Selective Mutism Treatment

Helping parents empower children into freedom
from the “prison of silence” since 1978


“The Berent Method teaches parents to nurture children through the insidious, complex, and ingrained avoidance-dependence-anxiety dynamic”.

Treatment Available Worldwide Via Telephone or Skype

also in our Great Neck Office

Selective mutism is a specific example of social phobia and a variation of obsessive compulsive disorder. The Berent Method of treatment is parent focused. The treatment goal is resolution of the core issue; therefore, therapy integrates technique with core work. You can access treatment from anywhere by telephone or Skype. (read more)

Interviews with Patients who have resolved Selective Mutism

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“Flying Pop Tarts” & 20 Minute Processing Session with SM 8 Yr. Old

One of the biggest challenges in healing for one who is afflicted with social or performance anxiety is negotiating the defense mechanism of detachment. Detachment is the dynamic and process of disconnecting from thoughts, feelings, and behavioral challenges. Detachment is the gateway to avoidance. When you put this dynamic under the microscope so to speak, […]

Back to School Creates Challenges for Children with Selective Mutism & Social Anxiety

The carefree days of summer are coming to an end. Outings to the beach, unlimited time with video games, and no homework are much easier to deal with than issues such as a child’s social anxiety, inhibited verbal communication, or social avoidance. Summer is a time that can enable parents’ denial regarding the insidious and […]

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Hopefully this short case story will provide insight into selective mutism and performance anxiety. “Debra”, age 30 ,works in the media field for a progressive television network. She entered treatment due to her public speaking performance anxiety. Her panic in speaking situations has created substantial anguish and a challenged mood. She has become overly dependent […]

Selective Mutism Creates Dating Challenge for High Functioning Female with Social Anxiety

“Debbie” is a 24 year old athletic blond with hundreds of young men pursuing her on a dating site. She is currently getting her Masters in Special Education. Her mother initiated treatment after Debbie experienced a stress breakdown at the beginning of graduate school. Because of the anxiety episode Debbie withdrew from school for a […]

“Cross Training” for the Resolution of Selective Mutism

At age 56, I have been exercising for most of my life; primarily a healthy obsession with aerobic activity. I recently hired a trainer. I told him that my objective was to be able to play basketball a couple of times a week without back and knee pain. Three months later, after a regimen of […]

Toward a Resolution of Selective Mutism: Understanding Obsessive Compulsive “Syndrome”

Toward a Resolution of Selective Mutism: Understanding Obsessive Compulsive “Syndrome” It’s relatively easy to identify the child immersed in a world of verbal inhibition and shutdown. Think about it. The more the child is mute, the more the child stands out in any social environment. This objective reality is in opposition to the child’s belief […]

The Ten Key Points To Know About Selective Mutism

Selective mutism is a social anxiety disorder characterized by not speaking to specific people or in specific venues. It is a specific variation of obsessive compulsive disorder. “Obsessive” refers to the conscious and non-conscious worrying. “Compulsive” refers to the verbal shutdown. The problem varies in degrees of severity. In addition to children many adolescents and […]

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  This is a complex subject about which I can write extensively. My objective with this article is to identify, and begin to organize, mental health issues for the Selective Mutism child within academic environments. “My child is normal at home. It’s school that’s the problem!” When a teacher tells parents that a child doesn’t […]

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Mikey age 7, an intellectually gifted child, never spoke in school. The school recommended speech therapy. This proved useless as the problem was selective mutism, which is a very specific form of social and performance anxiety. Ashley’s mother hoped that she would be able to overcome her shyness in kindergarten. When summoned to the school […]

Selective Mutism: Clinical Issues for School Personnel

Jonathan Berent, L.C.S.W This “tip of the month” is in response to the countless inquiries I receive from well-intentioned school personnel who contact me regarding their concerns about selectively mute students. The content here is based on my clinical experience since 1978 with individuals of all ages who suffered from social anxiety in general, as […]

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