I hope that everyone enjoyed the holiday weekend and stayed safe! As a result of the increase of COVID-19 cases within the last week and in the best interest of everyone’s health, the SMart Center has decided to keep CommuniCamp™ virtual for the remainder of summer. Although we would love to see you in-person, we have some exciting virtual opportunities upcoming! We will now be offering a one-day CommuniCamp™ for Tweens and Teens ages 11 to 17 on July 29, 2020 and August 5, 2020! We will also be offering a one-day CommuniCamp™ for children ages 4 to 10 on July 28, 2020 and August 4, 2020! Our previously planned 4-day CommuniCamp™ from July 17th to 20th, 2020 and August 14th to 17th, 2020 will remain as scheduled, just virtually!
You might be wondering how CommuniCamp™ can be beneficial for your child whom tends to be anxious in social situations. The significant benefit that I’m going to talk about today is how group therapy can help individuals develop their social identity, which subsequently improves treatment outcomes! Social identity is defined as an individual’s construal of self through the lens of group membership (Meuret et al., 2016). Accordingly, social identification is the extent to which a person identifies with others who experience the same psychological issues as themselves, and also others who do not experience similar problems (Meuret et al., 2016). Research has indicated that group-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for individuals with social anxiety disorder (SAD) can help them identify closer with both individuals whom suffer from SAD and individuals whom do not suffer from SAD (Meuret et al., 2016). Meuret and colleagues suggest that this may occur because successful SAD treatment helps individuals move towards a more tolerant and less dichotomous/rigid separation of mentally unwell and mentally healthy (2016).
At CommuniCamp™, your child will be able to interact with other children who experience selective mutism and social anxiety (aka in-group), as well as counselors who are trained in helping others manage and cope with social anxiety (aka out-group). We aim to help your child develop a sense of social identity with both campers and counselors alike in an effort to improve treatment outcomes! Please feel free to contact us with any questions that you may have regarding CommuniCamp™! I look forward to meeting all of our campers and parents soon!
Have a great week!
Alexis Bracy, M.S.
Meuret, A.E., Chmielewski, M., Steele, A.M., Rosenfield, D., Peterson, S., Smits, J. A. … & Hofmann, S.G. (2016). The desire to belong: Social identification as a predictor of treatment outcome in social anxiety disorder. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 81, 21-34.