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“In The Loop” is a quarterly newsletter for MST professionals. The current issue is shown below.
You can find a previous issue by selecting a link under the "Archived Issues" heading.

Spring 2014 Issue

London Played Host to European Teams

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Natalie Wilmot greets attendees at the
European Conference.

Last month, more than 500 people from 10 European countries celebrated new developments in evidence-based programs and networked with colleagues at the second MST European Conference in Westminster, London.

“We were keen to take on and host this second conference after the very successful first European conference in Oslo two years ago,” said Cathy James, MST-U.K. program lead. “There’s been a lot of growth in U.K. teams over the last few years, not just in England but also in Northern Ireland and Scotland, too. We were also inspired by the Olympics – if we could host the Olympics here in London, we thought we could probably host this conference, too!”

"The event continued Oslo’s momentum and helped to build the European MST network," stated Ben Robins, MST-U.K. Project Manager and conference planner. “It’s good timing, because of the recent developments in research and practice across the UK.”

“It’s an exciting time for MST here in the U.K., and we were glad to share that with our European colleagues,” said James. A further highlight was Professor Sonja Schoenwald, from the Medical University of South Carolina, who traveled from the U.S. to share updates on the latest research on implementation of evidence-based programs.

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Sonja Schoenwald presenting at the opening plenary at the MST European Conference.

What’s happening across Europe was at the top of the agenda during the two-day event, attended by MST professionals at all levels, from program therapists to those involved in funding or development of new MST sites.

“There’s been a lot of expansion here and across Europe, and everyone benefitted from coming together,” said James. "Attendees learned about the cultural differences around Europe both operationally and at the research level," added Robins. “Everyone came together to share findings and propose future collaborations. We discussed MST and other evidence-based programs, shared lessons and what makes for successful implementation.” Workshops were facilitated by MST Experts from across the European Network Partnerships as well.

"The conference facilitated collaborations and conversations between those fully in the MST world as well as those with one foot in research or academia," said James. “European countries have some things more in common, perhaps more than they do with the States, such as how to secure funding or take things forward at national level. While the systems are different in each country, they are more similar to each other than they are to those in the U.S.”

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A panel presentation during the Opening Plenary, with representatives from the participating European countries.

Overall, the two planners believe that the conference was a very positive experience based on the level of interest and the number of teams that came together from across the continent. The focus on day two was hearing updates from research across Europe, as well as views from families who have experienced MST. They are the reason we are here, after all! said James.

“We enjoyed plenty of light-hearted moments, too,” said James. Afternoon tea sessions provided a fun and very British break during the day. At the end of the conference, a talent event loosely based on Britain’s/America’s Got Talent format, showcased the talents of members of the MST community. “We had acts from Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Scotland and England, not to mention an 'international expert judging panel'," stated Robins.

With its uniquely British flavor and presentation of new findings and research, the event gave the many European attendees a chance to learn, network and enjoy London.

Spotlight on Sweden: Emma Ulfsdotter Ljunggren

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A new team in Sweden, MST Lund. Therapists, from left to right: Elin, Martin and Jonas with Swedish MST Expert Geena Jacobsson.

MST started in Sweden 2003, and now has a total of eleven teams throughout the country. The municipalities in which the teams work are often the owners of the teams. Sweden became an MST Network Partner in 2007, and has close contact and collaboration with all of Sweden’s teams, and all program managers meet regularly.

Learn more about the growth in Sweden in this interview with MST Expert Emma Ulfsdotter Ljunggren.

What are some challenges unique to Sweden?

In Sweden, we only have one referral source (the social services), which sometimes is a strength, but it does make the teams vulnerable when referrals are low.

There is sometimes pushback to providing evidence-based practices in Sweden and that is a challenge to all teams. The teams have developed great strategies to talk about results, adherence and Continuous Quality Improvement and how we use it. Time has helped the teams to show stakeholders in our everyday work how we use our data and results to improve our practice.

There was a randomized trial conducted in 2004 with the result that “MST is not better than treatment as usual”. In this RCT, the TAM collection and TAM scores were also very low. Over the past several years, we have had to “defend” MST. However, in 2011, one of the researchers in the RCT presented a new study on MST in her dissertation. She had been looking at the change in overall TAM scores in Sweden from 2003-2009. Her new study showed that our adherence had improved over the years, as had the TAM collection and there was now a connection between TAM score and outcomes. Her dissertation has been a great help in talking about MST in Sweden since 2011. This year, her article was published in the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. The article is available online.

Improving youth performance in our schools is an ongoing challenge for all of our teams. We have spent a lot of time developing different team strategies and boosters, and while we have not yet reached our goal, we are hopeful that we will see an overall improvement in this area.

What are your outcomes?

Since the start in 2003, we have worked with nearly 2000 families and at closure:

  • 90% lived at home
  • 75% were in school or working
  • 85% had no new arrests

In 2013, 90% completed treatment (197 families), and of those:
  • 5.6% were discharged due to lack of engagement
  • 3.3 % of youths were placed
  • The overall TAM score was 0.77
  • 94% lived at home
  • 73% were in school or work
  • 86% had no new arrests

Can you share about any plans or goals for the future?

