Kurtz Psychology Consulting PC was formed in 2014 to serve the needs of children and families facing the emotional, behavioral, and other psychological challenges associated with Selective Mutism. The founder, Dr. Steven Kurtz, is an internationally recognized expert in Selective Mutism (SM) and more broadly in child psychology with specializations in a number of other areas as well, including but not limited to ADHD, oppositional and defiant behavior, anxiety, and educational challenges. He founded the Selective Mutism Programs at both the NYU Child Study Center and the Child Mind Institute. In 2009, he created the Brave Buddies program, an intensive group treatment in a pretend school setting, that is now offered at his NYC location and is replicated at sites in NYC, Chicago, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Vancouver and even Hong Kong!
In 2016 his team also created WeSpeak – a group intensive treatment for 10-14 year olds with SM. WeSpeak is the first of its kind – and meets the individual and developmental needs unique to tweens and teens.
Dr. Kurtz also developed the Selective Mutism Behavioral Observation Task (SM-BOT), a validated assessment specifically designed for children with SM where we get to observe their speaking with their parents without the undue pressure of them being expected to talk to us! He also developed the Selective Mutism Interaction Coding System (SMICS-R) to provide a window into the adult-child interactions in SM.
Our SM work has been presented at numerous national and regional scientific conferences including SMA, ABCT, and ADAA among others. Their work has also appeared in scientific journals: Carpenter, Aubrey L., et al. “Extending Parent–Child Interaction Therapy for Early Childhood Internalizing Problems: New Advances for an Overlooked Population.” Clinical child and family psychology review 17.4 (2014): 340-356.
He is a Research Advisor to SMA and a former Board Member of SMA. An expert commentator, he has appeared on numerous programs addressing child mental health, including NBC’s Today, CBS’s The Early Show and PBS’s Keeping Kids Healthy. Dr. Kurtz’s Brave Buddies program for SM was also featured on ABC’s Nightline.
Kurtz Psychology Consulting PC provides families and schools numerous treatment and training options including:
- Individual Treatment at our flagship offices in midtown Manhattan. For many families our intensive treatment option is most practical and effective. We presented on these intensive treatments at the 2014 ADAA Conference.
- Mighty Mouth Kids: SM Group Intensive Treatment based on the Brave Buddies model that Dr. Kurtz developed in 2009, while at the NYU Child Study Center. We are thrilled to offer our intensive group for children 3-9 years of age twice each year in the summer and winter. See our website www.kurtzpsychology.com for current dates and registration.
- WeSpeak for 10-14 year olds. Summer and winter sessions. See our website for dates and registration information. www.kurtzpsychology.com
- Intensive treatment where you live. We have the capacity to come to embed with you and your family to provide intensive treatment onsite where you live and where your child goes to school. We have worked with many families in this format which includes our going to school with the child for a week to live with them in school, modeling how others can successfully engage them and teaching the staff how to carry on.
- Distance case consultation: Many children with SM have local therapists who are not specialty trained in SM but who are willing to be coached to advance their SM-specific skills. You as the parent can engage us to work with your therapist. Call for more information about this option.
- Staff training: We can design a staff training to suit your school or agency needs varying from half-day to multi-day trainings. Our focus is on skill development so all of our trainings involve actual practice and coaching of skills in the school or agency setting. We provide follow-up case consultation in a Web-based format as desired.
- Mighty Mouth Kids group intensive for 3-9 year olds
Click here for more information on Mighty Mouth
- WeSpeak group intensive for 10-14 year olds
Click here for more information on WeSpeak
- Individual, family based treatments all ages
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Treatment is provided by Dr. Kurtz and his personally-trained team of staff and student therapists. Fees vary by experience and sliding scale is offered as needed.
The KPCPC Team
Steven Kurtz, PhD, ABPP is an internationally recognized and leading clinician in the treatment of children’s behavioral problems and disorders. He is a renowned mentor and teacher of innovative and empirically-supported treatments for children with disruptive disorders such as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder and has been a cutting-edge pioneer in the development and dissemination of evidence-based treatments for internalizing disorders including the social anxiety disorder Selective Mutism (SM). He is a widely respected clinical researcher and child psychologist, one of only 21 Certified Master Trainers in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy endorsed by PCIT International. Dr. Kurtz is a tireless advocate for children with special needs.
