Programs

Brave Buddies

Helping kids with selective mutism find their voices

Brave BuddiesSM is an intensive group behavioral treatment program designed to help children with selective mutism (SM) speak in school and other public places. We create a simulated classroom, which offers children a safe environment to practice verbal participation, or what we call "brave talking."

Brave Buddies is offered as a weeklong session twice a year, and as one-day sessions four times throughout the year. Brave Buddies 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. Prior to the Brave Buddies, each child attends individual and small group sessions to build a trusting and talking relationship with staff members who will coach them during Brave Buddies. The 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:

Daylong sessions are offered April 25, June 27, October 17, and December 19, 2014. Weeklong programs are offered in August. The next weeklong program will be held Monday, August 11 through Friday, August 15, 2014. (The program runs 9:00am to 2:00pm each day.)

If you are interested in joining us from out of town or are new to the Child Mind Institute, please contact us at BraveBuddies@childmind.org to discuss individual intensive treatments. If you are a current or former patient of the Child Mind Institute, please continue to register as such.

WHERE:

Day-long sessions: Child Mind Institute, 445 Park Avenue at 56th Street
Weeklong 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. Weeklong programs are open to current, former, and new patients who have been determined to be eligible by the clinical team at CMI. Daylong sessions are for current and former patients only. Older children will be considered on an individual basis. Groups are organized by grade level.

FEES: 

$500 for day-long sessions, $2,500 for the weeklong 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:

Weeklong Program:
There is a $300 non-refundable deposit for this program. If a participant cannot attend the workshop after registering, a refund of $2,200 will be provided if 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 Boosters:
If a participant cannot attend the workshop 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 APPLY:  

Click here to apply for a one-day Brave Buddies session or a weeklong Brave Buddies program.

Priority is given to families already receiving treatment at the Child Mind Institute. Enrollment is otherwise determined on a first-registered, first-served basis.

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

    Co-Director, Selective Mutism Program, 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
  • Steven Kurtz
    Steven Kurtz, PhD, ABPP

    Co-Director, Selective Mutism Program
    Child Mind Institute

    Steven Kurtz, PhD, ABPP, is one of the nation’s leading clinicians in the treatment ...

    Read More
  • Laura Kirmayer
    Laura Kirmayer, MA

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

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

    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
  • 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
  • Margaret Areizaga
    Margaret Areizaga, MA

    Predoctoral Fellow
    Child Mind Institute

    Margaret Areizaga, MA, is a predoctoral fellow specializing in the evaluation and treatment of children ...

    Read More
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