Single Session Therapy (SST): what is it?

Single Session Therapy (SST): what is it?

Do you know that one session with the psychologist can be enough?

It may seem like a risky, audacious and out of line statement, but it is the conclusion reached by the numerous studies conducted: a single session may be enough.
How? With Single Session Therapy.

What is that?

SST is not a standalone approach. In reverse.
It is a method, applicable to any orientation; a frame within which the therapist can move with the aim of maximizing the effectiveness of each single session.


Not just a…

I know what you are thinking. How is it possible that you only have to do one session with all the patients?

It is not so. In fact, Hoyt and Talmon (2014b) themselves explain that it is wrong to think that doing SST means always having only one meeting: TSS is a method that makes every meeting more effective, making sure that it can always be the last.

In the 1980s Moshe Talmon realized that – noticing a patient file – a large number of patients who came for just one session of psychotherapy and then never came back . I think it was a matter of drop-outs and he decided to investigate, interviewing 200 of them: 78% of them replied : “Because that single meeting was useful and sufficient for me.”

From this result, it followed that:

  • 1 is the most frequent number of sessions done in therapy
    · between 40 and 60%of the people with whom the TSS method is used, consider one session sufficient
    · up to 80%of them report having resolved their problem or to feel better thanks to that one session

In practice , 1 out of 2 people considers a single meeting sufficient. Many studies have found this result: in 2008 (Weir, Wills & Co) conducted a study of 100,000 patients, finding that 42% (over 40,000) found a single meeting sufficient to solve their problem.

Precisely for this reason it is useful to maximize the effectiveness of each single session so that the therapy lasts the necessary time, neither one session more nor one less.

And why not…even just one session.

Single Session Therapy is a method that adapts to any form of psychotherapy, within which it can be integrated.


How does it apply?

Single Session Therapy is used by psychologists, psychotherapists and psychiatrists, both in the free profession and in the activity of structures and organizations, integrating with your current practice.

You can train in Single Session Therapy with the Italian Center for Single Session Therapy which puts at your disposal

providing SST educational workshops throughout the year and contributing to international TSS research.

We have studied the methodology in recent years, going to train directly in California (with Michael F. Hoyt) and Australia, and now we are also training psychologists and psychotherapists in Italy.

Thanks to the workshop, you will be able to:

  • learn the methodology that allows you to carry out single session psychotherapy and consultancy
    · maximize the effectiveness of each single session, reduce the overall duration of the therapies
    · respond to people’s current needs for help tailored to their needs.


TSS integrates perfectly with your approach.

What can it help you?
1) to approach all those who do not need prolonged intervention and to respond to those seeking immediate help;
2) to improve the effectiveness of each single meeting, reducing the overall duration of the therapies made up of several sessions;
3) to use a methodology that can be easily integrated with other forms of therapy, and that you can use in a wide variety of problems and contexts, private, public, emergency or more.

For what problems can TSS be useful?

Anorexia nervosa (De Giacomo et al., 1989)
Anxiety (Denners and Reeves, 1997)
Panic attacks (Nuthall and Towned, 2007)
Depression (Armento et al. 2012)
Specific phobias (Hauner et al, 2012 )
· Insomnia (Gulley et al., 2013)
· Family problems (Pekins and Scarlett, 2008)
and others.


  • To make a decision
    · For an “as needed” problem
    · To manage stress or a sudden crisis
    · To have a discussion
    · To find the right motivation to help you continue on your own
    · Improve an aspect of yourself that you don’t like
    …many other situations!

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

Rosita Del Medico

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