How to attract patients with Single Session Therapy
In this article we will see how to attract patients to your office or to the facility that hosts us through the use of TSS.
For many therapists, especially beginners, clinical activity can be difficult , to the point of not guaranteeing sufficient income for their economic subsistence. Not infrequently the psychotherapist (even an expert) is “forced” to integrate with other activities, sometimes quite distant from the area in question.
The ideas and suggestions described below refer to international experiences already practiced for several years and with excellent results (Curtis, Whittaker, Stevens and Lennon, 2002; Price, 1994), but also to professionals closest to us, trained precisely through the TSS workshop proposed by the Italian Center for Single Session Therapy.
But first a brief introduction.
In the contemporary world, having good communication is essential. All the following considerations must be read in this light.
By good communication we mean the ability / willingness to organize one’s “positioning” in the market and, in fact, communicate it adequately and with the right means.
We may have the best ideas in the world, but they will remain only ours if no one finds out.
Similarly, the applications of TSS that you will want to experiment will have to be communicated externally, in an effective way, if you want to attract more patients. We remind you that outside the experts (often also among themselves), it is difficult to know terms such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Single Session Therapy, Systemic Therapy etc.
If you want to attract attention, we just have to communicate what we do, but above all what we do differently from others .
Some suggestions for attracting more TSS patients
1) Single Session Day
That is the days in which patients are received without the need for an appointment , therefore with walk-in mode. Anyone who wants to start therapy can use these days and access your office in a direct and simple way, as they would do from their general practitioner.
In this way it is possible to overcome a series of obstacles (second thoughts, indecisions, etc.) that exist between the intention to do therapy and the actual therapy.
Among the experiences we had anticipated there is for example the case of Dr. Gerry Grassi , who in recent years, in his private practice in Cecina, has organized Walk-In days in which to apply Single Session Therapy, without an appointment.
Another very interesting example is the experience of Psight , in which Dr. Cecilia Pecchioli and Dr. Camilla Esacchetta have set up a real “psychology clinic” open 2 times a week, with principles we have talked about so far.
You can therefore sponsor simple Single Session Days, or organize real cycles, with constant days and times. In any case, the Single Session Therapy will provide you with the adequate tools to create such a setting, as decades of applications all over the world demonstrate (Curtis, et al., 2002; Price, 1994).
2) First interviews with TSS modality
Systematically adopting SST for every first interview can offer a number of opportunities.
In this blog we have already talked about the difficulties with which people approach a therapeutic path. Between mistrust and little knowledge, there are certainly more subjects who do not ask for help than those who do.
Most problems arise from ignorance. Hence from the non-knowledge of psychology and related clinical practice.
Giving the person the opportunity to “see with their own eyes” what it is, with a cost that is necessarily reduced to a single meeting , can open up many more paths than it normally does.
3) The online
Although online therapy is not part of the considerations regarding one’s “physical” study, it nevertheless represents a source of possibilities that will necessarily increase over the next few years. Preparing well is a challenge for all psychologists of our time.
Also in this case the TSS represents a valid help , as it is well suited to the needs dictated by new technologies, used precisely for on-line therapy / counseling.
- a more horizontal relationship between therapist and patient;
- focused work that takes place in the shortest possible time and with a lower cost for the person;
- greater sense of effectiveness, even following interruptions in therapy (which could be more numerous with the use of video calls or other).
These and other skills represent the know-how that define Single Session Therapy and which, as we have seen, largely respond to the new demands of this historic moment.
To conclude the applications that allow us to conduct therapy online, likewise allow us to organize Single Session Days online. In this way we can significantly increase our catchment area and make ourselves known even outside the area where we work.
Pier Paolo D’Alia
Team of the Italian Center
for Single Session Therapy
Curtis, A., Whittaker, A., Stevens, S., & Lennon, A. (2002). Single session family intervention in a local authority family center setting. Journal of Social Work Practice, 16 (1), 39–41.
Price, C. (1994). Open days: Making family therapy accessible in working class suburbs. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 15 (4), 191–196.