MST - Multi Systemic Therapy


North East Wales partners  have established the first and only MST team in Wales. Betsi Cadwalladr University Health Board, Flintshire and Wrexham Local Authorities worked together to plan and implement the MST Team utilising Welsh Government Transformation Funding.

Multi Systemic Therapy is a licenced therapeutic intervention more commonly known as MST. It originated in the USA and is based upon the Socio Ecological theories of Bronfenbrenner and the Causal Model developed by Elliott (1983).

Today it has an international evidence base and is used with families in countries across the world. MST UK oversee the approval of licences here, and if you would like further information you can visit their website www.mstuk.org

MST targets the families of 11 to 17 year olds who are presenting with antisocial behaviours, possibly having involvement of Youth Justice Services and the Police, violent incidents, substance misuse, running away and generally creating a very difficult and out of control family life.

The MST Team consists of one Supervisor and 4 Therapists all of whom have to undertake a significant and thorough interview process before becoming appointed. They also need to be educated to at least Degree level and have substantial experience of working with families. The Team  receive an initial orientation training of a 5 day period by MST Experts, with the Supervisor having an extra 2 days training. Further training occurs ‘on the job’ via weekly clinical supervision, clinician development  meetings and quarterly ‘booster’ training.

Unlike many other interventions, MST only requires at least one willing significant adult to agree to participate. The referred child does not need to consent for the intervention to be delivered.

This is due to MST working with the family member/s to change how they manage and control the eco systems around the young person’s behaviours.

Referrals are made via a child’s social worker and the process can be discussed with the MST Supervisor.

Attached are three leaflets;  (See Useful Douments)

  • MST leaflet for families,
  • MST leaflet for young people
  • MST leaflet for professionals.

 If you would like further information please ring or email the MST Team using the contact details on the back of the leaflets.

There are also several adaptations of  the standard MST model such as MST-CAN for child abuse and neglect and MST-FIT (Family integrated transitions) for returning young people home from care and custody placements. We do not currently operate these MST interventions.