Short-Term Play Therapy

To meet the tremendous needs of child therapy in the community, we are launching a new Short-Term Play Therapy  (STPT) pilot program this year. While working therapeutically longer-term is ideal, there is a growing body of research showing that STPT therapy has positive outcomes, for increasing frustration tolerance, improving relationships, and increasing sense of self. 

While most treatment is built on creating a plan to address the problem or needs, STPT reverses the norm and works with the timeframe the family is able to commit to, and works backwards to create a plan based on what is available. 

Short-Term Play Therapy (STPT) Process

1.Short-Term Play Therapy Request

We use the information that you provide in the screening form, to determine clinical eligibility for short term therapy, and financial and scheduling needs.

2. Schedule all appointments

We provide scheduling options of between 5-12 sessions.

You commit to the schedule.

The plan for care is developed based on how many sessions you commit to.

3. Brief phone consultation

Once schedule has been confirmed, we schedule a 20-30 min phone consultation (free of charge).

We determine clinical fit, assess your needs and discuss the short term treatment plan.

4. We Create a Treatment Plan

The clinical director reviews your information and creates a plan for care. Note that varying levels of parent involvement are essential for short term play therapy.

5. Complete paperwork

We will send you paperwork to complete prior to your first appointment.

By signing all the paperwork, you agree to the short-term treatment plan for play therapy.

6. Begin Treatment

You are ready to start working with your therapist on your plan!

At the end, you will receive a plan and suggestions for follow up at the end of treatment.

Example Treatment Plan

Short-term play therapy does not solve all your problems, but it improves ability to self regulate, trust yourself and build positive family relationships.  


Building Internal Strength

Stronger on the inside
Increase belief in self 75%
Improved ability to respond to triggers
Increase self regulation 64%
Improved self control
Flexibility and problem solving 77%


Fees and Billing for STPT

Our hourly fees vary based on the training level of the provider you see. See our fees page for cost breakdown. 

Because the sessions are confirmed ahead of time, and the plan is based on your commitment to that schedule of sessions, we charge an $100 fee ($50 for interns) for no-show or cancelation fee for all STPT sessions. 


This program specifically designed to be short term. In most cases, we are not able to accommodate more child sessions, or working long-term with your therapist therapeutically. 

We can, however, offer to continue to work with your provider through other mediums such as parent coaching or through group or workshop offerings. 

In just a few sessions, you may not have all your problems solved, but what you will have, is an increased confidence in understanding your child’s feelings and behaviors and thus your parenting. Research shows that some intervention is better than no intervention, as it can lay the groundwork for further development of skills.

With the exception of extenuating health emergencies, we are not able to accommodate rescheduling for this program. When you agree you to those scheduled times, you are responsible for all of those sessions at $100/hour (and $50 for interns).

You work with our admin team to confirm a schedule for the number of sessions you can commit to. 

Then, we build a therapeutic plan based on your commitment to those appointments.

Appointments are not necessarily weekly, but instead multiple times per week. Research shows that intensive (multiples sessions per week or day) short-term therapy can have positive effects (Ray, 

Because this program is build around a confirmed schedule, a fee is charged to hold all of these appointments. 


Both! We build a therapeutic plan based on what you are able to commit to. 

  • Families that would like support working with older children to improve communication, create plans and routines 
  • Support for kindergarten readiness
  • Anxious children
  • Separation anxiety
  • Sibling rivalry
  • Toddler tantrums
  • And more! 

Children and families where safety is a concern, self harm, suicidality, legal issues, complex trauma, complex family systems.

Ritzi R., Ray D., Schumann B. (2017). Intensive short-term child-centered play therapy and externalizing behaviors in children. International Journal of Play Therapy. 26, 33–46.

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