We are happy to welcome teens between the ages 13-17-years-old to CommuniCamp™, the SMart Center’s Intensive Group Treatment & Parent Training Program for Selective Mutism, Social Anxiety, and Extreme Shyness.

A parent who attended the program said,

“Thank you for accepting my 17-year old daughter into the camp and for working with us to provide this opportunity for my family. It has felt like we were always just a bit out of reach… I am grateful we were able to participate. “


100% of teens who participated said they felt like accomplished most of their goals! Some of their goals included:

  • making friends
  • meeting people who are like them
  • building self-confidence
  • gaining skills to cope with anxiety
  • initiating conversations with strangers.

At CommuniCamp™, we respect and therefore meet each teen at his or her own level, and treat the whole-person, not just their diagnosis. Learn more about our world-renowned, evidence-based treatment here.

“Ask-the-Doc” about CommuniCamp™ Intensive Group Treatment Program for Teens: 

Question: “Dr. E, we are considering enrolling our teen in your CommuniCamp™ Program. It would be very helpful to us as parents to understand the kinds of activities that the kids are going through during CommuniCamp™. This would also add some clarity for us and for how we speak with our child about attending the program.”

Answer: “Most teens with Selective Mutism have social communication challenges in multiple social settings; therefore, school-based scenarios, mock hang-outs/parties/social situations, and exposure to real-world situations are used for three days. Through journaling, role-plays, exposure, mindfulness, movement, and more, they will learn to bring awareness to feelings and emotions, initiate, and engage in conversations with peers. This comprehensive, all-encompassing approach at CommuniCamp™ allows campers to see and hear themselves in everyday situations while being exposed to strategies and coping skills to positively impact communication and comfort in all areas of life. CommuniCamp™ delivers the motivation for success and will address all aspects of life including:
  • Starting and joining conversations
  • Participating in class
  • Job interview skills
  • Text/email/social media
  • Asking others for help
Insight-oriented and cognitive-behavioral approaches incorporated into the activities/interventions throughout the day help teens become aware of their thoughts and feelings, and understand the connection between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Teens learn to challenge and replace negative, anxiety-provoking thoughts that get in the way of successful social communication. Tackling self-defeating thoughts allows teens to re-frame previously anxiety-provoking situations, try new behaviors, and experience social communication success.
CommuniCamp™ is designed to increase insight and motivation for teenagers through therapeutic strategies. As a result, our teenage participants gain the tools and language to reflect on their social communication difficulties, and identify specific and meaningful goals that they would like to achieve.”

“Ask Alex” About Enrolling in the CommuniCamp™ Program:

Question: “Alex, my child isn’t a current patient of the SMart Center. Are you accepting new patients into the program? How does it work?”
Answer: “Yes! There are 3 simple steps—Apply, Meet, Attend! Through the application and individual meeting (prior to the program), we uncover the contributing factors to your loved one’s Selective Mutism development and maintenance and treat them as a whole—not just their symptom. These are a few reasons why CommuniCamp™ is so cost-effective and efficient. These steps are also the reasons why “lead-ins” are not associated with the SMart Center and CommuniCamp™.
  1. Apply. S-CAT® is grounded in the understanding that Selective Mutism is so much more than just not speaking in social settings, and that every child/teen developed SM and remains “stuck” from one or more contributing factors. This application allows us to start uncovering your son’s or daughter’s unique needs. A unique aspect to CommuniCamp™, this step is how we are able to accept new patients directly into group treatment. Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum performs a thorough, comprehensive review of each application. We accept children and teens in every communication stage—completely mute and shut-down, nonverbal, somewhat communicative, etc.—through this simple step. Other programs require you to be involved in multiple “lead-in” sessions (that you pay for) until your child is “verbal enough” for group treatment. Lead-in sessions are not associated with the SMart Center and/or CommuniCamp™ since we accept patients with the application.
  2. Meet. After your application is thoroughly reviewed, you will be eligible for one of three meeting options (in-person or virtual/web-conference dependent on clinical recommendation) with one of our clinicians. Why? Unique to S-CAT® treatment, we need to deepen our understanding of your child’s unique social communication needs so that we can determine ideal group placement and identify and plan for the proper treatment strategies to utilize (considering your child’s individual baseline for social communication) during CommuniCamp™.
  3. Attend! The information we gather through your application and intake session unite as an Welcome & Orientation Get-Together Dinner kicks off CommuniCamp™ the evening prior to the 3-day weekend. (Therapeutic activities are incorporated into this event to get the most out of your trip!) CommuniCamp™ commences the following morning to include 15 hours of intensive therapy while parents are simultaneously immersed in education, training, and breakout sessions!

We hope to see you soon! Visit www.CommuniCamp.org to complete your application or email me, the CommuniCamp™ Program Director at CommuniCamp@SelectiveMutismCenter.org for additional questions, or to request more information.

The SMart Center has a very kind, knowledgeable, and supportive staff across the board! It is clear that a deep respect exists for the importance of each staff member’s job from answering the phone to Dr. E’s job of running the center. That respect helps each staff member be able to be at their best to better serve all of us coming there for assistance. And that respect is passed on to all of us so that we can help our kids with SM as well as others. Thank you one and all!! – August 2018 Parent Testimonial