Short courses


Working with Selective Mutism: Foundation Course (Module 1)

  • 6 hours
  • 1 day


This introductory one-day course provides an overview of the nature, causes, diagnosis and assessment of selective mutism (SM).

You'll also learn how to use informal management strategies. The emphasis is on an inclusive 24/7 approach to promote well-being and participation.

When applied consistently within family and educational settings, these techniques will enable some children to fully overcome their difficulty talking, while laying a firm foundation for more formal small-steps intervention programmes if indicated.

This course is run by the UCL Division of Psychology and Language Sciences (PaLS).

Who this course is for

This course is aimed at professionals and support workers from educational, health and mental health backgrounds. Parents are welcome too. 

You'll need to bring with you a copy of the second edition of The Selective Mutism Resource Manual (Johnson and Wintgens, 2016, Speechmark Publications) or purchase one on the day by prior arrangement.

Course content

Topics covered will include:

  • the nature, definition and causes of SM
  • assessment and diagnosis
  • preparing for intervention and talking openly to the child or young person about their difficulties
  • the model of confident talking as a basis for intervention
  • informal management techniques to create an anxiety-free environment and facilitate talking

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course you'll be equipped with the basic skills to confidently offer a core programme to all selectively mute children and adolescents.


You'll receive a certificate of attendance at the end of the course.

Further study

The intermediate course (which takes place the day after this foundation course) may be of interest if you're working with school-aged children and need more than the informal techniques.

The extension course (which takes place the day after the intermediate course) may be of interest if you need more than the core programme and are dealing with a complex diagnosis, family issues or simply not making expected progress.

Course team

Maggie Johnson

Maggie Johnson

Principal Speech and Language Therapist, Kent Community Health NHS Trust

Learner reviews

"Great presentation, really enjoyed the day and learnt a lot!" [January 2016]

"Lovely clear speakers, excellent professional presentation, material detailed and informative. Handy tips!" [July 2015]

"Thorough, interesting and information. Immediately applicable to everyday practice." [March 2013]

Course information last modified: 30 Nov 2022, 16:00