One Session Therapy for Phobia

Jaime G. Miralles Online Therapist

BABCP Accredited CBT and EMDR Online Therapist.

One Session Treatment for Phobia or Single Session Therapy for Phobia.

This article will have a look at when this single session treatment for phobia came up, how this intervention works theoretically, how it looks practically.

However, if you have heard of a One session Therapy for Phobia, and want to discuss it, just contact me.

phobia therapy
phobia therapy

One Session Treatment for Phobia, where does it come from?

It is also known as OST, which coincidentally is the professor’s surname who developed it, Lars-Goran Ost (apologies for the misspelling).

This single session therapy developed from the clinical observation that seeing people for 8 to 10 sessions of 50 – 60 minutes therapy. It was observed by Ost that the anxiety reduction and habituation was sometimes minimal. Therefore, it begun to explore what would happen if anxiety would drop to the lowest possible in a single session.

Working with anxiety we take SUD (Subjective Unites of Distress), and these are rated 0 to 100 (100 being the most distressing.

I must agree with Ost observations, as I have realised with all the time I have practiced the known “therapy hour (50 minutes)” it sometimes not enough. Hence, I have moved to encourage people to longer sessions. However, this is another matter you can check here.

This single session therapy for phobia was developed in the 70’s and its manuals reviewed in the mid 2000’s

Phobia therapy: Single Session!?

As with many anxiety disorders, and based on CBT, there is always a miss interpretation or a magnified perception of what may happen, more often than not with a catastrophic flavour to it. Otherwise, the phobia would not be present or would have an impact on people’s day to day life.

The above is the cognitive element, and then there is a behavioural element. Anyone who believes a catastrophe would happen for any reason, understandably would not want to take the risk and avoid the situation to reduce the likelihood of the catastrophe to happen.

From a CBT perspective, we understand that the safety behaviour is inadvertently maintain the catastrophic believe. More often than not, people are aware that the fear/phobia is to some extend irrational.

Is really One Session Therapy for Phobia, only one session?

Well… not really.

So, the Single session Therapy for phobia has 3 sessions.

First session is done remotely, online, and it is a 60 to 90 minutes assessment. This session is used to gather information and ascertain that what you are experiencing is a phobia reaction.

Also, it is an opportunity to go through how the next session will look like.

This session sometimes brings traumatic events or episodes where the phobia was created. Not always the case in many cases, however, we will need to differentiate this. If there would be traumatic memories or events, then we may need to do some trauma work prior and the single session therapy, would certainly not be single.


successful phobia therapy

Second session it is whole day session, this means it could take 3 to 7 hours. It is completely down to the individual case, and the specific phobia.

This session involves coming in contact with the feared situation. At your OWN pace, in your OWN terms, and with YOUR GOALS in mind. So, if you wanted to be able to take a glass and a paper and take a spider out of your house, then once that is done in session, then that’s that. There won’t be need for you to do any further as that would not be what you came to therapy for.

You may be wondering; how does online CBT therapy deliver this part. So really it is not online. I arrange with clients to either come to a rented room or office, and we bring in specialists. So, if you were afraid of spiders, we would need a spider keeper. If you are afraid of needles/injections then we would get needles in the session. As I am a fully qualified nurse, we would not need to get anyone.

The above is a very brief explanation of what it may look like. If you want to know more specifics, you can contact me by clicking in the bottom below.

This session is very challenging and some people reports having vivid dreams about the phobic object after the session. This is perfectly normal.

One instruction for people to take from this session is to not avoid the phobic object and when coming across the phobic object take this as an opportunity to learn and to increase gains from therapy.

I usually set a detailed plan of action for the next 4 – 6 weeks to encourage therapy gains to continue to build.

Last session happens again remotely. This session happens after 6 weeks. We spend a 60-minute call to review how things are going, and coming up with a plan to continue reclaim your life and to increase the gains from therapy.

One Session Therapy for Phobia - in a brief

These is how a One Session Treatment for Phobia looks like in a very tiny nutshell. So please, do some more research for in depth information o contact me.

You, the same as others who have contacted me before, may be wondering how much would this cost. I could not give you an answer without having a 15 minutes free conversation with you. As each case may need different therapeutic elements. To contact me please click the bottom below.

Want to know more? read here or here.

Online CBT therapy enables people to access Specialist Therapist from anywhere and at any time.

If you would like to have 15 – 20 minutes FREE informal chat about your difficulties, please do not hesitate to Contact Me.

Accreditations and Memberships

Recognised by Health Insurances

Online CBT therapy enables people to access a Specialist Therapist from anywhere and at any time

Online CBT Therapy reduce the difficulties of having to deal with some of the barriers to access good quality therapy

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