Dr. Kaitlyn Wilbur-Smith is a MA licensed clinical psychologist and the Director of Selective Mutism Treatment and Training at BCSC – Los Angeles. She specializes in the treatment of anxiety, mood, and disruptive behavior disorders in children, adolescents, and young adults. Dr. Wilbur-Smith is intensively trained in and provides evidence-based cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT). Dr. Wilbur-Smith is a Certified PCIT Therapist by PCIT International and is clinically trained in treatment adaptations for selective mutism (PCIT-SM) and anxiety (PCIT-CALM).
Dr. Wilbur-Smith graduated with honors from Trinity College in Hartford, CT where she received a Bachelor of Science in psychology. After a year of teaching students with autism spectrum disorders at the May Institute in Randolph, MA, she went on to complete a Master of Arts in general psychology at The New School for Social Research in New York, NY. While in New York, Dr. Wilbur-Smith worked as a research assistant in the Program for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Studies (PATSS) at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. She then continued her graduate studies at the University of Hartford in West Hartford, CT, where she earned a Master of Arts in clinical practices and a Doctorate of Psychology. For her dissertation, Dr. Wilbur-Smith investigated mindset and the ability to delay gratification in children and their mothers. She continues to be interested in clinical research.
Dr. Wilbur-Smith completed her postdoctoral fellowship at BCSC where she received intensive clinical training and supervision in DBT, CBT, and PCIT. Prior to her fellowship, she completed an APA-accredited predoctoral internship at Franciscan Children’s in Brighton, MA. There, she primarily worked in the community based acute treatment (CBAT) program, an intensive, short-term residential unit for youth aged 4-14.
One of Dr. Wilbur-Smith’s primary clinical interests is treating youth with selective mutism (SM). With younger children, she implements family-based behavioral interventions, including PCIT adaptations for SM and anxiety. When treating older children with SM, she utilizes cognitive behavior therapy, exposure therapy, and parent coaching. Within her treatment, Dr. Wilbur-Smith incorporates an individualized approach and collaborates closely with caregivers and school personnel. She also provides school consultation services, including professional development on selective mutism. Dr. Wilbur-Smith, alongside BCSC’s SM team, started a group treatment program series called Get Heard! in early 2019. Get Heard! uses an evidence-based exposure therapy model and is geared toward youth with selective mutism and social anxiety.
Within her DBT work, Dr. Wilbur-Smith has extensive experience treating middle school-aged youth struggling with emotion dysregulation, anxiety, and depression. Dr. Wilbur-Smith created and currently leads the Middle School DBT Skills Training Group for preadolescents at BCSC, one of few groups in the region tailored to this population. Having worked across school, hospital, and outpatient settings, Dr. Wilbur-Smith is passionate about bringing skills training to youth aged 11-14.