This is very well articulated, Gregg, and clearly the result of many years of deep study and reflection.

Years ago, I had a therapist who said, "Psychotherapy is education... with a very special focus." I never forgot that, and I still agree with him. As you wrote, "I am suspicious of approaches that try to reduce it to a one size fits all way of thinking", I found myself responding, "Yes!". There is no one way to do therapy, just as there is no therapy dyad exactly like this one at this moment in their shared endeavor, just as there is no one way to teach and learn... However, many of us know a good teacher/therapist and teacher-student/therapist-patient dyad when we see one, and your attempt to describe those shared qualities is a good and important one.