Online Treatment


The Selective Mutism Clinic’s ‘Online treatment program’ is available for families throughout Australia, including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Darwin, as well as rural and remote areas and where there are no specialised services for Selective Mutism. This program is delivered via regular video consultations to the parents and child, as well as to the classroom teacher and relevant school personnel. We have found that children with Selective Mutism respond extremely well to treatment that is based inside their own home, as they are generally more relaxed at home.



One option for assessment for families in the Online program is an initial face-to-face, combined assessment and session at the clinic in Sydney. This is a 3-hour session, where the parent(s) attend the first half alone, and the child attends the second half with their parents. For younger children, it is recommended that someone is available to mind the child for the first half (which can be one of the parents). The cost of the 3-hour appointment is $840.


When attending the clinic in person is not an option or not convenient, an assessment can be held with the parent(s) over video. This assessment lasts for approximately 1 hour and costs $310.


The Selective Mutism Clinic’s ‘Online’ or ‘Outreach’ service has been successfully provided to children and their families throughout Australia for over 15 years, including Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin, Hobart, as well as rural and remote areas.

Following the assessment, the child and their parent(s) receive ongoing video consultations to learn strategies to build their communication with the clinician, generalise their communication to other adults and children, learn to communicate more effectively in the community, and learn strategies to manage their anxiety and other emotions. The cost of these 50-minute consultations is $280.

We have developed highly effective online strategies to help children start talking to their therapist and to generalise their talking to other adults and children. The clinician implements an ‘online’ adaptation of the gold-standard ‘Sliding In’ treatment for Selective Mutism. This involves the parent playing a talking game with their child at home, and the therapist (who is on a laptop or other portable device) is placed in a different room in the house to the child, and then gradually moved closer to the child/parent until the therapist can overhear the child talking. The therapist starts directing comments towards the child and gradually joins in the game until the child is talking to the therapist alone.

Many children respond to this online version of ‘Sliding In’ even faster than our traditional face-to-face strategies as they are in a more comfortable space in their own house (it can be daunting for a child with Selective Mutism to come to a clinic to meet someone new!). During online sessions, children are able to use their own games (which they usually love showing us!) or similar games to what we would use in the therapy room, as well as reward charts and other incentives to help increase motivation to gradually face their fear of communicating. The games are so engaging and fun they keep children of all ages engaged and excited to return to their next session. When children are having fun, their anxiety reduces, and talking becomes easier. Once the child trusts the therapist and can talk to them well, they feel ready to practise talking to other people.

These online strategies for Selective Mutism can be effective for children as young as 2 years of age, as well as adolescents and adults. Some adolescents have a strong preference for face-to-face sessions over the video sessions, in which case we encourage the adolescent to come into the clinic. If this is not possible due to distance, then we can work with the parents alone over video.

Once the child is talking fairly comfortably with their therapist online, we use highly developed techniques to help the child then generalise their communication to other adults online (who are brought into the Zoom session). We also hold online group sessions to help children with Selective Mutism slowly build their comfort with talking to other children around their age.

An added advantage of online treatment is that it often allows both parents to be present in the session as parents who are at work can join the Zoom from their workplace for the duration of the session. 

ONLINE school

The school treatment program in the Outreach program runs in the same manner as our local program that Sydney-based families receive – this involves 45-minute video consultations with the classroom teacher and other supporting staff at regular intervals (usually two per school term) throughout the course of treatment.


Several studies have shown that online treatment for Selective Mutism in children is effective. One study published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology found that virtual reality exposure therapy improved Selective Mutism symptoms in children aged 5-12 years old. The study concluded that the virtual reality exposure therapy was a promising and effective treatment for Selective Mutism. 

Another study published in the Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare found that internet-based CBT significantly improved Selective Mutism symptoms in children. The study concluded that internet-based CBT was a viable alternative to traditional face-to-face treatment for Selective Mutism.

Selective Mutism
Clinic Director & Clinical Psychologist Dr Elizabeth Woodcock runs a series of webinars about Selective Mutism. In our experience, families who start treatment having already watched one of our webinars make faster progress with the strategies that are taught as they have a thorough understanding of the techniques prior to starting treatment.

See details of our bestselling webinar, ‘How to Help Your Child with Selective Mutism’ here.

In addition, it is also highly beneficial for your child’s progress if you can help the classroom teacher to understand the benefits of watching the 3-hour webinar specifically targeted for schools here. A high school version of the webinar is here.