8 benefits your patients can reap with SST

8 benefits your patients can reap with SST

One of the aspects he asks us about as soon as we approach Single Session Therapy is that related to the benefits that this method of intervention is able to bring in the lives of clients.

The objective of this article, in fact, will be precisely to identify the specific benefits that the client can obtain through the Single Session Therapy, whether it is a single and single intervention, or whether it is part of an intervention. within a longer duration therapy.

With respect to this topic, in fact, the questions that are asked most frequently by professionals who are starting to take an interest in TSS are:

“But is a single intervention sufficient to produce changes in the person’s life? And if so, what kind of change is it? Is it a profound and lasting change or a superficial and short-lived change? “

Therefore the reflections mainly concern the nature of the change produced and its depth.

But on which side should the balance tip?


Single Session Therapy Data

Often making such speculations without having concrete data available could make us perform simple equations, attributing a shallow and lasting change to the brief intervention. But if we remain within the sphere of opinions, the debate could be long and unclear about our goal.

For this reason, it becomes essential to bring some data to attention.

In the United States, for example, there is a body of study and research that has described the results of walk-in and TSS treatments, conducted in various centers in the United States and Canada, which allows us to go deeper into the benefits patients derive from TSS, highlighting both its short-term and long-term effects.

A famous study among these is the one conducted by Young in Ontario, at the Reach Out Center for Kids (ROCK) with 408 clients, whose pre and post session evaluations showed that following the single therapy session, the clients had gained more coping strategies and more confidence to solve their problems (Slive, Bobele, 2011).


Long-term results of Single Session Therapy

In order to also evaluate the long-term results, the same study was completed with a 2-month follow-up questionnaire, with 100 original clients of the research, of which:

26 reported that the problems presented at the interview were resolved;

 –74 reported that the original problem was still there, but that they were significantly less concerned, more knowledgeable about community resources, and had more ideas on how to manage the problem.


But these are not the only data.

In a similar study carried out at Calgary’s Estaside Family Center (EFC), Clements et al. Analyzed, after five years, the post-treatment rating scales of their service clients (Dunca, et al., 2003).

Their data shows that clients showed 20-25% less distress after their first therapy session.


 So what can we draw from these two studies?

These researches suggest that a single walk-in therapy session can be useful in reducing the stress present at the initial moment of the appointment that the benefits of the session remain for some time after the surgery.


But let’s see more specifically what other benefits can be derived from TSS.

Still from Young’s research (2011), who was particularly interested in discovering what the walk-in session was useful for for her former clients, she deepened the evaluations by administering an open questionnaire to the latter asking what they had learned during each session.

The questionnaires revealed at least 8 benefits that patients can derive from Single Session Therapy.

 Let’s see what they are:

  • greater self-awareness
  • awareness of the impact of the problem
  • increased awareness of resources
  • greater knowledge of the general problem
  • greater knowledge of strategies to help manage the problem
  • knowledge of specific techniques for the management of mental health problems
  • better communication skills
  • awareness that the other is willing to receive help


These themes therefore suggest that clients identify profound changes in their lives starting with just one session. This may come as a surprise to critics of short-term therapies, who fear that such therapies solve only superficial problems in clients’ lives.



Angelica Giannetti

Psychologist, Psychotherapist

Italian Center team

for Single Session Therapy




 Duncan, et al., (2003). The session rating scale: preliminary psychometric properties of a “working” alliance meaesure. Journal of Brief Therapy, 3 (1), 3-12.

Slive, A. & Bobele, M. (2011). When One Hour is All You Have: Effective Therapy for Walk-in Clients. Phoenix, AZ: Zeig, Tucker & Theisen.

Young, K. (2011). When All the time you have Is Now: Re‐ visiting practices and narrative therapy in a walk‐ in clinic. In Duvall, J. & Beres, L., Innovations in Narrative Therapy: Connecting Practice, Training, and Research (147 166). New York: W.W. Norton & Company.

Young, K. (2011). Narrative Practices at a Walk-in Therapy Clinic in Slive, A. & Bobele, M. (2011). When One Hour is All You Have: Effective Therapy for Walk-in Clients. Phoenix, AZ: Zeig, Tucker & Theisen.

Subscribe now and stay updated with important Single Session Therapy news and the next SST Symposium (in Italy)!

Rosita Del Medico

I commenti sono chiusi