SELECTIVE MUTISM: A REVIEW OF THE TREATMENT LITERATURE BY MODALITY FROM 1980–1996

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Abstract

Psychodynamic, family systems, behavioral, and psychopharmacological interventions of selective mutism are reviewed and discussed to examine effectiveness of treatment styles. Each modality has its own conceptualization of the disorder and specialized intervention techniques. While methodologies of the studies reviewed were often weak, there exist many treatment examples that illustrate effective interventions for selective mutism in childhood. The interventions that involved individualized or multimodal treatments produced the best overall results as evidenced through the symptom cessation. Many articles reported a close relationship between selective mutism and anxiety disorders. A clearer diagnostic understanding of selective mutism needs to be realized prior to generalizing a specific, effective treatment for this disorder.

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