A unique opportunity to train with Windy Dryden

Course curriculum

Professor Windy Dryden

CBT Therapist, Trainer, Academic and Writer

I am Emeritus Professor of Psychotherapeutic Studies at Goldsmiths University of London and have been working in the field of counselling and psychotherapy since 1975. I was one of the first people in Britain to be trained in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and have trained with Drs. Albert Ellis, Aaron T. Beck and Arnold Lazarus. I have also trained at the University of Warwick where I was awarded an MSc in Psychotherapy. This was an eclectic course and gave me a very broad view of the field. What has been important and sustaining in my career has been variety. Thus, I work as a practitioner, trainer, academic and writer/editor.
Windy Dryden

What is Single-Session Therapy?

Windy Dryden Dec 18, 2020 3 min read

  • At first glance, the answer to this question is simple. Single-session therapy (SST) is therapy that lasts for one session. And indeed, there are times when therapy does last for a single session. For example, there are occasions when the therapist and the client contract for a 'block' of therapy sessions, but the client only attends the first session. This is known as 'single-session therapy by default'. There are also occasions when, for whatever reason, the client only wants to come for one session and only attends that session. Here the therapist and the contract both contract for that one session. When this occurs, this is known as 'single-session therapy by design'. Also, when I do a demonstration of single-session therapy at a training workshop, for example, then the volunteer knows that that session will be the only session that they will have with me.

  • However, the majority opinion in the SST community is that single-session therapy is 'an intentional endeavour 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'. In this definition, several important points are made: 1. The work has a purpose. The intention is ideally to help the person in one session. 2. The client will get the help needed. Further therapy sessions are available if the client needs such help. 3. The work is consensual. The therapist and client agree to embark based on the first two points

  • There is also a view in the SST community that the client can be encouraged to prepare for this session and that this counts as a therapeutic contact. Let's also consider that most agencies which offer SST will follow up with the client to see how they are doing after the single-session. We are faced with the interesting conundrum that single-session therapy may involve three points of contact between the client and the therapist (or the agency where the therapist works) and may involve the client having further sessions.

  • Thus, what has started as a simple situation - SST is therapy that lasts for one session - has ended with the complicated situation where SST may comprise several therapeutic contacts and the possibility of further treatment following the 'single session' if the client needs it. Given this complexity, why continue to use the term, 'single-session therapy'? Jeff Young (2018), an Australian SST therapist, argues for its retention because of its 'shock value' despite its ambiguities. The term fascinates professionals, challenges their assumptions and stimulates them to think through several issues concerning therapy length, client preferences and related points. I agree with Young that the term, 'single-session therapy' should be retained as it reflects the following: a. It is a way of practising therapy based on a way of thinking about therapy known as 'single-session thinking' which emphasises the intent of the work: to help the client in one session b. It is a way of organising therapy services that caters to a significant number of clients who choose to attend for one therapy session. Thus, numerous reports show that the modal[1] number of sessions clients have across settings and countries is 'one', followed by 'two' followed by 'three', etc. (e.g. Brown & Jones, 2005; Hoyt & Talmon, 2014).

  • In conclusion, when using the phrase 'single-session therapy', it is vital that advocates of this way of working clarify how the term is being used and appreciate that it can be easily misunderstood. [1] The ‘mode’ is the most frequently occurring number in a series.

  • References Brown, G.S., & Jones, E.R. (2005). Implementation of a feedback system in a managed care environment: What are patients teaching us? Journal of Clinical Psychology, 61, 187-198. Hoyt, M.F., & Talmon, M.F. (2014). What the literature says: An annotated bibliography. In M.F. Hoyt & M. Talmon (Eds.), Capturing the Moment: Single Session Therapy and Walk-In Services (pp. 487-516). Bethel, CT: Crown House Publishing. Young, J. (2018). SST: The misunderstood gift that keeps on giving. In M.F. Hoyt, M. Bobele, A. Slive, J. Young, J., & M. Talmon, (Eds.), Single-Session Therapy by Walk-In or Appointment: Administrative, Clinical, and Supervisory Aspects of One-at-a Time Services (pp. 40-58). New York: Routledge.

Free Book Available Now!

Get a free copy of Windy Dryden's book published by ONLINEVENTS

We are very pleased to offer you a free PDF copy of the recent book written by Windy Dryden and published by ONLINEVENTS LTD (OE) titled "Single-Session Therapy@Onlinevents". This book is based on the events which were a collaboration between Windy Dryden and OE during the Covid lockdowns of 2020-21. During these events, a number of colleagues volunteered to have a volunteer SST session with Windy which were recorded, transcribed and form the basis of this book.

SST Recordings Library


As soon as you have made payment for the course we will be very pleased to share a collection of SST session recordings so that you are able to begin your SST learning journey immediately! These recordings have been very generously made available for learning purposes by the colleagues who worked with Windy.
Windy Dryden

Primary Certificate - 2023 Dates

SST Module 1: An Overview of the Principles and Practice of SST

Tuesday 24th January - 6.00 - 9.00pm BST

SST Module 2: Understanding the Context of SST and Making Agreements with the Client

Tuesday 31st January - 6.00 - 9.00pm BST

SST Module 3: Setting up and Getting the Most Out of an SST Session

Tuesday 7th February - 6.00 - 9.00pm BST

SST Module 4: Assessment in SST +  SST Interventions Skills & Strategies

Wednesday 15th February  - 6.00 - 9.00pm BST

SST Module 5: Practice & Supervision

Tuesday 28th February - 6.00 - 9.00pm GMT

SST Module 6: Practice & Supervision

Tuesday 7th March - 6.00 - 9.00pm GMT

SST Module 7: Practice & Supervision

Tuesday 14th March - 6.00 - 9.00pm GMT

SST Module 8: Practice & Supervision

Tuesday 21st March  - 6.00 - 9.00pm GMT

If the above dates are not suitable for you, please let us know right away as we are adding more dates soon.

Course Fees

You can choose to pay the course fees in one single payment or choose our instalment plan. Get full course access as soon as you pay the first instalment.