No: 16 / SELECTIVE MUTISM

  • SELECTIVE MUTISM

    Neslihan Zabcı
    Summary :

    Selective mutism is characterized by the persistent failure to speak in select social settings despite possessing the ability to speak and speak comfortably in more familiar settings. The problem is most common in the child who speaks actively and well at home but who refuses to speak in school. Children can be silent for many reasons and many theories attempt to explain the etiology of selective mutism. Very dependent mother-child relation, oral fixation, depressive tendencies, and the over-control of the mother on the child are the main headlines in psychoanalytical studies. The psychoanalytical approach considers selective mutism as an expression of an inner conflict. According to psychoanalytic perspective, selective mutism may emerge in any mental organization and may appear in different types of pathologies; thus it is considered as a symptom and the condition of settlement is to find and work through with the patient the link between the conflict and the symptom. The article first presents the historical background for the understanding of selective mutism from a psychoanalytic view and then elaborates with a case study of a child from the author?s practice who was selectively mute and who refused to speak at school.

    Keywords : Selective mutism, Psychoanalytic view, Case study