WeSpeak is an internationally-recognized behavioral group intensive for tweens/teens with selective mutism (SM) that Dr. Avny developed in 2016 to meet the high demand for services for these older kids. 


WeSpeak has changed the lives of youth and families worldwide. 

**In order to prioritize the safety/health of our families, staff, and the public, we have decided to run a small abbreviated virtual program in August 2020, followed by the full, in-person WeSpeak intensive in December 2020**

***We are thrilled to announce a WeSpeak extension that includes a three-month follow-up intervention starting in December 2020 to give kids the best chance of transitioning their progress to their home/school environment.***

About WeSpeak:

  • Simulated school based on the structure and expectations of middle- and high-schoolers; all activities target verbalizations with adults and peers that mirror the demands of this age group 

  • First intensive program to create a structured follow up schedule that allows for the gains made during the 5-day program to be built upon and generalized to the home environment once families have returned home

  • Three month structured follow up includes:

    • individual family consultations

    • practice video groups

    • group parent training

  • One-to-one mentor model builds continuous and individualized practice into engaging and real-world "school" and social activities

  • Individualized goals are established prior to WeSpeak and adapted each day according to status and progress

  • Activities include:

    • Individual daily advisory meetings to set goals for the day

    • Education about anxiety and skills practice in relaxation, identifying and challenging anxious thoughts, initiating and maintaining conversation, and imperfection

    • Academic or specials class (e.g., partner/group work, answering/asking questions, presenting)

    • Social exposures (e.g., typical hang-outs)

  • Parent training is provided to teach parents ways to help their kids carry the momentum forward after WeSpeak

WeSpeak 2020 Sessions

Summer 2020 

August 5-7 (lead-ins Aug 3-4)

We are excited to offer an abbreviated virtual group in August to provide kids and parents some tools and practice prior to the start of the new school year - which we know is a critical period for kids with SM to begin to challenge their anxiety/avoidance patterns. We also acknowledge that a virtual group is not a replacement for WeSpeak. We therefore decided, after much consideration, that the best option, given the circumstances, is to do an abbreviated virtual group this summer for baseline skills acquisition followed by a four-day, in-person program in December. 

We have taken great care to ensure that the virtual program structure still includes all of the key elements of our in-person WeSpeak group. 


10am-12:45pm -Teen group 

1:15pm-2:00pm - Parent group (plus pre-recorded didactics)


$1,200 (no charge for lead-ins)

We only have two spots left, reserved for 13-15 year olds,

so please reach out soon if you are interested!


December 26-29 (lead-ins Dec 22-23)


  • WeSpeak: $3,000, including

    • Four-day group intervention

    • Parent training

    • 3-month, multi-modal follow-up services

    • Families who participate in both the August and December programs will receive a discounted cost of $2,500 for December

  • Diagnostic Screener: $500-700  (1.5-2 hrs)

  • Lead-In Sessions: $400-$800 (depending on severity)

Lead-In Sessions

  • Focuses on getting your child verbal with mentor, other adults, and peers

  • Establishing comfort during lead-ins prepares them for higher speaking demands during WeSpeak

  • Significantly increases the likelihood of success

WeSpeak Mentors

If you are interested in being a WeSpeak mentor for the December session, please click here for more information!

We are committed to doing ongoing research to better understand how to best help youth with SM. 

BBC WeSpeak Documentary

Harriet Shawcross, an award winning documentarian, spent a week with WeSpeak families and Dr. Avny, to gain an understanding into selective mutism and this unique treatment intervention.  


Child & Adolescent Anxiety Practice

E: dravny@caapanxiety.com, Ph: 646-216-2190 

260 Madison Ave, 8020, New York, NY 10016