Multi Systemic Therapy – Problem Sexual Behavior

Multi-systemic Therapy for Problem Sexual Behavior (MST-PSB) is for youth who have experienced problem sexual behavior. The goal is to help the youth stop any problem sexual behavior and gain healthy sexual boundaries so there are no other victims.

MST-PSB is for kids ages 10 to 17. In this program, an MST-PSB therapist will be doing intensive in-home therapy at least three times a week. This therapy treats the youth by including the parents/legal guardians in each session. In this program, the child will discuss their problem sexual behavior to learn patterns of the behavior so the family can safety plan and the child is being held accountable for his actions.


The parents have the opportunity to ask specific questions regarding the incident. From those conversations, the therapist can help the family to see what is a trigger for this behavior and help change the behavior.

Typically, children participating in this program are court-referred but do not have to be.

MST-PSB 2 - family therapy

What will the family learn in therapy?
The family will learn safety planning in therapy sessions. Safety planning includes developing healthy sexual boundaries so the child stops any problem sexual behavior and ensures victim safety. Victim impact is also a part of therapy as well as apologies if appropriate. The other parts of therapy include education so that the child knows and understands consent and healthy decision making.

Flexible therapy sessions
MST-PSB therapist are on-call 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Therapists typically will work with a family for five- to seven-months, with a minimum of three in-home sessions a week. The therapist has no more than five clients at one time. Additionally, the therapist schedule is flexible to provide therapy sessions around a family’s work schedule.

The therapist’s goal is for the family to have sustainability to where they are able to problem-solve a situation based on the safety plan that was developed. The therapist will help the child to understand that the parent is in charge as the authority figure.

Teenager listening to mother speak

The End Goal:
The end goal of MST-PSB is wanting to keep kids at home, in school and out of trouble by making healthy sexual decisions.

Lisa Cioffi
Program Manager