Brave Buddies Program

In light of COVID-19, we are providing all of our gold-standard, evidence-based clinical services via telehealth, with in-office appointments by request. Brave Buddies has been adapted to run virtually.

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.”

To apply, please contact our intake team at (212) 308-3118 or email BraveBuddies@childmind.org

Prior to attending Brave Buddies, children participate in lead-in sessions, which introduce them to the staff they will be working with and help them practice brave talking. Brave Buddies is offered as a multi-day intensive program twice a year, and as one-day sessions several times throughout the year.

Due to the COVID pandemic, we are offering Brave Buddies virtually. The program is structured like a virtual classroom environment, with morning meeting, games and activities specifically designed to promote brave talking, peer-to-peer practice and presentations.

Upcoming Dates

    1. ONE DAY SESSION: Saturday, October 24th

Registration is currently open for this one day session. Each child will participate in two (2) sessions per day, for a total of 3.5 hours of group time. Activities will include morning meeting, peer to peer and small group interactions and opportunities for practicing presenting to the group. The groups will also participate in Halloween activities. Parent training will be part of the one day session.

Cost: $400

    1. MULTI DAY SESSION

Dates and information coming soon for December 2020 programming

All Stories

Eligibility

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. Day-long sessions are for current and former patients only. 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

Fees

  • Five-day virtual program: $2,000
  • One-day sessions: $600
  • One-day virtual program: $400

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. Please refer to our cancellation policy for more on nonrefundable deposits and refunds.

Important Information

  • Parent training is a crucial part of Brave Buddies. Parent training runs from 9:30 to 11:00am daily during the Brave Buddies sessions.
  • 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 training.

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. At the time of registration full payment is required to reserve a space. If less than 30 days’ notification is given, no refund will be provided.
  • One-day sessions: If a participant cannot attend the one-day session 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

Call our intake team at (212) 308-3118 or email BraveBuddies@childmind.org. An intake coordinator will guide you through a description of our Selective Mutism Service and help you determine whether Brave Buddies is appropriate for your child. Enrollment is on a first-registered, first-served basis.

To learn more, please read our Frequently Asked Questions about the Brave Buddies Program.

Our Team

Rachel Busman, PsyD
Rachel Busman, PsyD, ABPP

Senior Director, Anxiety Disorders Center; Director, Selective Mutism Service

Child Mind Institute

Janine Domingues, PhD
Janine Domingues, PhD

Clinical Psychologist, Anxiety Disorders Center

Child Mind Institute

Lindsey Giller, PsyD

Clinical Psychologist, Mood Disorders Center

Child Mind Institute

Amanda Greenspan, LCSW

Clinical Social Worker, Anxiety Disorders Center

Child Mind Institute

Alisa Gudz, MSW

Behavioral Technician, Anxiety Disorders Center

Child Mind Institute

Michelle S. Kaplan, LCSW
Michelle S. Kaplan, LCSW

Clinical Social Worker, ADHD and Behavior Disorders Center

Child Mind Institute

Lindsay Brand, PhD
Lindsay Macchia, PhD

Clinical Psychologist, Mood Disorders Center

Child Mind Institute

Amanda G. Mintzer, PsyD
Amanda G. Mintzer, PsyD

Clinical Psychologist, Anxiety Disorders Center

Child Mind Institute

Wendy N. Moyal, MD
Wendy Nash, MD

Senior Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

Child Mind Institute

Stephanie Schwartz, PsyD

Clinical Psychologist, Anxiety Disorders Center

Child Mind Institute

Natalie Weder, MD
Natalie Weder, MD

Senior Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

Child Mind Institute

Emma Zoloth, PsyD

Clinical Psychologist, Anxiety Disorders Center, Mood Disorders Center

Child Mind Institute