Cornerstone Therapeutic Playgroup

The Cornerstone Therapeutic Play Group at Ann Martin Center offers intensive therapy for preschoolers and kindergartners in an educational playgroup setting for children 3 to 6 years of age. A small group of 4 to 6 children participate in an hour and a half playgroup that meets two times per week. Families receive ongoing support and feedback from an experienced child therapist and an early childhood education specialist. This program can supplement a regular preschool, daycare, kindergarten, or special education class.

Who Might Benefit

The Cornerstone program has been found effective for children suffering from a variety of emotional and developmental difficulties, including those associated with autism spectrum.

Specifically, children ages 3 to 6 years of age benefit in receiving support “here-and-now” with problems such as:

  • Poor social skills or difficulties making friends
  • Emotional problems in learning or conforming to classroom rules
  • Failure to enjoy play and achievements
  • Conflicts over peer relationships
  • Difficulty with cooperation
  • Loss of emotional receptivity
  • Social inhibition
  • Lapses of attention
  • Separation
  • Anxiety
The fee for the group is $50 per session, year-round. 
Some scholarship funding may be available for families who need a reduced fee. 
Medi-Cal is accepted.
What is the Cornerstone Playgroup Model?
  • The Cornerstone Playgroup Model is an intensive therapeutic service that combines early childhood education and psychotherapy to help vulnerable, young children at early stages of their cognitive emotional development.
  • A specially trained therapist works right in the classroom together with one or two early childhood teachers in each group.
  • Parents are an integral part of the program. They are encouraged to attend, observe and participate in the group and receive ongoing feedback and support from the program staff.
  • The play group model is based on the Reflective Network Therapy treatment, originally called “The Cornerstone Therapeutic Method” by Dr. Gilbert Kliman, renowned child psychiatrist and child therapy researcher. For more information about the reflective network therapy, see
For more information, contact Linda Hirshfeld, Ph.D at (510) 655-7880 ext. 369. Linda is available by phone Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 1-3pm, and Tuesdays & Thursdays between 12-2pm.