As an assistant professor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine, Dr. Kurtz founded and served for 10 years as the clinical director of the NYU Child Study Center’s Institute for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity and Behavior Disorders. He was also the founding co-director of the NYU Child Study Center’s Selective Mutism Program.
Dr. Kurtz was pivotal in the development of the Child Mind Institute where he served from 2010-2014 as the inaugural Senior Director of the ADHD Center and Director of the Selective Mutism Program. During his tenure at NYU and CMI, he created the Brave Buddies Program, a weeklong intensive day treatment program for children with SM. The Brave Buddies model pairs counselors with children, one-on-one, in a simulated, analog school classroom where brave talking is shaped, nurtured, and reinforced while social anxieties are lessened. Our model for treating SM happens twice each year at KPCPC and has been adopted at the NYU Child Study Center, the Child Mind Institute, Boston University, Florida International University, and at Adventure Camp in the Chicago area.
As a PCIT Master Trainer, Dr. Kurtz actively trains clinicians worldwide in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy ~ a gold standard treatment for young children with disruptive behaviors. PCIT is an amazingly innovative and effective treatment model where parents are coached live, via bug-in-ear technology, by the therapist standing behind a one-way mirror while the parent and child practice playing and calm, effective discipline strategies. Dr. Kurtz has also pioneered and published on PCIT adapted for young children with anxiety disorders, including SM, separation anxiety, generalized anxiety and other conditions. Dr. Kurtz also has specialization in the assessment and treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Dr. Kurtz earned his PhD in 1985 from Washington University in St. Louis and is Board Certified as a Diplomate in Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology, for which he also serves as a volunteer examiner. He was Chair of the Treatment Adaptations Task Force on the Advisory Board of PCIT International and a board member of the Selective Mutism Group (SMG), the nation’s leading advocacy group for SM. He is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA), the New York State Psychological Association (NYSPA), the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) and the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) and a fellow in the American Academy of Behavioral and Cognitive Psychology.
Dr. Kurtz’s team has also pioneered efforts to bring the teacher equivalent of PCIT to schools in a model called Teacher-Child Interaction Therapy (TCIT). TCIT is a school-based, live coaching model to help teachers with preventive discipline strategies. The aim is to let teachers teach and ensure that disruptive behavior does visited schools to train educators in new discipline strategies and behavior management techniques, an empirically supported approach called teacher-child interaction therapy (TCIT). Dr. Kurtz’s research has shown that teachers trained in TCIT are better able to serve children with special needs in a mainstream, general education setting.
Dr. Kurtz has published numerous scholarly papers and lectured widely; his research on TCIT has been featured at national, regional, and city conferences. Over the course of his career he has also mentored hundreds of psychology undergraduates, graduate students, and psychiatry residents. In 2005, students and faculty at the NYU Langone School of Medicine nominated him for the prestigious Distinguished Teaching Award. In 2006, he was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award by the graduate students of the NYU Child Study Center.
Dr. Kurtz continues to be a significant public voice, dispelling myths about childhood psychiatric disorders and advocating for comprehensive, individualized care for all children struggling with behavioral or other mental health issues. An expert commentator, he has appeared on numerous programs addressing child mental health, including NBC’s Today, CBS’s The Early Show, and PBS’s Keeping Kids Healthy. Dr. Kurtz’s signature Brave Buddies treatment was highlighted on ABC’s Nightline.
Katherine (Kate) Gibson, PsyD, ABPP
Dr. Kate Gibson is a licensed clinical psychologist who is board certified in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology. Dr. Gibson specializes in the treatment of selective mutism, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs), trauma, and behavioral problems. Dr. Gibson has dedicated her career to providing evidence-based treatments to children, teens and their families, as well as training and supervising clinicians in the provision of evidence-based treatments.
Dr. Gibson is the Director of Training at Kurtz Psychology Consulting PC (KPCPC). Dr. Gibson was the Summer 2019 Co-Director of Mighty Mouth Kids, KPCPC’s intensive selective mutism camp, and provides PCIT-SM throughout the year at KPCPC using live coaching of parents to develop skills for supporting their children with selective mutism.
