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    I’m an adult with SM. Can I get treatment?

    Yes, the clinic provides treatment for adults with selective mutism. Selective mutism is treated using similar principles as other anxiety disorders such as phobias and Social Anxiety Disorder. A large part of treatment will involves learning to understand feelings and sit with feelings, with strategies such as ‘mindfulness’. Another large component is ‘Graded exposure’. This could mean starting with entering social situations rather than avoid them, then practising nonverbal communications such as nodding or writing notes, and finally working your way up to recording your voice on recording devices and playing back to others, using someone as a verbal intermediary and finally talking directly to a person. 

    We understand that as an adult with selective mutism it can be very hard to reach out to get treatment, and we will work out ways initially that you can communicate with us. This could be via writing, or talking to a friend or parent when we are not in the room, or responding nonverbally to our questions. We do not ask or expect you to communicate in a way that is too uncomfortable or difficult for you. 

    Treatment for adults generally takes longer than it does for young children (2 or more years, compared to 6-18months for children), but it is possible to get to a stage where you can eventually talk to people in social situations.