Single-session therapy and professional development: when SST can make the profession of psychologist more effective

Single-session therapy and professional development: when SST can make the profession of psychologist more effective

Time is free but it is priceless. You can’t own it but you can use it.

You can’t keep it but you can spend it.

Once you lose it you can never get it back.

 (Harvey MacKay)


This somewhat unpredictable and difficult year is coming to an end and as often happens at the end of an adventure we find ourselves taking stock of what happened, the projects completed and those to be started .


Since 2017 , the year in which the Italian Center for Single Session Therapy was established , an intense path has been launched in which many research, training and dissemination activities have been carried out , all activities linked by a common thread or that of the professional development of the psychologist.


We know what happened in 2020 and we know how many changes the pandemic forced us to make!

Never as in this year has the psychologist community had to stop and reflect on the profession, its function and the role played in mental health .



What was observed?

What has emerged is that for a full affirmation of the profession of psychologist, both in the private and public spheres , there is still a long way to go, despite the fact that it is clear to everyone how fundamental psychological well-being is to lead a satisfying life and how much mental health can be jeopardized by catastrophes ( earthquakes, pandemics) or stressful events (illnesses, deaths).



What needs have not been answered? 

The pandemic has highlighted a severe shortage of mental health services . Many people in this period have not been able to receive the necessary support, not even in the most critical moments , having to independently manage moments of stress, anxiety, fear, depression , for example by resorting massively to the use of drugs .



How was all this determined?

Although economic aspects play a great role in this scenario, there still seems to be little clarity on how the figure of the psychologist can enter the scene effectively, not only in the intervention phase that is often viewed as long and tiring , but for example in the prevention phase , assisting the dissemination of information on the most suitable behaviors to adopt to prevent psychological distress and  guiding people to seek the right help based on their needs.  



Given these premises, how can the psychologist’s profession be strengthened and made more effective?

Beyond the actions that the Bodies set up to protect and promote the figure of the psychologist will carry out , one way to strengthen our profession is undoubtedly to make it clearer and closer to the needs of people , who increasingly ask to access services capable of providing answers in a short time . Research also shows that people often attend only one therapy session when seeking therapeutic help , regardless of the therapist’s orientation or approach.



What can the Single Session Therapy method offer the psychologist?

Given the panorama described, SST can represent a valid tool for therapists who in this way can transform a single encounter into a positive therapeutic experience , promoting concrete changes in the clients’ lives. The therapist will be able to make the most of people’s innate ability to overcome difficulties , through a method capable of enhancing the client’s existing strengths , restoring autonomy , trust and offering solutions that the client himself can implement immediately .




In wishing you to end this year in the best possible way , we invite you to continue following us to stay up to date on the SST method and find out step by step how to use therapeutic time more efficiently , starting with how to start the change from the moment the client calls to seek help until its conclusion.


 Angelica Giannetti
Team Psychotherapist of the Italian Center
for Single Session Therapy




Cannistrà, F., & Piccirilli, F. (2018). Single Session Therapy: Principles and Practices . Florence: Giunti Editore.



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Rosita Del Medico

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