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Emerge Aotearoa

Mental Health & Addictions Service


Multi Systemic Therapy

Programme Areas

Mental health

Programme Type

Community based support - mental health


All of New Zealand

Age Groups

Youth / Rangatahi, Adult / Pakeke

Referral Process

Most of our referrals come from the District Health Board's mental health teams. However, if you have any questions or to find out if this service is available in your area, please contact the Emerge Aotearoa office nearest you.

For further information on Multi Systemic Therapy please visit:


The Multi Systemic Therapy Service is a community based programme which:

  • Helps families/whānau manage very challenging behaviour such as truancy, drug use, offending, absconding, anti-social behaviour, criminal offending, self harm, non compliance, school refusal and the impact of a young person’s mental health on family dynamics.
  • Helps young people attend school and/or work regularly and get along with their families/whānau and peers.
  • Provides support in the home, school, neighbourhood or community.
  • Provides a therapist who works with the family/whānau for 5 months (20 weeks), meeting at least 2-3 times per week to ensure rapid progress towards changing behaviours.
  • Focuses on family/whānau goals.
  • Ensures someone from the team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on call.
  • Ensures therapists work in supervised teams and provide coverage for all clients.

Multi Systemic Therapy aims to:

  • Improve caregiver parenting practices.
  • Enhance family/whānau relations.
  • Decrease youth alcohol and substance abuse.
  • Improve young persons school, job and training opportunities.
  • Engage youth in positive recreational outlets.
  • Address offending behaviour, reducing the risk of youth entering the justice system, or reducing their risk of further involvement in the justice system.
  • Develop a natural support network to maintain changes.

The service will:

  • Complete a thorough assessment to give a good understanding of why the challenging behaviours are happening and what factors are helping to maintain them.
  • Develop plans in collaboration with family/whānau to address these behaviours and work to help ensure long term change.
  • Use a strengths based approach to empower the family/whānau to manage behaviour more effectively.
  • Support the family/whānau to try different behaviour management strategies.
  • Work to ensure that the family/whānau has good supports within their own communities.
  • Consult with schools, courses, alternative education or work places.
  • Link with any other key agencies involved to ensure all are working towards the same goals.

Contact Details

For more information please contact your nearest Emerge Aotearoa Office

  • Northland

    (09) 470 3530

  • Auckland: National Support Centre

    (09) 265 0255

  • Auckland West

    (09) 839 7301

  • Auckland Central

    (09) 847 9187

  • Hamilton

    (07) 829 4395

  • Rotorua

    (07) 348 4739

  • Tauranga

    (07) 579 9020

  • Midland

    (07) 579 9020

  • Napier

    (06) 843 5119

  • Wellington

    (04) 589 9442

  • Christchurch

    (03) 371 5599

  • West Coast (of the South Island)

    0800 000 029

This page was last updated at 10:20AM on January 26, 2022. This information is reviewed and edited by Emerge Aotearoa.