Programs

Brave Buddies

Helping kids with selective mutism find their voices

Brave BuddiesSM is an intensive group behavioral treatment program designed to help children ages 3 to 8 with selective mutism (SM) speak in school and other public places. We create a classroom-like setting that offers children a safe environment to practice verbal participation, or what we call "brave talking." Prior to Brave Buddies, children participate in "lead-in" sessions, which introduce them to the staff they will be working with and help them practice brave talking.

Brave Buddies is offered as a multi-day intensive program twice a year, and as one-day sessions several times throughout the year. The Brave Buddies day is structured like a typical school day, with morning meeting, craft and sport activities, meals, and field trips to places like the library and the park. Brave BuddiesThe staff guides children through progressively more challenging activities, prompting them to use verbal responses and speak spontaneously as they play with other children and adults. Each Brave Buddies day ends with a trip to the Brave Buddies prize store—a chance for children to practice buying a toy on their own with the points they've earned for brave talking.

WHEN:

Parent training is a crucial part of Brave Buddies and runs from 9:30 to 11:00am each day.

  • April 10, 2015
  • June 19, 2015

Multi-day intensive programs, which run from 9:00am to 2:00pm on consecutive days, are being offered on the following dates:

  • February 2015: 4-day program Saturday, February 14, through Tuesday, February 17 (Presidents Day weekend)
  • August 2015: exact dates to be announced

If you are interested in joining us from out of town or are new to the Child Mind Institute, please contact our intake team at 212.308.3118 or request an appointment to discuss treatment options. If you are a current or former patient of the Child Mind Institute, please fill out an application.

WHERE:

One-day sessions : Child Mind Institute, 445 Park Avenue at 56th Street
Multi-day programs: 92nd Street Y Nursery School, 1395 Lexington Avenue in NYC

ELIGIBILITY:

Children diagnosed with selective mutism (SM) between the ages of 3 and 8 are invited to join Brave Buddies. Multi-day programs are open to current, former, and new patients who have been determined to be eligible by the clinical team at CMI. Day-long sessions are for current and former patients only. We offer a number of treatment options for children not eligible for Brave Buddies. Click here for more information

FEES: 

$500 for one-day sessions, $2,000 for the four-day program, $2,500 for the five-day program. Parent training sessions are included in the program fee. Caregivers and educators are also welcome to attend. Please note that payment must be received in full to reserve a space in Brave Buddies.

CANCELLATION POLICY:

Multi-day Programs:
If a participant cannot attend a multi-day program after registering for it, a refund of the program cost minus a $300 non-refundable deposit will be given provided the cancellation is made 30 days prior to the start date of the program. If less than 30 days notice is provided, we will not be able to extend a refund.

One-day Sessions:
If a participant cannot attend the one-day session after registering, a full refund will be provided if the cancellation is made with 30 days prior notice. For cancellations with less than 30 days notification, no refund will be provided.

HOW TO SUBMIT AN APPLICATION:  

If your child is a current or former patient, please submit an application here for our one-day and multi-day programs.

Enrollment is determined on a first-registered, first-served basis.

If you are new to the Child Mind Institute, please contact our intake team at 212.308.3118 or request an appointment through our online form. They will guide you through an explanation of our selective mutism service and help you determine whether Brave Buddies is right for your child.

To learn more, please read our Frequently Asked Questions. You can also download a PDF flyer about Brave Buddies.


Our Team

  • Rachel Busman
    Rachel Busman, PsyD

    Director, Selective Mutism Service, Anxiety and Mood Disorders Center
    Child Mind Institute

    Rachel Busman, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of anxiety ...

    Read More
  • Laura Kirmayer
    Laura Kirmayer, MA

    Associate Psychologist, ADHD and Disruptive Behavior Disorders Center; Fellow, Selective Mutism Service
    Child Mind Institute

    Laura Kirmayer, MA, is a clinical psychologist with experience in behavior therapy. Laura joins the ...

    Read More
  • Raquel Cumba
    Raquel Cumba, PhD

    Associate Psychologist, Selective Mutism Service
    Child Mind Institute

    Raquel Cumba, PhD, is a clinical psychologist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of anxiety ...

    Read More
  • Natalie Weder
    Natalie Weder, MD

    Pediatric Psychopharmacologist
    Child Mind Institute

    Natalie Weder, MD, is a child and adolescent psychiatrist with extensive experience diagnosing and treating ...

    Read More
  • Ron J. Steingard
    Ron J. Steingard, MD

    Associate Medical Director; Senior Pediatric Psychopharmacologist
    Child Mind Institute

    Ron J. Steingard, MD is a nationally known and respected child psychiatrist, a service innovator ...

    Read More
  • Janine Domingues
    Janine Domingues, PhD

    Associate Psychologist, Anxiety and Mood Disorders Center
    Child Mind Institute

    Janine Domingues, PhD, is a clinical psychologist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of anxiety ...

    Read More
  • Amanda Mintzer
    Amanda Mintzer, PsyD

    Associate Psychologist, Anxiety and Mood Disorders Center
    Child Mind Institute

    Amanda G. Mintzer, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of ...

    Read More
  • Shelley Avny
    Shelley Avny, PhD

    Associate Psychologist, Anxiety and Mood Disorders Center
    Child Mind Institute

    Shelley Avny, PhD, is a clinical psychologist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of anxiety ...

    Read More
  • Michelle Kaplan
    Michelle Kaplan, LMSW

    Clinical Social Worker
    Child Mind Institute

    Michelle S. Kaplan, LMSW, is a clinical social worker specializing in the evaluation and treatment ...

    Read More
Please help us improve the Symptom Checker!

Click here to share your thoughts about using the tool.