If you're currently receiving counselling, here are two signs that the counsellor is good at what they do.
They can recall most of the important information that you shared with them during previous sessions
Most counsellors have several patients on their rota at any one time. As such, it's normal for these professionals to occasionally forget minor details about their patients.
However, a good counsellor who has excellent listening skills, and who genuinely cares about their patients, will not need to constantly refer back to their notes during sessions or need to ask their patients to repeat significant information that they already disclosed during past sessions.
If you've chosen a good counsellor, they should be able to recall all of the major facts that you have shared with them, particularly those which directly relate to the reason why you are undergoing counselling.
For example, if you suffer from depression and have explained to your counsellor that this mental illness is largely the result of having been in an abusive relationship for a long period of time, then this is something that they should be able to remember without any help from you or their notes.
They don't agree with everything you say
A counsellor should not only say the things that you want to hear. Whilst it can be comforting and validating to have them agree with the beliefs that you express during your counselling appointments, a good counsellor who is determined to help you recover from whatever issue you are struggling with will not simply nod and smile when you share an opinion.
Instead, they will challenge the ideas that you share with them if they believe that those ideas are impeding your progress and making it harder for you to overcome your psychological or situational problems.
For example, if you have social anxiety and are convinced that you are incapable of socialising in a healthy manner, your counsellor may question this idea. They may, for example, point out that you are a good conversationalist during your counselling sessions and that this suggests that you do have some social skills.
Whilst you may not enjoy having your deep-rooted beliefs questioned in this manner and may even find yourself feeling hurt or frustrated when this happens, your counsellor's willingness to do this is a good sign, as it means that they truly want you to get better and are prepared to say things that may make you dislike them (temporarily, at least) if those things will put you on the path to making a full recovery.