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Online Selective Mutism Association Annual Conference 2021

October 2 - October 3

October 2 and October 3, 2021
Virtual Conference

SMA 2021 Conference Agenda

Register Now

The Selective Mutism Association is excited to announce that, in the interest of public health, our annual conference will be held this year in a fully-virtual format! The conference will be a one- and a half day conference and will be held on October 2 and 3, 2021. We are excited that this virtual format will allow us to continue to offer innovative, meaningful content, to share advances in the assessment and treatment of SM, and to connect with a wider audience of participants from across the world. We are also pleased to share that, for the first time, the SMA 2021 conference is planning a dedicated track of content intended for individuals with SM (ages 17 and up). It will be a wonderful time of gathering for the selective mutism community to learn the latest in evidence-based information, support one another and connect our community!

Keynote Address

The long and winding path to emerging adulthood, Anne Marie Albano, Ph.D.

Raising children is not necessarily easy, just ask any parent. From scraped knees to peer conflicts to the angst of college admissions, parents are ready to manage their children’s occasional fears and tears. These occasional, common, and relatively benign bumps in the road are typically overshadowed by the joys, successes, fun, and friendships that naturally develop over time. Yet, for parents of children challenged by excessive anxiety or other mental and behavioral health concerns, much more time is spent navigating, arranging, fixing, and comforting the child as parents work constantly to clear a path for their child. Parenting, however, occurs over a substrate of development, where the child’s independent interactions with the environment shape to refine skills and cognitive-emotional abilities that propel the child towards greater independence and self-confidence. For youth with anxiety and related disorders, everyday tasks can feel insurmountable and result in ever more parental involvement. While CBT and medication are effective treatments for anxiety in youth (Walkup, et al., 2008), long-term gains through the transition to adulthood are not maintained for nearly half of effectively treated youth (Ginsburg et al., 2014). Traditionally, families have been of secondary focus or minimally involved in CBT, with developmental milestones and age-appropriate functioning also not a primary target of treatment. The unique features of the environments and situations experienced by youth calls for specific attention of therapists to assist youth and their caretakers to understanding and meet the tasks of development as well as address anxiety and other mental health conditions. Central to treatment is for youth to take on the challenges of anxiety and daily living with appropriate parental guidance and support. Dr. Albano will discuss a model integrating the core components of effective CBT for anxiety in youth with novel components designed to address patient-caretaker dependency, role transitions, and attainment of behaviors necessary for greater independent functioning within the contexts that are unique to the child’s age.


Anne Marie Albano is Professor of Medical Psychology in Psychiatry at Columbia University and Founder of the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders and Clinical Site Director of New York Presbyterian Hospital’s Youth Anxiety Center, and Executive Director of Modern Minds of Charleston, SC. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi. Dr. Albano is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT), Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy, a Beck Institute Scholar, and is Board Certified in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. She is the recipient of the 2015 ABCT Award for Outstanding Contributions by an Individual for Clinical Activities. Dr. Albano is a past President of the Society for Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology of the American Psychological Association and also past-president of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT). She is past editor of Cognitive and Behavioral Practice and Associate Editor of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. Dr. Albano was the inaugural editor of the journal “Evidence-Based Practice in Child and Adolescent Mental Health” published by the Society for Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. She has published more than 200 articles and chapters and is the co-author of several cognitive behavioral treatment manuals and of the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for DSM-5, Child and Parent Version, all published by Oxford University Press. Dr. Albano served as a Principal Investigator of a 6-site, National Institute of Mental Health-sponsored study entitled “Child/Adolescent Anxiety Multimodal Treatment Study” (CAMS) and the Extended Long Term Follow Up of CAMS (CAMELS) and also was a PI for the Treatments for Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS). Both trials examined the relative efficacy of CBT, medication, combination treatment, and pill placebo in youth. Her book with Leslie Pepper, You and Your Anxious Child: Free Your Child from Fears and Worries and Create a Joyful Family Life, was a 2014 ABCT Self-Help Book Award winner and 2014 Self-Help Book Award winner from the American Society of Journalists and Authors. In 2015, a new ABCT award was established in Dr. Albano’s name by a family to encourage the proliferation of evidence-based treatment, the Anne Marie Albano Early Career Award for Excellence in the Integration of Science and Practice.

Date and Location

The online live virtual conference will begin on Saturday, October 2, 2021 at 10:00am ET and conclude on Sunday, October 3 by 5:00am ET.

Conference Offers Professional, Parent/Family, Individuals with SM (Ages 17 and up) Track

The conference will offer presentations for professionals, parents/family, and individuals with SM, but any person can attend any session that interests them. All registrants will have a choice of different presentations to attend. In addition to these sessions, we will offer an Expert Q&A panel and a Hear Our Voices panel where people talk about their lives and recovery from SM.

Continuing Education

Please stay tuned for further information on Continuing Education updates.


We are excited to offer a limited number of need-based scholarships for the upcoming SMA conference.

We are offering 3 types of scholarships:

1. Caregivers:

2. Individuals with Selective Mutism:

3. BIPOC-Identifying Professionals or Professionals who serve the underrepresented/BIPOC community:

If interested and in need, please complete the google form for the specific type of scholarship. As part of the form you will be required to give a statement of need as well as answer a few other questions related to each scholarship.

Please note: All scholarship submissions must be received by midnight EST on August 15, 2021. Eligible participants will be entered into a drawing, from which scholarship recipients will be selected. All recipients of the scholarships, as well as all who submitted, will be notified of their application status by August 20, 2021. Please do not register separately until you have been notified by SMA.

Selective Mutism Association Outstanding Research Awards

The Selective Mutism Association (SMA) is pleased to invite students to apply to our student poster awards. The Selective Mutism Outstanding Research Award and the Thomas J. Kehle Award were created to highlight excellent student work that contributes to selective mutism research and to alleviate some of the costs to present at the SMA national conference. Two awardees will receive $500 each and will be recognized at the national conference and in the newsletter. To qualify, applicants must submit their poster to the SMA national conference; attend the SMA national conference; and be a current undergraduate or graduate student at the time of the conference.

To apply, submit the following:

1. Poster abstract that was submitted to the SMA national conference, should not exceed 500 words;

2. Curriculum vitae;

3. Bio to be included in the newsletter, should not exceed 150 words;

4. Headshot or picture to be included in the newsletter.

All applications for the Selective Mutism Association Outstanding Research Award must be received by May 16, 2021 at midnight EST. Application materials should be submitted using the following form If you have questions about eligibility, application materials, or any other parts of the process please e-mail

Canceled reservations will be accepted until September 15 and are subject to a $35.00 service fee. There are no refunds for canceled reservations after September 15.

Email conference inquires to Lisa Kovac at

Register Now


October 2
October 4