Multisystemic Family Therapy (MST)

YOS believes the family unit is an incredible asset in every youth’s life and should be nurtured and maintained.

A family-focused, evidence-based initiative designed to serve youth ages 12-17 who struggle with complex emotional, social, and academic issues, as well as delinquency, such as:

  • Truancy and academic performance
  • Serious disrespect and disobedience
  • Aggressive behaviors (i.e., fighting and property destruction)
  • Criminal activity
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Runaway tendencies

This program serves all of Cook County, IL. MST therapists provide home-based and 24/7 on-call services for 3-6 months, utilizing individualized treatment plans incorporating the family’s values, beliefs, and culture. To prevent the removal of youth from their homes and their involvement in the juvenile justice system, the YOS MST Program helps youth develop the abilities they need to positively modify their behavior while also providing parents and primary caregivers the skills and resources they need to independently address the difficulties of raising teens with behavior problems.

YOS also offers two MST adaptations, including MST for Problem Sexual Behavior (MST-PSB) and MST for Emerging Adults (MST-EA).

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)

This evidence-based treatment is designed for children and adolescents who have been affected by trauma and their parents or caregivers. Studies have demonstrated that TF-CBT is effective in resolving a wide range of emotional and behavioral issues that are linked to single, multiple, and complex traumatic experiences. If you want to learn more about this treatment, please contact 773-777-7112 and ask to speak with a trauma specialist.

Problematic Sexual Behavior – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (PSB-CBT)

This program serves adolescents who have demonstrated inappropriate or problematic sexual behavior.

YOS is the only organization in the Chicagoland area that caters specifically to adolescents with PSB, offering two effective programs.

Multi-Systemic Therapy for Problematic Sexual Behavior (MST–PSB)

MST-PSB is an evidence-based adaptation of MST. MST-PSB is a family therapy program designed to serve youth ages 10-17.5 displaying problematic sexual behavior (PSB). Examples of PSB include unwanted touching, incest, or other related issues. This is an intensive program, with therapists on call 24/7 for crisis management and meetings with families in the community (typically in their homes).  MST–PSB is highly focused on safety planning to prevent further instances. MST–PSB also works in close collaboration with the Children’s Advocacy Center, which provides trauma-focused therapy for the victims of the PSB.

  • The MST-PSB program covers all of Cook County.
  • Services are free to families.
  • For clients to be eligible for services, they must live in a home with a long-term caregiver (or will be returning home from a placement within three or four months.)
  • This program is approximately 6-7 months, meeting thrice weekly.

Problematic Sexual Behavior – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (PSB-CBT)

This program offers group and family therapy to children and adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18 and their caregivers. These treatments have been informed by research and are designed for young people who have exhibited inappropriate or problematic sexual behavior. Some of these individuals may be involved in the juvenile justice system due to their illegal sexual behavior. Additionally, families can receive safety planning and reunification sessions as needed.

  • The PSB-CBT program is available for all families in Cook County
  • Services are provided free of charge.
  • Caregivers are required to participate in the services with their youth, as evidence suggests that caregiver involvement is the strongest predictor of behavior change in youth.
  • The program’s duration is approximately 12 months, and it is an open group, meaning that families can access services anytime during the year.
  • Groups meet once a week.
  • Times and locations of group sessions can be shared by contacting us.

Our goals are to support families and protect vulnerable individuals while eliminating problem sexual behaviors. Therapists offer trauma-focused therapy to victims.

PSB Services compared to usual treatment:

  • 6x fewer rearrests for sexual crimes
  • 2x fewer rearrests for non-sexual crimes

After 8 years:

  • 83% fewer arrests for sexual crimes
  • 70% fewer arrests for other crimes
  • 80% fewer days in detention facilities
The CBT PSB team has become more than a support system for our family. They are friends. From the beginning, the group leaders have been committed to teaching us how to cope and rebuild our family dynamic while showing genuine love and concern throughout the process. I know I am free to be vulnerable and honest in a group. My family and I know that we are accepted and never judged. What happened was devastating, and we were on the brink of watching our family dissolve, but the group has given us hope again. Together, we worked towards saving the one thing I love most: my family. Trusting others to understand a situation like ours is hard, but I am glad I found YOS.”
– Client/Family