We hope to expand and start more new teams in Sweden in the future. This fall, we are having a discussion about starting at least one more team in Stockholm, our capital, so all youths and families in Stockholm are able to have MST treatment, if needed.

In 2015, we are planning on hiring another Swedish Expert so all of the teams can have consults and boosters in Swedish.

We also have a resurgence in the interest in the MST-CAN model in some regions in Sweden, so our hopes are that we will have an MST-CAN team up and running in a few years.

This fall, we also expect some results from an MST effectiveness study looking at eight Swedish teams and all of their cases during a period of 8 months. Over 100 families are involved. We look forward to the results.

An MST Compatible Electronic Health Record (EHR)


MST Services has partnered with Netsmart, a leading developer of EHR for the Human Services Industry, and Community Solutions, Inc. (CSI), an MST Network Partner, to design an electronic health record (EHR), also known as a case management system, which incorporates MST functionality and best practices directly in the software.

The first-of-its-kind solution facilitates true MST service provision and documentation while supporting Meaningful Use, ICD-10 and the other critical rules and regulations.

Join us for a no-cost webinar on Tuesday, August 12th, at 12:30 PM ET, where you will hear experts from MST Services, Netsmart, and CSI as they demonstrate the benefits of this software.

More details will be sent via email in late July.

Announcements from MST Services and the MST Institute

Contribute to the New MST Services Blog

The staff at MST Services has been working to build an active and informative blog on the MST Services website. The aim of the blog is to be a diverse resource for all roles within the MST community. If you are interested in becoming a contributing blogger, please email Lori Cohen.

Featured MST-Related Article
In a recent Network Partner call, Scott W. Henggeler, Ph.D. presented "The Swedish Implementation of Multisystemic Therapy for Adolescents: Does Treatment Experience Predict Treatment Adherence?", covering a study conducted to examine how therapists' adherence to MST and youth outcomes varied from 2003-2009. Download the full presentation.

New Publications

463 Schoenwald, S. K. (2014). Multisystemic Therapy. In J. Ehrenreich-May & B. C. Chu. (Eds.), Transdiagnostic Treatments for Children and Adolescents, Principles and Practice (pp. 313-338). New York: The Guilford Press.

Lofholm, A., Eichas, K., & Sundell, K. (2014). The Swedish implementation of multisystemic therapy for adolescents: Does treatment experience predict treatment adherence? Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.

All existing MST-related publications can be located at the Family Services Research Center's website.

Welcome New MST Teams - First Quarter 2014

Organization Team Name
Team State
Team Country

MST Treatment Type

Options for Independence Youth Services Options 2 LA US MST
CPFT Northhamptonshire 2 UK MST
Community Youth Services CYS Team 2 WA US MST
Emergence Health Network EHN MST TX US MST
FJP De Viersprong Den Bosch MST-CAN NL MST

First Quarter 2014 - Whatever It Takes Award Winners

Nominee Organization Location
Brenda Szumski MST Services SC
Dennis Sanga Youth Horizons - NZ New Zealand
Doris Skinner Preventive Measures LA
Fiona Nyatho Greenwich CAMHS UK
Holly Monroe Community Solutions, Inc. CT
Joel Hanna Sheffield Youth Justice Service UK
Leslie Ashley Adelphoi Village PA
MHSD MST Team Metropolitan Human Services District LA
Oldham and Tameside MST team Positive Steps UK
Reena Singh MST Leeds England Leeds City Council - Leeds East Team UK
Reneka Hayes Life Changing Solutions/Metropolitan Circles LA
Jamie Bunch-Sanfilippo MST Services SC
2014 1st Quarter All-Stars
Nominee Organization Location
Joel Hanna Sheffield Youth Justice Service UK
Holly Monroe Community Solutions, Inc. CT
Reneka Hayes Life Changing Solutions/Metropolitan Circles LA
Reena Singh MST Leeds England Leeds City Council - Leeds East Team UK
Fiona Nyatho Greenwich CAMHS  UK
MHSD MST Team Metropolitan Human Services District LA

 MST Reminders

- Medicaid Discussion Group - The next call is scheduled for Wednesday, July 23, 2014, at 1:00 pm ET. Interested in joining this call? Please email

- MST In-the-Loop e-Newsletter - Please contact to be added to the distribution list or to suggest topics for future editions.

- Free MSTI website training - Registration is limited so sign up early at Internet access is required to participate.

- Free MST jobs website, - You can post positions as well as review resumes of applicants who are looking for MST-related opportunities.

- Have News to Share? This newsletter has been developed as a communication tool to keep everyone well informed about news, events and issues that impact the greater MST community. We encourage you to explore the contents of this newsletter and provide us with your feedback. Feel free to make recommendations for what you would like to see in future issues. Suggestions can be directed to

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