‘It turns out that a lot of things don’t really predict excellence very well, such as the particular approach that is favored, the particular degree or license, or even the number of years in the field. What does matter the most is that the therapist takes the time and effort to find out from you regularly and systematically what is working best for you and what is not working much at all. Solliciting meaningful feedback from clients is often a hallmark of the best outcomes.

Truly exceptional therapists are not just masters of technique, brilliant theoreticians, and extremely knowledgeable about human experience, they also hold certain personal characteristics that empower their influence and interventions. You will notice, almost immediately, that they exude an aura of wisdom and reassurance. They are compassionate and caring, utterly composed, even in the face of crises you discuss. They have the ability – and the willingness – to remain completely and fully present in the moment, often in such a way that it feels like they are reading your mind and heart. They are highly flexible and pragmatic, which makes them well equipped to continually adapt what they are doing, and how they are responding, depending on exactly what is required. Just as importantly, they are able to model and demonstrate in their own lives what they consider most critical to teach you. And yet… and yet… even with all these skills and capabilities, they remain modest and humble, recognizing that, ultimately, it’s the client who deserves most of the credit for any progress gained’.

From the book On being a therapist, by Jeffrey Kottler, pages 247 and 248.