Date of Award

Fall 10-2-1988

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

First Advisor

Gloria Ferber


The purpose of this thesis is to present a case study demonstrating the use of corrective emotional experience in therapeutic intervention with an elective mute child.

There are two portions to this presentation. The first portion of this paper includes review of past and present literature on elective mutism, review of Margaret Mahler's theory of separation-individuation and review of relational/structure theory of object relations. Following the review of the literature is the hypothesis that suggests a correlation between elective mutism and object relations theory.

The second portion of this thesis presents a case based upon this hypothesis, beginning with a case history, description of the child, and ending with the progression of intervention in a therapeutic nursery school setting as a treatment for the condition elective mutism.