Recorded September 24, 2020
Jonathan Kohlmeier was diagnosed with selective mutism at age 5. Through extensive therapy he was able to overcome his SM. At the age of 19 he wrote a book about his experiences called Learning to Play the Game: My Journey Through Silence. From not speaking to a single classmate in kindergarten to eventually being on his high school debate team, Jonathan will talk about his journey and answer questions. Moderating the discussion will be Dr. Steven Kurtz, Jonathan’s own doctor who helped him challenge his SM as a child.
Presenter: Jonathan Kohlmeier is from upstate New York and graduated from Babson College with a B.S. in Business Administration concentrating in Finance and Technology. He was diagnosed with selective mutism at age five and is passionate about helping the countless individuals and caregivers that face similar challenges. He has volunteered at multiple SM intensive treatment programs at both Kurtz Psychology Consulting and the Child Mind Institute. As an Ending the Silence speaker with the National Alliance on Mental Illness – Rockland, Jonathan presents to students, teachers, and administrators about his lived mental health experiences. Additionally, he often speaks to SM support groups and schools about his memoir on selective mutism called Learning to Play the Game: My Journey Through Silence. He was featured on PBS Keeping Kids Healthy and BBC Our World. Jonathan is excited to continue his outreach work with SMA.
Moderator: Steven Kurtz, PhD, ABPP is the President of Kurtz Psychology Consulting PC, a NYC-based mental health group serving the emotional and behavioral needs of young children. He specializes in assessing and treating externalizing behaviors, such as ADHD and oppositionality, as well as severe anxiety behaviors, such selective mutism and social phobia. He is a Global Trainer in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), and a dedicated advocate for children with special needs. His team has done pioneering work in Teacher-Child Interaction Treatment (TCIT) bringing behavioral coaching for teachers to a new level of effectiveness. Dr. Kurtz is the developer of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy Adapted for Selective Mutism (PCIT-SM), an empirically supported therapy for selective mutism. He also created the renowned Mighty Mouth and Brave Buddies SM intensive treatment programs. 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 and was featured in the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s ADD & Lovin’ It. He is a Board Certified Diplomate in Behavioral and Cognitive Psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology and volunteers time in the leadership of numerous organizations such as the Selective Mutism Association.
This webinar was made possible by a generous grant from the Gordon and Marilyn Macklin Foundation, Inc.