A Touchstone client is about to turn 18 in a few months.
Prior to coming to the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), he and his adoptive father were at odds due to the youth’s behaviors and because the boy’s father was adamant that his son leaves home as soon as the young man turned 18.
According to the father, son had been the cause of significant turmoil in the home. The stress had not only put a strain on his relationship with his son, but his personal relationships had suffered to the point of being nonexistent over the past 5 years. Since attending the IOP, dad has said that this is the only program to which his son has responded to positively.
This youth came to us very withdrawn and with very low self-esteem. He was very reserved and did not like to engage with his peers. Now, the young man has increased confidence and has become very sought after by his peers as a role model.
His father attended the IOP Parent groups, along with his son, and expressed his gratitude to the IOP staff for their support. Both father and son are very encouraged by the boy’s increase in confidence. Their relationship has improved so significantly that both are looking forward to the son’s transition with less apprehension and doubt about the young man’s success in his future.
The following testimonials have been written by Touchstone clients about Multi-Systemic Therapy Program(MST) and have not been edited:
At first I thought that the mst program, would not be helpful at all. I wasn’t too happy about someone coming to my house three times per week. I kind of showed I did not want to participate. My boyfriend was not too thrilled about it either. he said it was for ‘white people’. We both grow up without counseling, but as time went on, we started to realize that mst was useful.
It showed us ways to discipline the kids and to be consistent with their chores, consequences and rewards. Little by little we learned ways on how to disengage with argumentative kids and how to cope with the stress of it all.
Out mst counselor was very helpful to us and she always showed concern for the problems arose in our house. She showed a lot of concern for our family and she helped us out a lot. So in the end I realized that counseling is very helpful and I will continue to use everything I learned. I now have better control over my kids than I did before.
When I first heard of MST, my child and I had been floating through a lot of programs that didn’t seem to be making a difference. MST was recommended a couple times by frustrated workers. MST would work, they told me, where their program hadn’t. What my child needed was MST.
When we actually started MST, it seemed so…mild. I felt like we were going to need something a lot stronger to get my child on a path to a healthy and happy life. I was terrified, because the way others had talked about it, MST seemed like my last hope.
I trusted the therapist, though, and I tried to learn from her. She never told me what to do, but she helped me make plans and she helped me follow through. At first I only did these things that I didn’t think would work because I didn’t want to tell the therapist that I hadn’t bothered to even try. Later I followed through because the first plans actually worked.
With the help of my MST therapist, I’ve learned how to identify drivers–the reasons my child does things–and change them, so she does different things. A year ago her career plan was to be a rock star, and all she wanted to do was hang out with her lost friends and drink and smoke weed with them. Now I have her volunteering with animals (a recommendation from our therapist) and planning to go to Pima College to get a vet tech degree. And she doesn’t have time for getting drunk or stoned because it would only get in the way of the future she’s decided she wants.
She’ll never be an angel and I wouldn’t want her to be, but now I feel confident that I have the skills to help her grow in directions that will enhance her happiness and health instead of undermining it.
-Parent of an MST client
To whom it may concern,
I now can say that the MST program does work. In the beginning I was skeptical. Most thins being recommended to make my child’s behavior improve were things I had already tried, and had failed. I also believe I knew my child well enough that any other suggestions MST made would never work. Only after frequently applying these taught steps, slow improvement was made. Over time there was noticeable decrease in defiance and increase in compliance. A large part of MST’s success is seeing the program to the end. I recommend this service to any family with a challenging child.