Multisystemic therapy (MST) for conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)

Some evidence – there is enough evidence to indicate that this can be a helpful treatment option for young people aged between 11-17.

Multisystemic therapy (MST) is a family-based treatment for teenagers with conduct disorder, particularly if they are at risk of getting into trouble with the police.

MST is an intensive intervention which takes place over 3-5 months, with sessions for both you and your parents or carers. MST involves several sessions a week which could take place at your home, school or other places in your local area. Your professional team will be available at any time of day or night throughout the week to help support you and your family during any emergencies. MST will build on your family’s strengths and aims to interrupt any cycles of behaviour that lead to difficulties. Your professional will help to do this by supporting you to replace problem behaviours with more positive ones.

Specifically, your MST therapist will work with you and your family to improve your family relationships, help you and your parents or carers to do activities together that you enjoy and make sure that your parents or carers have what they need to support you with your behaviour. Your MST therapist will also work directly with you to find ways to avoid anti-social behaviour and progress with your education. If you are experiencing any other difficulties (e.g. alcohol misuse and/or substance misuse) then your MST therapist will support you with these too.

Treatments outlined on these webpages may not be available in every local area. It’s important that you discuss with your GP or mental health professional the treatment options available to you. You can also search for services near you on our Youth Wellbeing Directory and find out more about referral processes here.

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