What makes a therapist? Certainly, there are different styles to every craft. But, there seem to be so many fundamentally different ways of functioning in the role of a therapist from psychoanalysis, to dialectical-behavioral, to interpersonal, among many others.
Each of these groups can have positive and negative things to say of the other styles both within and external to their own group.
Outside of those who simply declare themselves as therapists, I have seen grandmothers, teachers, and mentors who are finely attuned to the needs of a child or adult. Therapy involves, at the least, an empathic connection as well as compassion.
The interesting thing about therapists is that they can crop up as the most fascinating of people in the most unexpected places, providing healing and growth for more than just a few, even if I’ve never heard him call himself one: