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Selective Mutism Association Annual Conference 2017

October 14, 2017 - October 15, 2017

SMA Annual Conference
October 14 and 15, 2017
Omni Parker House Hotel
Boston, MA

Register Now

View the 2017 Selective Mutism Conference Agenda

The Selective Mutism Association is proud to offer our annual conference this year in Boston, MA! This year’s Selective Mutism Conference will be co-sponsored by the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders (CARD) at Boston University. The conference will be a one and a half day conference and will be held on October 14 and October 15, 2017 at the beautiful Omni Parker House hotel in lively, historic, downtown Boston. 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 with both parents and professionals!

Keynote Address

Helping Children to Grow Up Brave: Evidence-Based Strategies for Helping Youth Overcome Fear, Stress and Anxiety, Donna Pincus, Ph.D.

Description: Anxiety problems are one of the most prevalent mental health issues that children and adolescents face today. From academic struggles and test taking anxiety to social pressures and peer difficulties, there are many aspects of children’s daily life that can be anxiety provoking. Youth who are anxious may avoid daily activities, may appear inattentive or oppositional, may be reluctant to speak or socialize, or may frequently report to the school nurse with complaints of stomachaches or headaches. Anxiety problems remain largely under-identified and undertreated, yet there are a number of concrete, evidence-based strategies that parents, caregivers, school staff and clinicians can implement to both identify and treat youth with anxiety and related disorders.

In this talk, Dr. Donna Pincus will discuss the nature and developmental progression of anxiety and fears in youth. She will also teach how to identify and assess anxiety, as well as how to distinguish between normal and clinical levels of anxiety in youth. Dr. Pincus will also offer a summary of evidence-based treatment strategies that can be utilized in multiple settings for helping youth develop critical coping skills for handling negative emotions. Finally, she will describe research efforts focused on treating youth with early separation anxiety using modified Parent Child Interaction Therapy. She will also describe ongoing research efforts to integrate evidence based anxiety treatments into public school settings.

Biography: Dr. Donna Pincus is an Associate Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Boston University and has been the Director of the Child and Adolescent Fear and Anxiety Treatment Program at the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University for the past 18 years. Dr. Pincus has focused her clinical research career on the development of interventions for children with the most highly impairing and understudied anxiety disorders. Her research has investigated novel formats of cognitive behavioral treatment, including intensive treatments, as well as the impact of including parents in treatment with youth. She has been the recipient of numerous research grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and local foundations. She conducted the field’s first randomized trials to test treatments for early childhood separation anxiety disorder and adolescent panic disorder. Dr. Pincus’ current research focuses on novel ways to transport treatments for child anxiety into community settings, such as schools and pediatric primary care.

Dr. Pincus has also dedicated a significant part of her career to sharing accurate information about effective cognitive behavioral treatments for child anxiety disorders with the public. She developed a website to disseminate accurate information about child anxiety disorders to parents and professionals ( She has appeared on both local and national media networks, including NBC’s Today Show with Katie Couric and Matt Lauer, Nick News, National Geographic Television, Women’s Lifetime Television Network, ABC News’ 20-20 Downtown, and Good Morning America. She has recently published a book, Growing Up Brave: Expert Strategies for Helping Your Child Overcome Fear, Stress, and Anxiety (Little, Brown, 2012).

Conference Offers Professional and Parent/Family Track

The conference will offer presentations for both professionals and parents/family, but any person can attend any session that interests them. All registrants will attend the keynote address, then 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. There will be opportunities for parents and professionals to meet and visit, a bookstore that provides the latest in Selective Mutism resources, and a silent auction where proceeds will go towards helping the Selective Mutism Association continue to educate and connect individuals impacted by SM.

Kids’ Camp

For an additional registration fee, parents may choose to have their child attend a Kids Camp that is a safe place where children can go to play games, do crafts and participate in other activities. This camp will be provided by people who are trained with selective mutism, but please note this kids’ camp does NOT offer any treatment. Children participating in the Kids Camp must be potty trained.

Continuing Education

Please stay tuned for further information on Continuing Education credits that will be offered. Information will be added to this website as it becomes available.


Onmi Parker House
60 School Street
Boston, MA 02108

Happy Hour Gathering Friday, October 13

There will be a happy hour gathering for all conference registrants gathering from 7pm-8pm at the Omni Parker House hotel on Friday, October 13. Please join us to meet and connect with others who will be attending the conference!

Hotel Options

We encourage you to make your hotel reservations as early as possible in order to get the lowest rates and best availability. Boston is a very busy city in the Fall, and room rates will rise as the conference date approaches. There are many hotels in downtown Boston and surrounding areas, including near the airports. Many hotels offer public transport from local airports and taxis/uber are always an option to avoid car rental and parking fees.

Our host hotel, the Omni Parker House is offering a discounted room rate for the conference hotel. To obtain the discounted rate, please either call the hotel at (617) 227-8600 and specify the Selective Mutism Conference or book online using the group code 101217SELECTIVE.

The Courtyard Boston Downtown at 275 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116 is offering a room block for the conference at a room rate of $279. The Courtyard Boston Downtown is one mile away from our conference location, the Omni Parker House hotel. To make reservations at the Courtyard Boston Downtown, please call Marriott Reservations at 1.800.321.2211 or 617.426.1400. When calling to make reservations, please identify yourself as part of the Selective Mutism Association Room Block group staying at the Courtyard Boston Downtown, located at 275 Tremont Street, Boston, MA, 02116.

Please check back for further information regarding our call for papers, conference and registration information. It will be added as soon as it comes available.

Register Now


October 14, 2017
October 15, 2017