Windy Dryden has been involved with this way of working for a number years now and is passionate about how it can help clients to a find more ‘of the moment’ and proactive way forward with issues raised at the point of need. He has generously shared his power-point presentation with all our members, so you have most of the information needed, including the background to this way of working, when it is not suitable, and the details of two books he recommends. Here are a few of the stages Windy stressed were important for this work to be beneficial. NB: This is client led, client focused therapy.

  1. No long waiting lists. The client seeks therapy, quickly completes some necessary information and a pre-session questionnaire. A prompt appointment is made. The client is aware of what single session therapy involves and gives informed consent.
  2. Windy stressed the ‘in-between time’ from first contact to the appointment is part of the process for the client to use for their reflections on their needs and process.
  3. Although clients can, if needed, refer for further support, the mindset of the work is that this is the only chance to explore and hopefully resolve the issue of concern – so both parties need to be ‘fully present’ and focused. Identifying right from the outset exactly what the client’s issue is, how it came about and what is maintaining it. The client identifies realistically what they need to gain from the session and the therapist checks with them during the session, that the work is on track and that the client considers it is being helpful and productive.
  4. As an important area of support the therapist would encourage the client to identify and review the internal and external resources available to them and what might need adding to the list if required.
  5. This is solution-focused work using both approach-informed ideas and those of the client – this is a collaborative process aimed at helping the client become ‘unstuck’. It may even help them to ‘travel the rest of their journey without therapeutic support’.
  6. Good pacing of the work is key together with an enabling of an emotional connection to what has and is happening about the issue raised. It helps if the client experiences a sense of the solution to their problem during the session as this will aid with the cementing of any action plan agreed. The client summarises what has been learned from the session. A follow-up conversation to check progress is recommended and arranged if the client so wishes.

Windy then ably and empathically demonstrated with one of the delegates present a brief example of this process which was informing to watch. Windy would very much like all therapists to use SST if they feel it is right for their way of working.

Thank you Windy for an informative and beneficial evening talk.

Jacqueline Holloway