Walker, Aaron (2014) Finding A Voice: Exploring the Biographical Narratives of Adults with Selective Mutism. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.
Abstract

This research explores the lived experiences of adults with selective mutism using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Existing literature has typically positioned selective mutism as a disorder of childhood and as a result little is known about the difficulties faced by individuals who continue to experience the effects of selective mutism throughout adolescence and adulthood. This research seeks to gain an understanding of the phenomenology of selective mutism as a lived experience and to allow participant's voices to be heard.
In-depth narrative interviews were conducted with six individuals who had continued to experience selective mutism throughout their adult life. Data from my own experience of suffering from SM were also included. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to identify five essential themes. These findings provide an insight into the embodied experience of selective mutism, the process of sense making in which individuals engage to negotiate their identities and the effects of social isolation. Furthermore this research explores the experiences of therapy and help seeking which were important topics within participant narratives.
This research encourages a thoughtful reflection on the lives of those whose realities have been profoundly affected by selective mutism. This research and the exploratory nature of phenomenological inquiry will hopefully encourage further investigations into selective mutism as it exists beyond childhood.

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