The goal of Single Session Therapy is to provide the client with immediate relief and resolution of a specific issue or problem.
Single Session Therapy (SST), as the name suggests, is a form of psychotherapy that is designed to be completed in a single session.
Over the years, there has been a huge improvement in mental health services around the globe; advancement in studies and effective treatments. However, there is still a weakness in the healthcare system due to the accessibility and cost of the services. Recently, there has been growing interest in exploring and suggesting the potential of Single Session Therapy as an effective approach to address client’s mental health needs.
What is Single Session Therapy (SST)?
At first glance, SST may seem to contradict the traditional expectation of receiving multiple counselling sessions over a period of time. The reality of SST is that it prioritizes addressing present concerns in a single therapeutic meeting. There is a deliberate and intentional focus on achieving meaningful outcomes in just one session, whether it’s pre-arranged or in a walk-in setting. With this mindset, a structured and effective single session of therapy can be provided.
SST is usually brief and focused on a specific goal. The therapist and client work together to identify the problem and develop a plan of action to address it. The session may involve a variety of therapeutic techniques, including cognitive-behavioural therapy, solution-focused therapy, and mindfulness-based interventions.
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SST can be helpful for a wide range of issues for individuals, such as life transitions, decision-making, or learning tools to manage depression and anxiety. It is not appropriate for diagnoses of mental health conditions, assessments, and crisis intervention, as well as more complex issues that may require ongoing therapy. It can be an effective way to quickly address a specific problem and hopefully provide the client with immediate relief.
At Alliance Counselling, Singapore, the Single Session Therapy appointment is preceded by a Pre-Session Questionnaire and phone call. This is to answer any questions the client may have and also for the therapist to have a thorough understanding of the client before the short 50-minute session.
After the session, the client and therapist will collaborate to determine a follow-up plan, which may involve an email check-in based on an agreed timeline.
Experience with SST
“It gave me a ‘dip my toe in the water’ experience towards therapy…”
T who attended and experienced a Single Session Therapy, had a very positive experience “Overall I would say SST was very beneficial.” He added that the session gave him a handful of practical tips and practices that he could try out himself.
“The process of SST was a little daunting at the start, with the pre-session questionnaire. It was a very probing questionnaire that really made me think very hard about my issues and how I and the therapist can talk about it during the short 50-minute session we will be having.”
The process of Single Session Therapy, or any form of therapy, may take one out of their comfort zone. However, the therapy itself was a safe space for C. “For someone who has never tried therapy before, my counsellor at Alliance Counselling really helped to make me feel at ease right at the start.”
Y who is based in Malaysia also shared similar sentiments on the preliminary process of Single Session Therapy. She mentioned that at some point, answering the questionnaire made her anxious and expected that the session would turn out the same. To her delight, it turned out to be great because it focused on one issue that will be resolved. Alliance Counselling offers both in-person and online therapy sessions.
“I ended up asking him a lot of his life advice because he was in his 60s, I felt he had a lot to teach me, so it was very beneficial and informative for me”
M, who experienced Single Session Therapy online as well, felt that it was a very enriching session. He shared that the structured way of the therapy session helped him to come up with specific prompts that led to the resolution of the issue he wanted to solve.
SST in Asia
In Asia, Single Session Therapy is not as widely available as it is in Western countries. This may be due to cultural differences in the perception and approach to mental health and therapy. Some Asian cultures may place a greater emphasis on long-term therapy and building a relationship with a therapist over time. Additionally, some Asian countries may stigmatize seeking mental health treatment, which could make it more challenging for people to access any form of therapy.
As more people become aware of the benefits of brief interventions and more mental health professionals become trained in this approach, there is hope that the availability of Single Session Therapy in Asia can slowly increase over time.
“SST is helpful for those who are struggling with a consistent issue in their day-to-day lives. It’s straight to the point and Alliance Counselling provides exactly that.”
Overall, Single Session Therapy offers accessibility, immediate support, crisis intervention, time efficiency, targeted focus, cost-effectiveness, and fosters empowerment and self-efficacy for individuals seeking brief intervention or assistance.
For more information about Single Session Therapy, check out Alliance Counselling Singapore.