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SMA-UCLA Annual Conference 2016

October 15, 2016 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

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[Please Take the Conference Survey]

[Call for Papers]

The Selective Mutism Association is proud to offer our annual conference this year in Manhattan Beach, CA! This year’s Selective Mutism Conference will be co-sponsored by the UCLA Center for Child Anxiety Resilience Education and Support (CARES). The conference will be a one day conference and will be held on October 15, 2016 at the beautiful conference center at the Marriott Manhattan Beach, CA. ( –just blocks from Manhattan Beach. 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! Please register early as registration will be capped at 200.

We are excited to announce R. Lindsey Bergman, Ph.D. as this year’s keynote presenter. Dr. Bergman is Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences in the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. She is also founder and director of the Pediatric OCD Intensive Outpatient Program at UCLA, and one of the founding faculty of the UCLA CARES Center. Dr. Bergman received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from UCLA in 1995 and joined the UCLA Child OCD and Anxiety Program shortly thereafter. She received a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to investigate the prevalence of selective mutism as well as a treatment development award to establish a manualized treatment for selective mutism. Dr. Bergman’s clinical and research efforts focus on furthering the development and testing of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and other evidence based interventions available to anxious children. Toward this end, she has served as co-investigator on several treatment outcome studies. Dr. Bergman is a committed CBT teacher and supervisor for both psychology and psychiatry trainees at UCLA.

Keynote Address

Integrated Behavior Therapy for Selective Mutism: Description and Deconstruction, by R. Lindsey Bergman, Ph.D., author of Treatment for Children with Selective Mutism, An Integrative Behavioral Approach and creator of the widely-used Selective Mutism Questionnaire

Description: In addition to an overview of recommendations for assessment, treatment and follow-up procedures for selective mutism, a recently published randomized controlled trial of integrated behavior therapy for selective mutism will be described. Details regarding implementation of treatment and treatment outcomes will be presented along with discussion of obstacles to successful treatment, pitfalls to be avoided, and limitations to standard behavioral approaches.

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.

We are proud to offer two skills-based workshops for parents and professionals. These workshops are based on the pioneering work of Dr. Steven Kurtz who adapted the Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) for helping youngsters with SM. These workshops are highly experiential, with parents and professionals being coached live by experts while role playing scenarios that children typically face, such as morning meetings at school. The coaching is specifically geared toward learning CDI skills-the child following skills, when they are not ready to be prompted to talk and Verbal Directed Interactions (VDI) for when they are ready to be prompted and reinforced for brave talking. Due to the required ratio of coaches to parents/professionals, space is limited to 18 randomly selected participants. Those who are interested in participating in the random selection process must indicate their interest on the registration form and pay registration fees by September 9. Participants who are selected will be contacted prior to the conference to confirm their attendance. Regretfully, if the 18 spots are filled, those that register or indicate their interest after September 9 will not be eligible for participation this year. Participants who are not randomly selected for participation in these workshops will be able to attend the other presentations that are outlined on the agenda. Students are not eligible for participation.

Kids Camp

For an additional registration fee, a non therapeutic Kids Camp will be offered for those who are interested in bringing their children along. Please note that this is not a camp that provides individualized treatment for children. It is a safe, fun place for children to go to while parents attend the conference. Space is limited. Please stay tuned for more details.

On site registration for the Kids Camp is not permitted. Please register by Friday, October 7 so that we can plan for appropriate ratios and activities.

Continuing Education

Please stay tuned for more information on available continuing education credits.


Manhattan Beach Marriott
1400 Parkview Ave
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

Please join us at the SMA Happy Hour!

Friday, October 14

Please stay tuned for more details.


The closest airport to the conference center hotel is the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The Manhattan Beach Marriott is located approximately 3 miles south of LAX. The Long Beach Airport (LGB) is located 18 miles from the Manhattan Beach Marriott.

Hotel Options

We encourage you to make your hotel reservations as early as possible in order to get the lowest rates and best availability. Manhattan Beach is busy in the Fall, and room rates will rise as the conference date approaches. There are many hotels in the surrounding areas, including near the airports. Many hotels offer public transport from local airports and taxis are always an option to avoid car rental and parking fees. Please consider making reservations at our host hotel, the Manhattan Beach Marriott. This hotel is located 3 miles SE of the LAX airport and estimated taxi fare is $20USD. There is no free shuttle from the airport to this hotel. Additional transportation information can be found on the hotel website.
Manhattan Beach Marriott
1400 Parkview Ave
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

In addition, two nearby hotels have offered the SMA discounted rates. The Residence Inn by Marriott LAX/El Segundo ( has offered a discounted rate of $159 based on availability which includes complimentary parking, hot breakfast, and wif-fi. There is a free shuttle to and from the airport and this hotel is a 5 minute drive (2.5 miles) from the conference hotel. Reservations can be made by calling 310.333.0888 and asking for the Selective Mutism Association rate. Please make reservations by September 23, 2016.

The Spring Hill Suites Los Angeles LAX/Manhattan Beach ( ) also offers a discounted rate of $139 based on availability. This hotel is located just under a mile from the conference hotel. Call 1-888-287-9400 and mention the Selective Mutism Association to receive the special group rate. Alternatively, please visit this link to book the group rate.


You may also have your guests call the Marriott reservation line at 1-888-287-9400, but please have them refer to the name of the group to receive the special group rate.


The Marriott conference center represents that it contains accessibility features for individuals with disabilities and where needed, the Marriott will provide equivalent facilitation, auxiliary aids and services, and modifications to policies and procedures to ensure that its guests have equivalent access to its goods, services and accommodations. If you are a person with a disability and wish to have access to any modifications, please email Lisa Kovac at by 10/7/16. SMA will make every attempt to make special arrangements to address your needs.

If you have any conference inquiries, please email questions to Lisa Kovac at

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October 15, 2016
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Manhattan Beach
Manhattan Beach CA United States
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Lisa Kovac