Only a few weeks have passed since the publication of the article Examining the Incidence and Clients’ Experiences of Single Session Therapy in Italy: A Feasibility Study in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, a new achievement by the Italian Center for Single Session Therapy .
Research on SST has been conducted all over the world, but up to now not in Italy, therefore this study represents the first international contribution of our country to Single Session Therapy .
What results did the research lead to?
The results of the study confirmed those of research carried out in the rest of the world , which indicated that one is the most frequent number of sessions of both traditional and SST- based psychotherapy .
Another fundamental fact revealed is that the majority of clients consider the performance of a single therapy session sufficient (both in the public and private spheres) to achieve greater well-being regardless of the nature of the problem presented.
What does this last aspect highlight?
The data introduces a new way of considering the concept of mental health , no longer seen exclusively as the absence of disease or infirmity, but a broader positive state of the individual that emphasizes the presence of personal and social resources, as well as physical capacities to recover and coping with disease and other problems (World Health Organization, 2006).
What then predicts a successful intervention?
Taking action no longer necessarily means supporting clients until they reach a state of complete well-being, but doing it as long as the client deems it necessary . Furthermore, it will be the client himself who indicates what successful therapy means, not the therapist or the absence of symptoms.
What are the benefits of this discovery?
The implementation of SST could improve people’s accessibility to mental health services and optimize the costs of the services themselves . This last element, for example, could be particularly useful in countries such as Italy that have low rates of access to mental health services (Barbato et al., 2014), both for financial reasons and for cultural attitudes (e.g.: “The therapy lasts too long”, “Therapy needs to deal with deep and uncomfortable emotions/thoughts/etc.”) (Fiori Nastro et al ., 2013).
How can SST help?
By decreasing the number of sessions for each client, SST can reduce waiting lists , thus making services more accessible , preventing an exacerbation of psychological distress. Professionals would also be able to help a greater number of people, dedicating more time to those who need a more in-depth intervention (Cannistr a & Piccirilli, 2018; Slive and Bobele, 2011), ultimately limiting dropouts and missed appointments (Hymmen , Stalker & Cait, 2013).
Now let’s move on to the thanks!
Proud to share this success, we take the opportunity to thank all the participants who made it possible to achieve this result starting from Flavio Cannistrà , Federico Piccirilli , Pier Paolo D’Alia and Angelica Giannetti team members of the Italian Center for Singles Session Therapy.
Next we thank the professionals Lorenza Piva (Merano), Ferruccio Gobbato (Venice), Roberta Guzzardi (Rome) and Alice Ghisoni (Turin) who made available their professionalism and the data obtained in their work in the private sector.
Finally, a special thanks goes to Dr. Giada Pietrabissa of the Psychology Department of the Catholic University of Milan as well as a researcher at the Psychology Research Laboratory, IRCCS, Istituto Auxologico Italiano (Milan) , without whom we would not have been able to publish a work of this quality!
Team Psychotherapist of the Italian Center
for Single Session Therapy
Barbato, A., Vallarino, M., Rapisarda, F., Lora, A., & Caldas de Almeida, JM (2014). Access to mental health care in Europe. Retrieved from https://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/health/fle /mental_health/docs/ev_20161006_co02_en.pdf, 1-41.
Cannistrà, F., & Piccirilli, F. (2018). Single Session Therapy: Principles and Practices . Florence: Giunti Editore.
Fiori Nastro, P., Armando, M., Righetti, V., Saba, R., Dario, C., Carnevali, R., . . . Girardi, P. (2013). Emerging mental disorders in a community sample of young adults in Italy: Help-seeking in a generalist community mental health setting. Journal of Psychiatry, 48(1), 60–66.
Hymmen, P., Stalker, CA, & Cait, CA (2013). The case for single-session therapy: Does the empirical evidence support the increased prevalence of this service delivery model? [Reviews]. Journal of Mental Health, 22(1), 60–71.