Dr. Gibson is certified by PCIT International as a Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) therapist and Level 1 within program trainer. PCIT uses live coaching to help caregivers manage disruptive behaviors in children ages 2-7. Dr. Gibson is currently working toward certification as a level 2 PCIT regional trainer to be able to train clinicians within other programs and practices. Dr. Gibson is a certified Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) therapist. Dr. Gibson has completed advanced training in the treatment of OCD using Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) through the International OCD Foundation Pediatric Behavior Therapy Training Institute. Dr. Gibson has presented at regional and national conferences on the topics of trauma, PCIT, and evidence-based treatments.
Senior Psychologist/Director of Training
New York Licensed Psychologist #018505
Board Certified in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
PCIT Level 1 Trainer, PCIT International
Caroline Harvey, PsyD
Dr. Caroline Harvey is a licensed clinical psychologist in New York State. She provides individual and family therapy to children, adolescents, and parents utilizing evidence-based approaches. She specializes in treating youth who suffer from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), as well as children suffering from child anxiety disorders, including a subspecialty in selective mutism (SM). Dr. Harvey is trained in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), parent management training (PMT), and additional cognitive behavioral approaches. She has a passion for empowering parents to appropriately manage their children’s challenging behaviors while also improving the parent-child relationship. She additionally is committed to collaborating with teachers and other providers (e.g., psychiatrists) to best support children across all settings.
Dr. Harvey is a staff psychologist at Kurtz Psychology Consulting PC (KPCPC). She is the Co-Director of Mighty Mouth Kids, KPCPC’s intensive selective mutism camp for children 3 thru 9 years of age. Dr. Harvey runs short- and long-term selective mutism groups at KPCPC for young children and adolescents with selective mutism. She lastly provides PCIT-SM throughout the year at KPCPC, coaching parents in highly specific skills to target their child’s brave talking and living an exposure based lifestyle.
Dr. Harvey obtained her BA in Psychology from the State University of New York at Geneseo and her PsyD in Clinical-School Psychology from Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology of Yeshiva University. She received pre-doctoral training at the ADHD and Behavior Disorders Center at the Child Mind Institute as well as at Children and Youth Services at South Beach Psychiatric Center. Dr. Harvey then completed her APA-accredited pre-doctoral internship at The Help Group in Los Angeles, California where she provided individual, group, and family therapy and administered comprehensive psychodiagnostic assessment batteries to children and adolescents in school and outpatient settings. She lastly completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Therapy West and Academics West in New York City where she provided individual, group, and family therapy, and trained, consulted, and coached teachers in vivo in the use of effective behavior management strategies with students.
New York Licensed Psychologist #022956
Carly Mayer, PsyD, ABPP
Dr. Carly Mayer is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in the treatment of selective mutism, disruptive behavior disorders, and anxiety. She provides evidence-based interventions using cognitive behavioral approaches in her work with children, adolescents, and their families to address anxious and disruptive behaviors. Dr. Mayer specializes in intensive interventions for children and adolescents with selective mutism.
Dr. Mayer is the Director of the Teacher-Child Interaction Training (TCIT) program and CAPSTONE summer program for disruptive children who struggle to regulate their emotional reactions and manage social relationships. She was the previous Director of Mighty Mouth Kids, our intensive selective mutism camp and she provides PCIT-SM throughout the year using live parent coaching to promote verbal interactions for children with selective mutism. She is currently part of the leadership team for Mighty Mouth Kids. Dr. Mayer also participated in WeSpeak, a group intensive treatment for 10-14 year old children with selective mutism and now provides continuous individual treatment for adolescents.
Dr. Mayer is certified by PCIT International as a Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) therapist, which uses live coaching to help caregivers manage disruptive behaviors in young children. She is currently working toward certification as a level 1 PCIT trainer to be able to train other therapists to use the same protocol. Dr. Mayer is a New York State Certified School Psychologist and regularly collaborates with educational teams to support therapeutic interventions compatible with educational goals. She often incorporates her trained therapy dog, Remi, into clinical work with anxious and behavioral children.
New York Licensed Psychologist #023236
Mivi Joseph, BS is our Administrative Coordinator and first point of contact for the families we work with.
Mivi graduated with her Bachelor’s degree from NYU, where she majored in Applied Psychology, Spanish Language and Literature. Mivi is a research assistant at the Center for Research on Culture, Development, and Education at NYU, and has volunteered at Little Sisters of the Assumption Family Health Service, a nonprofit that aims to support families in East Harlem.
Her hobbies include reading and all things outdoors.