Single Session Therapy

At first glance, the answer to this question is simple. Single-session therapy (SST) is a therapy that lasts for one session. It is an intentional endeavor where the client and therapist agree to meet to help the client deal with their nominated concern in one session knowing that more help is available if needed. The purpose of the session is clearly understood by the client and counselor. They both agree to embark on the task at hand, with the intention of providing the client with the help that he needs and also leaving the option available to the client to come for further counseling if he so requires.

SST zeroes in on the problem. Clients sometimes just want to deal with their problems, not rework their whole life story. The counselor helps the client to explore an alternate life where the problem does not exist. Thereby revealing to themselves what they want most, whether it’s a peaceful relationship with a spouse, a lifting of depression or a more fulfilling job. Alternately, therapists can simply ask clients what they’d like to focus on during the session.

Most people have the tools and the know-how they need to get where they are going, but they need a bit of help putting them to use. In SST, the counselor encourages the client to weigh the pros and cons of their situation. When a client talks about what is difficult to change, the counselor is able to give him tools and techniques to handle the change in a positive manner

What we are trying to do is to help people get unstuck and put them back on track… Most people felt that one or two visits were all they needed. The session gave them good ideas, and they took those ideas and ran with them.

Michael Hoyt, PhD