Selective Mutism

Selective mutism is a childhood anxiety disorder characterised by the fear of speaking in particular social situations.

A child with selective mutism is able to speak ‘normally’ in one social situation, but experiences great difficulty speaking in other situations. The child may be a chatter-box around mum, yet they may become completely mute in the classroom.

Not all children with selective mutism freeze entirely. Some children may speak in a whisper and others may animate in order to respond. Regardless of how it manifests, selective mutism is incredibly distressing for the child and for the family.

Luckily, effective treatment is available. Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help children reengage with these situations and learn specific skills and strategies to cope with the anxiety.

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Programme structure

Pre-programme assessment: Phone assessment with a psychologist.

Session 1: Psychoeducation, physical management strategies

Session 2: Review, cognitive therapy strategies

Session 3: Behavioural strategies and hierarchy development

Session 4: Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy

Session 5: In-session exposure and skills practice

Post-programme assessment: Check-in, follow up, questionnaires

WHY VIRTUAL REALITY?

A key component to overcoming anxiety is practice. Virtual Reality (VR) allows us access to situations that we can use to practise our skills, regardless of where we are, or what the situation calls for. In addition, we can use VR as an intermediary step to slowly build up to the real thing, in complete safety.

DOES IT WORK?

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a potent therapy used by psychologists around the world to treat anxiety. Many people find the explanations of how anxiety works and why it can be useful to be extremely helpful in itself. In addition, CBT teaches many practical skills to help us manage thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. As with any skill, they require regular practice for maximum benefit. 

OUR PROGRAMMES:

✓ Developed and delivered by psychologists
✓ Evidence-based Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy
✓ Practical skills you can use in the moment
✓ Resources to help you in the moment
✓ Practice your new skills in the safety of Virtual Reality
✓ VR booster sessions available on request