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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 193-194

Can Indians be receptive toward single-session therapy

1 Department of Social Sciences, Masters in Psychology, IGNOU, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Psychiatric Social Work, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Date of Submission30-May-2022
Date of Acceptance11-Jun-2022
Date of Web Publication19-Aug-2022

Correspondence Address:
Mrs. Jasmine Joseph
PhD Scholar, Department of Psychology, Christ University, Bangalore
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aip.aip_102_22

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How to cite this article:
Joseph J, Pallerla S. Can Indians be receptive toward single-session therapy. Ann Indian Psychiatry 2022;6:193-4

How to cite this URL:
Joseph J, Pallerla S. Can Indians be receptive toward single-session therapy. Ann Indian Psychiatry [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Sep 25];6:193-4. Available from: https://www.anip.co.in/text.asp?2022/6/2/193/354114

Dear Editor,

“A state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her abilities can cope with the normal stresses of life can work productively, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” This statement is from a World Health Organization publication.[1] It puts forward a postulation of the positive dimension of well-being and the negative dimension of psychological distress; as factors, for a person to be an effective and productive contributor. Seeking professional support is one way to improve mental well-being and reduce psychological distress.

In 1990, Rosenbaum et al. released a book on the psychotherapeutic facilitation of decisive or pivotal moments of life and proposed that it is not necessarily a function of time and thus the proposition of a psychotherapy method called Single Session Therapy (SST).[2] According to a recent interview given by Windy Dryden, a prominent proponent of SST; the mindset is based on three foundational points; first, the most frequent number of sessions that clients experience is one, second, 70% to 80% of these clients are satisfied with that one session and third, the therapists are anyways poor at predicting if the clients would come back after the first session.[3] SST is a form of therapeutic intervention which provides a positive experience to the client using a single (and often only) session. The approach attempts to make use of the client's innate ability to help themselves, generate insight, recognize strengths, restoring autonomy and confidence.[4] SST has defined guidelines based on the principles of cognitive behavior therapy and solution-focused therapy. The SST approach does not provide a protocol for the session but gives general guidelines for making the most out of a single session. SST permits the therapist to be flexible and resourceful in utilizing any of the multiple techniques and strategies of other therapy modalities.

The specific therapeutic approach used in SST could include methods used in solution-focused, narrative, cognitive-behavioral, motivational interviewing, and other therapies, but the core intention is to make the most therapeutic use of the session with the client. This requires a mindset from both the client and therapist. SST practitioners then invite clients to engage in a 5-step process when agreeing to a session; to reflect on the learnings of the session, digest this learning, act, or put into practice the learning, wait to see the impact, and decide whether another session is needed. SST is largely client lead, and prioritization of the focus of the session is negotiated between the client and the therapist. SST has been researched to benefit anyone irrespective of the severity and complexity of their problems and with good results.[5] SST is documented to be most useful for a distressed individual who is prepared for and hopes for a change in their thoughts, feelings, behaviors, or social functioning with professional assistance. Although clients with mental disorders which can be clinically diagnosed cannot be helped over a single session, the SST can be utilized to convince them of the need to seek further support.

In India, where the stigma toward reaching out for professional support is highly prevalent, an option like SST might work toward reducing the inhibition and help with keeping an open mind toward the concept of psychotherapy. A quick search on the internet shows no therapists from India who advertise themselves as single-session therapists. Hence, it is recommended that experienced therapists get trained in this model of delivering support thus expanding the acceptance of this model among the other therapists in India and promoting trainings in SST.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Mental Health: Strengthening Our Response. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mental-health-strengthening-our-response. [Last accessed on 2022 May 27].  Back to cited text no. 1
Rosenbaum R, Hoyt MF, Talmon M. The challenge of single-session therapies. In: Handbook of the Brief Psychotherapies. Boston, MA: Springer US; 1990. p. 165-89.  Back to cited text no. 2
Providing Help at the Point of Need: Insights from Single-Session Therapy. Available from: https://www.bacp.co.uk/bacp-journals/university-and-college-counselling/may-2020/providing-help-at-the-point-of-need/. [Last accessed on 2022 May 27].  Back to cited text no. 3
Talmon M. Single Session Therapy: Maximizing the Effect of the First (and Often Only) Therapeutic Encounter. San Francisco, USA: Jossey-Bass; 1991.  Back to cited text no. 4
Bobele M, Slive A. When One Hour is All You Have: Effective Therapy for Walk-in Clients. Portland, ME, USA: Zeig, Tucker & Theisen; 2011.  Back to cited text no. 5


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