The role of single session therapy in reducing waiting lists

It is certainly no secret to anyone that it is in this historical-geographical context, that overall in the contemporary world, the need to think about the possibility of short therapies becomes more and more urgent.

The economic crisis that has hit Italy and the rest of the world, and more generally the set of crises that characterize the era in which we find ourselves, bring with them many consequences, on a small and even large scale, even front of the personal well-being of citizens (see the in-depth article in the article The future of psychotherapy: trends and prospects).

In this article, of particular interest to healthcare facilities, we try to give a brief glimpse on how and why TSS helps in reducing costs. In particular, we will focus on the problem of waiting lists, although in this first article we will only give a very quick overview.

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As Michael Hoyt (1994) recalls, patients are far less interested in therapy than the therapist himself is. Patients are quite interested in the result.

How is it possible, then, that up to now Single Session Therapy has had so little diffusion? 

Althought in a synthetic way, we try to give some answers to this question.

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Single Session Therapy Mindset

Regardless of the basic training of each professional, there are some assumptions that transversally distinguish the Single Session Therapy approach.

Rather than modeling itself around predetermined psychotherapeutic assumptions or focusing on particular diagnoses, SST is characterized by a mindset that places the tools, methods and interventions of a wide range of approaches at the service of the client in a creative way, always bearing in mind that every single session could be the last.

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Single Session Therapy and Psychotherapy: with which approaches a SST can be conducted?

Some therapists feel that their approach and training are not adequate for conducting a Single Session Therapy. This is not true, actualy.

We explained that TSS can be adapted with evident results in different contexts of application, treating people who have problems of different order and degree.

The question we asked ourselves is: is there a single way to do TSS? Is there a single session psychotherapy model in its own right? Or an exclusive therapeutic model that fits it?

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Who is single session therapy for?

Terapia Seduta Singola per famiglie 2

Do you remember where we started from?

In the article The first research in Single Session Therapy, ample space was given to the report of the research by Hoyt, Talmon and Rosenbaum (1992), in which on a sample of 60 people they practiced an agreed session of Single Session Therapy.

Talmon (1990) divided three types of Single Session Therapy:

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Jeff Young about Single Session Therapy

Jeff Young about Single Session Therapy

Dr Jeff Young Director The Bouverie Centre: Victoria’s Family Institute College of Science, Health and Engineering, La Trobe University Melbourne, Australia.

The future of psychotherapy: trends and perspectives

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What are the world trends that influence and will influence healthcare and psychotherapy in the coming years? Today we will try to see some of them.

In fact, we must bear in mind that the demand in healthcare (the demand) has varied considerably in recent years, and the services (the supply) have had to adapt accordingly – or should have done so for some time.

Psychotherapy is not exempt from this discourse – and it is one of the reasons that led us to talk about Single Session Therapy.

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Single Session Psychological Counseling

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Over 60% of people who need psychological counseling, or psychotherapy, do not require it. (Andrews, Issakidis, & Carter, 2001).

It  means that 2 out of 3 people live in a silent and hidden hurt, that we don’t know, so much that “they prefer to get by themselves” (Andrews, Issakidis, & Carter, 2001).  And even if “costs” are important, it is the social and vocational factors that influence this choice the most.


In other words, it is above all the idea of ​​taking “long and tiring” paths that stops most people from choosing a psychological, psychotherapeutic or psychiatric path.

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