Why become a single session therapist?

Why become a single session therapist?

As already mentioned in the previous article the¬†Italian Center for Single Session therapy¬†was born mainly with the aim of¬†training¬†psychologists and psychotherapists in¬†the method of Single Session Therapy¬†and more generally with the intention of providing¬†tools of innovative intervention¬†close to people’s requests.

The objective¬†of today’s article will, in fact, be to illustrate the¬†new world trends¬†in terms of¬†needs¬†,¬†costs¬†and¬†interventions¬†in the field of mental health and the¬†professional challenges¬†that the psychologist will have to face, finally answering¬†the precise question¬†that many psychologists in these years have placed us during the¬†workshops¬†, namely¬†“Why become a single session therapist?”


Before answering this question, let’s see¬†what changes are expected in the area of ‚Äč‚Äčmental health in the next ten years?

In a recent article published by Il sole 24 ore, it is highlighted how despite for forty years thanks to the Basaglia law the intervention in the field of mental health has tried to take new paths, still today moving the axis from curing mental pathologies and their prevention is still difficult.


What are the factors that determine this scenario?

This seems to be the result of multiple factors , including the slow cultural transformation with respect to the concept of mental health still experienced today as a stigma and the consequent scarce investment in the actions to promote well-being that this prejudice creates.

The problem obviously does not concern only the Italian context, but affects the whole world scene to the point that the issue, after being highlighted in the OECD Health Report of 2018 , will be at the center of the attention of the World Economic Forum of the Annual Meeting 2019 which is held in Davos .


Let’s see the data that emerged in detail!

According to the latest data from Lancet Commission experts, mental disorders are growing rapidly globally to the point that in the absence of a concrete answer to the problem, they will cost the economy up to 16 trillion dollars between 2010 and 2030.

The table below provides a brief summary of the 2016 mental health and substance use disorder data (Ritchie H., Roser M., 2018):


I disturb Share of global population with disorder (2016)

[difference between countries]

Number of people with the disorder (2016) Share of males: women with disorder (2016)
Any mental or substance use disorder 15.5%


1.1 billion 16% male

15% of females

Depression 4%


268 million 3% of males

4.5% of females

Anxiety Disorders 4%


275 million 3% of males

4.7% of females

Bipolar disorder 0.6%


40 million 0.55% of males

0.65% of females

Food problems

(clinical anorexia and bulimia)



10.5 million 0.07% of males

0.2% of females

Schizophrenia 0.3%


21 million 0.29% of males

0.28% of females

Alcohol Disorder 1.4%


100 million 1.9% male

0.8% of females

Drug use disorder (excluding alcohol) 0.9%


62 million 1.1% male

0.5% of females


What kind of costs are expected to combat the development of mental pathologies?

The expected costs will be mainly of a direct healthcare type (eg medicines, therapies), in addition to indirect costs (eg loss of productivity, days of work lost due to illness, spending on social welfare, education). These will also be affected by the increase in the life expectancy of people living in advanced societies, as well as the improvement of childhood conditions in developing countries.


So what are the actions planned in Davos to intervene on mental health?

One of the main objectives of the World Economic Forum which will take place in Davos will be to bring to international attention a program that will aim to influence the public, private and civil society sectors on the importance of prevention , even before treatment . Secondly, the need to use specific skills for a better understanding and management of mental health will be emphasized.


At this point we come to our question “why become a Single Session therapist?”

From what has emerged, prevention will become one of the main objectives for intervening on mental health, both as a tool to avoid the chronicization of pathologies, and as a measure to reduce the costs deriving from direct health care.

In this panorama, the presence of professionals with specific skills able to provide answers in a short time and to a large number of people, will represent the greatest challenge of mental health professionals, in particular psychologists .  

Training in the Single Session Therapy method will therefore represent a valid opportunity to work on prevention, even before treating diseases and give people the opportunity to access a service that can maximize the intervention in terms of time and of costs.  

We remind you that Single Session Therapy is an intervention method that aims to get the most out of every therapeutic encounter. Furthermore, it can be integrated with any approach and in the practice of any health and psycho-physical wellness professional, reducing intervention times and waiting lists , through concrete and immediate help.



In conclusion, becoming a¬†single session¬†therapist will mean for the¬†professional¬†to have a¬†method¬†capable of shifting the axis of his intervention from the¬†treatment¬†to the¬†promotion¬†of¬†well¬†-being , through the enhancement of people’s¬†resources¬†.

On the other hand, for people the presence of professional figures capable of responding to their needs in a targeted manner and in a short time will instead represent the possibility of accessing specialized services without necessarily having to wait long waiting times and face high costs.

Regarding this we recall what the philosopher Seneca said in his De Brevitate Vitae regarding the importance of time, stating that ”¬†the greatest obstacle to living is waiting, which depends on tomorrow but wastes today”.


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




Cannistrà, F. & Piccirilli, F. (2018). Single session therapy. Principles and practices. Giunti Editore.

By Cristofaro C., Mental Illness Will Cost $ 16 Trillion by 2030, January 2019, https://www.infodata.ilsole24ore.com

Ritchie H., Roser M., Mental Health, aprile, 2018, https://ourworldindata.org


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.