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Anxiety Disorders Center

Brave Buddies® Program

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About the 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. 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, though individual treatment does not need to be provided by the Child Mind Institute.

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. 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. Our counselors are highly trained in PCIT-SM, which is the evidence-based 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® 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 Brave Buddies® Session:
August In Person Program

  • Who : Children diagnosed with selective mutism (SM) between the ages of three and twelve are invited to join Brave Buddies®
  • What: Five-day in-person program
  • Where: Trevor Day School (1 West 88th St, New York, NY 10024)
  • When: Monday, August 1 – Friday, August 5, 2022  9am-2pm daily

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. Eligibility for Brave Buddies is determined through an initial evaluation and the child’s progress in individual treatment. 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®. 

Program Cost

  • Five-day in-person program: $3,000
  • Parent training sessions are included in the program fee

Additional 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.

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