Dr Antje Bothin on Selective Mutism

Dr Antje Bothin shares insights into selective mutism - a disorder inhibiting speech in some situations. Dr Bothin explains challenges it causes, strategies to create a relaxed, understanding environment for communication, and we find out about her novel featuring a character with selective mutism - with uplifting advice on facing fears and self-compassion.
· February 2, 2024

Dr Antje Bothin has a passion for creative work. She particularly loves travelling and takes great pleasure in writing about nature, the human mind and the world around her. She grew up in Germany and has lived experience of Selective Mutism. She has an academic background with a first degree in Business Engineering and an MSc in Information and Media Technology and successfully completed a PhD in Information Studies at the University of Sheffield. She also works as a translator and tutor. She has authored scientific papers, short stories and poems, with her poems being published in international anthologies.

Dr Antje has recently published her first novel – Annika and the Treasure of Iceland – which we will be discussing today. She enjoys living in Scotland and when not writing, reading or drinking tea, she can be found cycling in the countryside or volunteering for local charities.

In this session, Dr Bothin provides invaluable insights into selective mutism. With academic expertise and lived experience, Dr Bothin sheds light on this complex disorder that inhibits verbal communication.

Journey into the magical world of Iceland through Dr Bothin’s lyrical novel Annika and the Treasure of Iceland. Follow Annika, a 21-year old with undiagnosed childhood selective mutism, as she navigates challenges and forges connections on an epic quest. Dr Bothin utilises the novel format to raise awareness and share strategies in an accessible way.

Gain a deeper understanding of selective mutism through Dr Bothin’s compassionate explanations:

  • Selective mutism causes those affected to be unable to speak in certain social situations, though they can speak normally in comfortable environments like home.
  • It often goes undiagnosed in childhood, leading to issues in adulthood with relationships, work, and more.
  • Creating a relaxed, patient environment is key to supporting those with selective mutism to open up. Don’t force speech but provide alternative responses to ease communication.

Dr Bothin provides advice – emphasising self-compassion, small steps, and facing fears. Her thoughtful perspectives offer inspiration for those struggling and their loved ones.

This enriching discussion dispels misconceptions around this little-understood disorder. Dr Bothin’s wisdom and warmth encourage connection and acceptance. A must-watch for increasing awareness and helping those affected feel less alone.


Bothin, Antje. Annika and the Treasure of Iceland. Beul Aithris Publishing.





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