multisystemic therapy for youths with problem sexual behaviors (MST-PSB) is a family-and community-based treatment approach that is designed to promote victim safety and reduce the likelihood of future problem behaviors and criminal activity.

MST-PSB was initially validated in two randomized clinical trials demonstrating that the approach led to long-term reductions in sexual and nonsexual criminal recidivism and in days incarcerated in adulthood (Borduin et al, 1990; Borduin, Schaeffer, Heiblum, 2006). A third clinical trial evaluating the effectiveness of MST-PSB is completed, and the results are, again, very favorable.

What does MST- PSB do?

  • strongly emphasizes the development and implementation of individualized, comprehensive, ecologically-based safety plans to minimize the risk of youth re-offending
  • seeks to understand the “fit” between the offense-specific behaviors and the factors which contribute to them
  • address family and youth denial about sexual offenses through a clarification process that emphasizes social-ecological drivers
  • moves beyond standard MST practice in that it specifically focuses on aspects of the youth’s ecology that are functionally related to the youth’s sexual delinquency
  • sequence with youth and family’s situations that may place them at risk for additional problem sexual behaviors
  • completes functional assessment of youth in the context of their family, school, and community
  • focuses on helping parents build supportive social networks
  • empowers parents to address the needs of the youth more effectively
  • emphasizes long-term change that families can maintain after the program
  • maintain contact with all involved professionals (victim therapists, caseworkers, probation/parole officers, GAL’s, parents, school professionals, etc.) to ensure agreement on treatment direction

How does Savio use a “home-based” model?

  • therapists are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • services are provided in the home, school, neighborhood and community
  • caseloads of therapists are small (3-4 families per therapist) and treatment is intensive, often including multiple contacts with family and other participants every week
  • length of treatment averages 5-7 months
  • therapists work in teams and provide coverage for each other’s caseloads
  • each team has an SOMB supervisor and expert consultant who consult weekly on all cases

What makes MST- PSB work?

Treatment interventions focus on key aspects of all areas in each youth’s life. All interventions are designed in full collaboration with family members and key figures in each area of the child’s life.

MST-PSB therapists receive extensive training and support in the application of structural and strategic family therapy interventions (above and beyond standard MST) to address family variables and dynamics associated with sexual and nonsexual behavior problems.

MST-PSB places an increased emphasis on the youth’s peer relations so as to encourage age appropriate and normative sexual experiences.

Parents and other caregivers are coached to provide clear guidance, support, and structure to facilitate the youth’s development of requisite social skills for initiating and maintaining healthy peer relationships.

What can I expect from my therapist?

Any combination of the following services may be provided to the youth and family, as needed, within the MST-PSB program:

  • clarification work
  • family therapy
  • individual sessions with youth
  • individual sessions with parents
  • trauma sensitive therapy with victims and their families
  • evaluation of the youth’s peer network and arranging alternative activities
  • chemical dependency assessment and treatment
  • consultation with schools
  • coordinating activities with school systems, court, and/or other social services agencies
  • arranging a psychiatric consultation when needed
  • empower parents to fulfill their parental roles in order to permit continued success after discharge.

For more information contact: Courtney Fiedler, 303-225-4112