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Anxiety Disorders Center

Brave Buddies® Program

Brave Buddies® is an intensive group behavioral treatment program designed to help children 3-12 years old 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.” In the classroom, we provide ample speaking opportunities and we tailor speaking goals to the individual needs of the child, to target things like presenting, spontaneous speech, larger group interactions and community exposures. Our counselors are highly trained in adapted PCIT, which is the treatment we use to help with brave talking. Parent training is an integral part of Brave Buddies®.

Brave Buddies® is offered as a multi-day intensive program twice a year, and as one-day sessions several times throughout the year. Brave Buddies is one component of our comprehensive treatment approach, and not a standalone intervention. Most children require some individual treatment to make initial gains with regards to brave talking, prior to participating in group treatment. We have a special curriculum for the older children (8 and older) who participate in the program, which incorporate CBT strategies, such as education about anxiety, mindfulness and goal setting.

Brave Buddies® exceeded our expectations. By the end of the week our daughter had the confidence to order her own food, initiate conversations with her new friends, and even present in front of an audience!

Upcoming Dates


Dates: Saturday, February 19 – Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Location: Trevor Day School (1 West 88th St NY NY 10024)

Registration is currently open for this 4-day program for children aged 3-12. For the in-person program, children participate from 9AM-2PM daily. Parent training will also be daily but will be virtual.

Please note, we will be accepting fewer children into the program this year, in order to comply with New York State and New York City guidelines on cohorts. We will be adhering to New York State COVID-19 guidelines during the program. Groups will be separated into distinct pods in order to reduce the chances of COVID-19 infection. If a staff member or child has a positive COVID-19 test result, those in contact with that individual will be notified while their identity will be protected. Lead-in sessions will be in person this year and are billed separately. These sessions can include peer-to-peer or small group sessions. A 15-minute feedback call following the program will also be billed separately.

Cost: $2,400

A 50% deposit is required to reserve a space in the program for February 2022. The balance is due by December 15, 2021.

At this point in time, our team is hopeful and optimistic that we will be able to run an in-person program. We will be following state guidelines and recommendations closely and will make a final decision by December 15th. In the case that we are unable to run an in-person program, we will offer a virtual option.


  • Four-day in-person program: $2,400

Parent training sessions are included in the program fee.


Dates: Monday, August 1 – Friday, August 5, 2022

Location: TBD


  • Five-day in-person program: $3,000

Parent training sessions are included in the program fee.


Children diagnosed with selective mutism (SM) between the ages of three and twelve 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 the Child Mind Institute. All children should be toilet-trained and able to make it through the 5-hour program without nap time. We offer a number of treatment options for children not eligible for Brave Buddies®. Read more about our Selective Mutism Service.

To apply, please contact our intake team at 212.308.3118 or email BraveBuddies@childmind.org.

Important Information

  • Lead-in sessions improve the likelihood of your child’s success in the program, and they are also considered a crucial part of Brave Buddies®. Lead-in sessions are conducted prior to the first day of the five-day program. Depending on the specific needs of your child, the lead-in may be a single session or it may be multiple sessions completed over consecutive days just prior to the beginning of the program.

Cancellation Policy

  • Multi-day programs: If a participant cannot attend a multi-day program and a Brave Buddies® coordinator is notified within 30 days prior to the start date of the program, a refund will be issued, excluding a $300 non-refundable deposit for administrative fees. If less than 30 days’ notification is given, no refund will be provided.
  • No refunds will be issued if the program moves to a virtual format once the program has started.

COVID Safety

To learn more, please read our COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Our Team

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