Dear Steve and your Wife and Family,
My understanding from what you have told me about Steve's two therapy sessions so far, is that firstly and her first therapy session with Steve the therapist said she was going to touch upon Steve's sore points, which first of all sounds a very radical approach to me, and some radical approaches are very good, but also anything radical can also often be beyond the pale or beyond the norm. The fact that Steve's therapist said she was going to touch upon Steve's sore points, and not explore and/or heal them, doesn't sound quite right or truly radical to me at all, as it sounds a bit like rubbing salt into the sore points or wounds, and quite frankly a bit sadistic.
The other thing about Steve's therapist which strikes me straight away about her, is that she asked him to talk about his painful or hurt feelings and his childhood and so on, and then told him at the end of this first therapy session that she can't help him, which is very transparent to me, and tells me that her approach is to create the interpretations or explanations of Steve's depression, and then expect Steve to come up with the all of solutions. This is all topsy-turvy, because any good or decent therapist knows, that it should always be the other way round, that the therapist asks or encourages the client to come up with their explanations and interpretations of why they think they are depressed and so on, and then the therapist either agrees with those client interpretations or offers different interpretations of her own as a choice or alternative, and then the therapist provides solutions to the clients interpretations. However, more humanistic therapy, looks at both the therapists explanations or interpretations and the clients solutions, and also the therapist's interpretations and solutions, so then both the therapist and client can engage in some mutual learning and learn from each other.
Either way, it is not right at all for the therapist to create all of the explanations, and then demand that the client provide no explanations or interpretations him or herself but just all of the solutions, because what's more, it is a double-bind and a no-win situation (you are damned if you do and damned if you don't), as no matter what solutions the client ever did want to either invent or truly find for him or herself in therapeutic and client individual or shared exploration, it is always going to be at odds and in contradiction with the therapist's explanations and interpretations - when she doesn't actually have any solutions at all - but she is trying to trick or confuse Steve that her interpretations and explanations are actually solutions, which is just not at all true or reality, and which I think can actually over-time send a person mad.
The fact that this therapist asked Steve about his hurt feelings and childhood, and then told him that he feels guilty and abandoned because he never had a father (which is a very outdated Freudian view and theory anyway), by her saying this, what is totally irrational and contradictory about this, is that this therapist is just increasing Steve's feelings or guilt and abandonment, by then saying at the end of her so-called therapy session, that she can't or won't help Steve because he can't come up with any solutions for himself or agree and adapt to her authoritarian approach very submissively - and more ludicrously by sadistically rubbing more salt into his sore points and wounds and by also saying that she is going to completely abandon him and make him feel guilty for all of this.
As for this therapist's view that Steve is very depressed, stressed-out, and suffering, because he never had or knew his father and feels guilty and abandoned by his father - and which she wanted to actually abandon him for and make him feel even more guilty and far worse - I don't believe that is at all true for one moment, and I'll tell you why. It may be the case that there is a sliver of truth in her theory, in that Steve's and your belief-systems do not believe that single-parent families are of any kind of equal love, care, value, and worth in comparison to two-parent families, and in that way his childhood parental family may not of met up to Steve's nor your social and personal family ideal, ideas, and expectations. However, I have met Steve's mother many times in the past, and I know that she was a very good, loving, and a great mother to him.
What's more, all the scientific evidence and objective data, tells myself and others, that if it was true, reality, and at all the case that Steve's fatherless childhood was any substantial and real factor in his present suffering, anxiety, and depression, then this would have negatively influenced and affected him very badly and made him a very bad father to his own and your children. Steve may not of been a perfect father to his and your children, but I do know that he was in no real way a bad father to his own and your children - certainly no better or worse than many other parents and family - who also try their very best for their children and are considered as fairly loving and normal.
Peter H. Donnelly