Evolving Single Session Therapy: An Online Learning Series...

Drawing from the genre of contemporary Brief Therapies this online learning series provides a forum to extend your single session therapy skill-set from the comfort of your home or office.  Together we are evolving single session therapy - pushing what is possible and exploring novel ways to proceed. Each module is available to purchase for your agency, staff team to explore the ideas together in a supported learning environment.  

A foundation in single session practice is recommended.   


The rites of passage metaphor (Van Gennep 1961, Turner 1969, Durrant, 1993, White, 2000) drawn from anthropology structures change as movement.  When single session therapy and therapy in general is re-conceptualized as a rite of passage, it has implication not only for how we conceive of our time together but for how we hear people’s distress, and understand their experience of crisis or the effects trauma. This re-conceptualization is one of the most important applications of theory to practice in single session therapy and this module will allow us to explore it more fully and begin to consider other lesser known metaphors for change opening new ground for therapeutic conversations.  (3 hrs) 

Participants will explore:

  • How the ‘rites of passage’ metaphor re-shapes single session therapy
  • Hearing distress as action
  • Many new questions to assist people facing distress and despair
  • Less known metaphors for change and what they make possible 


In considering outcomes, admittedly there is no perfect therapy however data suggesting positive outcomes does not mean we are exempt from facilitating a process that has been hazardous, flawed, or incongruent with our intentions.  Most often ethics discussions are concerned with well know genres of ethics such as rule based ethics or ethics of control.  What is often missing and most relevant to todays single session practice is discussion of relational ethics. In entering into relational ethics discussions we transcend 'model speak’ keeping the experience of the other at the forefront of practice.  In WI/SST there is tremendous responsibility to give attention to how we are with Others as we may not have the opportunity to see someone again to repair a mishap. In this online module we will explore relational ethics of single session therapy.  This invites a focus on ‘how we do what we do’ and the possible effects on peoples’ lives.   (1.5 hrs)

Participants will explore:

  • Distinctions between ethics of collaboration and ethics of control
  • Relational ethics and implications for single session practice
  • Ideas about resisting replicating the politics of culture in therapy


While the walk-in clinic and single session conversations are not meant as a replacement for direct crisis services that provide personal risk assessment, there is a great deal that can be accomplished while shoring up safety. It is important to make visible the tensions and possibilities that emerge when we meet with people at the walk-in therapy clinic who express a compromised sense of personal safety, overwhelming life circumstances, and/or struggle to see the possibilities for their future. I recognize that these conversations can be messy- that is slow to progress, difficult to know how to proceed at times, yet have the potential for life changing ripples. In this module we’ll move away from the notion of the experience of crisis as a breakdown or malfunction of a person’s coping to explore the idea of experiencing crisis as relating to a transition- a shift from role, context or identity that’s no longer viable.  This idea opens up many conversations in singe session therapy that honour people’s pain and yet are hope-friendly, and possibility informed.  (3 hrs)

Participants will explore:

  • The concept of crisis as transition
  • Questions that honour pain and distress while un-clouding hope and possibility
  • Ideas for shoring up safety and circles of support


© Scot J. Cooper Inc. 2020