Clinical Interviews

“Processing” with SM 7 year old: Identifying Thoughts & Feelings

The most difficult and the most productive component of The Berent Treatment Method for Selective Mutism is the process of nurturing the child into attachment and identification of thoughts and feelings concurrent with age appropriate reasoning skills. In this dramatic interview a father demonstrates his resolve and technique. It’s crucial to understand the obsessive compulsive dynamics at play. The mutism is a compulsive verbal shutdown. Obsessive refers to the thoughts and worries that the child has. The more these thoughts can be identified, the more potential for healing there is. Typically, another compulsion is present; the detach or disconnect from thoughts and feelings. Therefore; an aspect of nurturing is facilitating attachment or connecting to this content. It is very difficult. It is profoundly important! “Processing” enhances emotional intelligence. It helps the child access neural pathways which have been under developed due to anxiety.

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