Single-Session Therapy. Distinctive Features, 1st Edition


Single-Session Therapy: Distinctive Features provides a general introduction to the field of Single-Session Therapy (SST). Written by eminent clinician and author Windy Dryden, this book challenges mainstream therapeutic assumptions, predicated on the certainty that clients will have more than one therapy session. This book follows the popular Distinctive Features format and is divided into two sections, describing 15 theoretical features and 15 practical techniques of SST.

Single-Session Therapy will be of interest to those across the psychotherapy and counselling professions and will provide extensive guidance for students and practitioners alike.


  • Preface
  • Acknowledgements
  • Part 1: Theory
  • What’s in a name
  • Misconceptions about SST
  • People have the capacity to help themselves quickly
  • SST is based on providing help at the point of need rather than help at the point of availability
  • The SST mindset
  • The importance of expectations in SST
  • SST is a fusion between what the client brings to the process and what the therapist brings to the process
  • SST challenges therapists’ cherished beliefs about therapy and change
  • What can be achieved from SST
  • The ‘client criteria’ question
  • What makes good SST therapists
  • For better or for worse: Context matters
  • The importance of the working alliance
  • From theory to practice I: Guidelines for good practice
  • From theory to practice II: What to avoid
  • Part 2: Practice
  • Overview: The process of SST
  • Making a decision about SST
  • Preparing for the session
  • Contracting
  • Getting started
  • Working with problems and goals
  • Creating and maintaining a session focus
  • Doing the work
  • Utilising client variables
  • Making an impact
  • Negotiating the solution
  • Practising the solution in the session
  • Bringing the session to a suitable end
  • Encouraging client reflection, digestion, action and decision
  • Following-through and following-up
  • References
  • Index

Author Bio:

Windy Dryden is in clinical and consultative practice and is an international authority on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. He is Emeritus Professor of Psychotherapeutic Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. He has worked in psychotherapy for more than 40 years and is the author of over 225 books.