SingleSessionTherapies.com is a project directed by the Italian Center for Single Session Therapy designed to disseminate studies, researches, names and events on SST throughout the world and allow you to learn immediately its principles.
In the Blog section you will find periodically new articles on different aspects of Single Session Therapy: data, theoretical principles and practical tools. If you are a single session therapist and want to report your experiences contact us!
In addition, if you want a text to begin to deepen and practice the SST, you can download our free EBook: it is an introductory guide for those who want to deepen the SST and begin to integrate it in their practice.
Finally, if you want to train yourself personally on the SST, or if you want to bring the SST into the structure where you work, at the bottom of this page you can see when the next course will start.
Is it possible that only one session is enough?
Yes. Studies conducted for over 30 years all over the world confirm that up to over 85% of patients seen only once claim to have solved their problem or have greatly improved their condition, with follow up to 8 years .
What are the advantages of a SST?
Many. The client solves his problem faster, gaining self-esteem and self-efficacy. In addition, the therapist or health company increases the effectiveness and efficiency of the therapy and offers a service required by all those who fear or can’t/won’t attend prolonged therapies.
Where can I find more information?
On this site, articles on research, studies and data on SST are published periodically. You can also download an introductory E-Book, with the basic principles to start implementing the TSS in your work.
How can be trained in SST?
More and more companies are providing SST training all over the world. Further down this page you will find the english courses organized by the Italian Center for Single Session Therapy, designed for psychologists and health professionals (counselors, social workers, doctors, nurses). You can also organize a training course directly in your structure, built starting from the required needs: call us for a first contact, click here.
Single Session Therapy and Brief Therapies
As we’ve already explained, Single-Session Therapy is not a brief therapy: it’s a method that maximises the effectiveness of each session, reducing the risk of drop-out (premature abandonment of therapy) and the duration of the therapy itself.
However, some brief therapy techniques can be used within it.
But certain clarifications should be made:
- You can use whichever techniques you prefer: SST can also be carried out using the techniques you normally use in your work, since this is a method that integrates perfectly with other therapeutic approaches, maximising their effectiveness.
- It’s good for healthcare professionals: the techniques are not defined by the work you do; therefore, both these and the whole SST method will be used by different health professionals to achieve their goal of maximising every encounter with their client/patient.
Listed below are some brief therapy techniques that you can use in a Single-Session Therapy session. This is only a taster, limited to a few techniques, to give you a brief idea of how they work:
- How to get worse: this technique, used in some forms of strategic therapy (Fisch et al., 1982; Nardone and Watzlawick, 1990), consists of asking the person what he or she could do to make their problem worse rather than better. It’s a very effective technique to help you and the client identify dysfunctional behaviours that do not help to resolve the problem.
- Miracle Question: the miracle question, elaborated in Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (de Shazer et al, 2007), can be used in SST particularly to help the person imagine a future without their problem, by eliciting the ideal scenario to be planned, in order to start making the appropriate steps to achieve it.
- The client theory of change: rather than a technique, this is an assumption (Duncan & Miller, 2000) in which the client is asked what they would need, or what they could do, to start solving their problem. Within our model of SST it is surprising to see how people are able to develop effective solutions for immediate implementation.
- Strategies questions: formalised in Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, these are questions aimed at eliciting details about what clients have done, or what they would do, when faced with a specific situation, to endure or resolve a particular problem. This allows us to highlight the person’s resources and strengths in their own eyes.
- Paradoxical interventions: the therapist can always use paradoxical interventions (Weeks & L’Abate, 1982), such as prescription of the symptom, Frankl’s paradoxical injunction or therapeutic double binds. The basis of these techniques is to prescribe precisely the behaviour that perpetuates the problem, or ask the person to continue doing what you want them to stop doing.
These are just some of the hundreds of techniques used in various brief psychotherapy approaches, which the therapist can adopt within Single-Session Therapy if he or she considers them useful. Remember that SST helps to maximise the effectiveness of every single encounter, whether it is the only one or not.
And above all, bear in mind that effectiveness does not depend on the use or absence of brief therapy techniques: any therapist can always use those that belong in their repertoire. Asay & Lambert (1999) have shown that the most important therapeutic factor is the client’s own resources, and the techniques used must serve the purpose of allowing these to be accessed and used.