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DeMille, L. (2013). “Psychic Twins”: A Psycho-Dynamically Informed Treatment of a Selectively Mute Adolescent and Her Mother – Part II. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 12(4):321-335.

(2013). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 12(4):321-335

“Psychic Twins”: A Psycho-Dynamically Informed Treatment of a Selectively Mute Adolescent and Her Mother – Part II

Lauren DeMille

This article describes key aspects of the second year of a two-year treatment of J, a selectively mute adolescent. The therapist was, at the time, a predoctoral intern, and the case was transferred to her after a year of prior dyadic work with patient and her mother. Building upon the conceptualization of the prior student/therapist, the present author included the incorporation of dyadic work into the treatment; both therapists turned to their training in psychodynamic theory and treatment to conceptualize the symptom of selective mutism (SM) as revealing a symbiotic tie between J and her mother. The striking nature of J's symptom as well as its persistence into adolescence created particular challenges around formulating interventions and treatment goals. The reality of yearly transfers of J to new clinicians also complicated the treatment. Despite these difficulties, the writer began to find ways to communicate with J, suggesting the possibility of J's greater separation from her mother. This article also contributes to the relative paucity of treatment literature on selective mutism in adolescence.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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