The Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice

Objective Investigations of Controversial and Unorthodox Claims in Clinical Psychology, Psychiatry, and Social Work

The Dearth of Empirically Supported Mental Health Services for Children

Multisystemic Therapy as a Promising Alternative

Robert E. Pushak - Child and Youth Mental Health Services

Author Note:
The author would like to thank Scott Henggeler, Dan Edwards, Don Gordon, and Leonard Bickman for their input and feedback on this article.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Robert E. Pushak, B.A., M.T.S., Child and Youth Mental Health Services, 740 Carmi Ave., Penticton, BC V2A 8P9, Canada; E-mail:

The recent surgeon general's report on mental health raises fundamental concerns about the effectiveness of child mental health services. There is a significant gap between research-based treatment programs and current community practice, and there is substantial evidence that most current mental health programs for children and youth are ineffective and in some cases even harmful. There are several barriers to the dissemination of empirically supported treatments. Multisystemic therapy (MST) is an example of a model program with strong empirical support for effectiveness. The treatment protocols and quality-assurance mechanisms used by MST are an essential factor for achieving positive clinical outcomes.

You can read the full text of this article in
The Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice, vol. 1, no. 2 (Fall/Winter 2002).
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