Dear Adele
I am glad you have found valuable things in the posts you received, including my own. I am glad, too, that you have been able to write out these ‘meanderings’ – sometimes the writing out of things is in itself very therapeutic.

You have covered a huge range of issues, including loss, denial, exhaustion, health etc. You have some amazing strengths to have survived all this. I guess you need a step by step healing process.

The way your therapist behaved is, in my opinion, very poor practice. I think one of the most basic components of any therapeutic practice is attentive, client-centred listening. It makes me quite angry that you should have to listen to a therapist using your session-time to talk about herself. It is imperative that the therapist acts in a way that shows the session is not about her, but about the client. If a therapist can offer nothing other than listening, at least this means that she will have begun to understand the client and the client’s world. She can also begin to see whether she is the right person for the work in hand or whether she should refer on – and, if it is the latter, offer some guidance about other therapists. Listening in itself can be hugely helpful and is not harmful, unlike talking unwisely.

I wonder how you find therapists, where you are. Here (UK), there are various reputable directories, which list only well-trained people, who have committed also to ongoing professional development. One of them is BACP (British Assoc for Counselling and Psychotherapy), which does have an International search section, but I don’t know if it covers where you are. No doubt you have similar facilities? And it can be useful to get a recommendation from someone you trust.

With good wishes,