Introducing One-at-a-Time Therapy, a new counseling service from the UAB EACC

One-at-a-Time Therapy (OAAT) is an evidence-based therapy model designed to address a specific issue in one session. OAAT enables you to develop strategies for moving forward in a single, goal-oriented therapy session. Research has shown that for many people attending one session of therapy is enough to help them get started on the changes they want to make in their lives or to take steps to address the issues that are causing them concern.

OAAT is not focused on the roots of the issue or history of the problem; it is focused on gaining immediate, helpful insights and discovering the steps you can take right now to make changes in your life.

One-at-a-Time Therapy is currently available for clients seeking individual counseling.

One-At-A-Time Therapy FAQs


What can I expect from an OAAT session?

During a One-at-a-Time Therapy (OAAT) session at the UAB Employee Assistance & Counseling Center, you will meet with a counselor for one session with no commitment to return and with the understanding that while you may choose to meet only once, more services are available if needed.

During this single session, you and the counselor will meet with the focused intention of helping you deal with your most pressing current issue/problem by focusing on possible options or solutions, and creating a plan of action based on your strengths and available resources.

The goal of OAAT is for you to leave the session with new ideas and strategies to try out and to allow you time to put these into action. At the end of this session, your counselor will arrange a follow up phone call to find out how the new ideas and strategies are working out and to discuss options for additional support. If you feel you need additional support, you may opt for additional services at that time. The research shows that about 50 percent of individuals find that this single session meets their needs, while about 50 percent opt for additional services.

When is OAAT appropriate?

The One-at-a-Time Therapy (OAAT) approach may be used for a wide range of issues. In fact, many people find that regardless of the issue that they are struggling with, one session of therapy can be enough to help them get unstuck and begin moving forward again.

Issues that may be suited for the OAAT approach include:

  • Life transitions
  • Break-ups
  • Decision making
  • Relationship challenges
  • A recent conflict
  • Time management
  • Stress and anxiety management
  • Concerns about a friend or loved one who is having a difficult time
  • Immediate concerns in your life that that you are ready to tackle with a plan of action

OAAT is not recommended for:

  • Crisis interventions
  • Counseling emergencies
  • Chronic mental health problems
  • Prolonged self-exploration
  • Persistent/habitual issues

Is OAAT a good fit for you?

People choose One-at-a-Time Therapy (OAAT) for many of the same reasons they choose to attend ongoing counseling and other services. The focus of OAAT, however, is on addressing your most pressing concern in a contained and focused approach, drawing on your strengths and resources, creating strategies for you to try, and giving you time to put those strategies in place.

OAAT may also be good fit for you if:

  • You have a good understanding of what your issue is, but you just can’t figure out what to do about it.
  • You are action-oriented and are looking for strategies to implement quickly.
  • You want to try out therapy and learn how talk therapies help by addressing thoughts, feelings and behaviors created by personal circumstances, psychological issues and/or life events.
  • You want to touch-base with a counselor about a specific issue but do not need a traditional course of long or short-term counseling.

OAAT is not a substitute for ongoing therapy or a quick fix for bigger issues. It is an evidence-based option for issues that are happening right now and that you are ready to act to solve in the present moment.

OAAT Therapy vs. Life Coaching

Key differences between OAAT Therapy and Life Coaching:

  • Life Coaching is goal oriented, needs follow up appointments, has homework, and is focused on making a plan and moving forward.
  • OAAT therapy is problem based, dealing in the here and now and what actions you can take today or in the near future to help solve the problem.

What is Life Coaching?

  • Life coaching incorporates collaboration between coach and client to achieve identified goals. These goals can be in areas such as work performance, weight loss, organization, or any area of life you are seeking greater success.
  • Life coaching is strengths-based and focuses on skill building, planning, and organization.
  • Life coaching is focused in the present and is forward-looking, assuming a positive view of the future, and is intended to help you succeed.
  • Life coaching creates movement and change, which is supported through goal setting and accountability check-ins.
  • Life coaching helps clients identify challenges, and turn those challenges into victories.
  • Life coaching is action oriented and focused on results.

What is OAAT Therapy?

  • OAAT therapy is designed to address a specific issue in one session and enable you to develop strategies for moving forward in a single, goal-oriented therapy session.
  • OAAT therapy is focused on gaining immediate, helpful insights and discovering steps you can take right now to make changes in your life.
  • During a OAAT therapy session you will deal with your most pressing concern/problem by focusing on possible solutions.

OAAT may also be good fit for you if:

  • You have a good understanding of what your issue is, but you just can’t figure out what to do about it.
  • You are action-oriented and are looking for strategies to implement quickly.
  • You want to try out therapy and learn how talk therapies help by addressing thoughts, feelings and behaviors created by personal circumstances, psychological issues and/or life events.
  • You want to touch-base with a counselor about a specific issue but do not need a traditional course of long or short-term counseling.


Make an appointment...

To schedule a single One-at-a-Time Therapy session complete the One-at-a-Time Intake Form on the New Client Paperwork page.

Once you submit this document, an EACC staff member will contact you to set up an appointment. After your OAAT session, you will have time to reflect upon your insights and try out the strategies you develop. The therapist will schedule a brief follow-up session a few weeks after your OAAT appointment to check in and see how your strategies are working and to provide further resources if needed. If you opt for additional services, the therapist will discuss available services and resources at that time.