Gill Hession has been a qualified counsellor for more than 28 years, having initially gained a qualification in Gestalt Counselling in the early ’90s. Gestalt means ‘part of a whole’ and recognises that there are all sorts of influences which may affect us, such as our upbringing, people around us and the environment. No matter what sort of experiences we have had, some of which may have brought us into therapy, it is how we experience these things HERE and NOW that may create problems for us.

gill hession
Gill Hession

Gill says:

Gestalt therapy can be very creative, and, in partnership with the client, I enjoy exploring different ways of looking at issues and finding resolutions. Sometimes this requires homework! I also have a degree in Person Centred Counselling and Psychotherapy. Person Centred therapy is similar in some ways to Gestalt. Both approaches believe that you, as the client, are the absolute expert on what is best for you. My role as therapist is to put myself in your shoes in order to help understand your situation (this is called empathy) and to help create a warm, safe, non-judgemental working relationship with you in order to support you moving forward constructively and successfully.

Face-to-Face Counselling

Face-to-face counselling is a personal form of therapy, which can also be delivered online using technology such as Zoom or Skype. Research suggests that this helps to build trust, and that this can serve as a stepping stone toward the development of a warm, safe and supportive relationship. Further research has shown that the relationship you have with your therapist is really important in how successful you find any talking therapy.

As a counsellor I am trained to notice things such as facial expressions or the way you are sitting. You might not be aware of these things, but they say a lot about how you are feeling and thinking. This allows me not only to accurately hear information, but also to perhaps hear and start trying to understand what you are not saying.

Face-to-face counselling, therefore, helps to develop and sustain good communication between us. It helps me to gain a deeper understanding of what you are saying. Furthermore, it helps you to gain new insight into your issues which can support you finding a way forward.

I hold sessions from my cosy, private counselling room in my home in Burra, Shetland, providing a confidential, nurturing and safe environment for us to work together.

What is Online Counselling?

Online counselling refers to counselling services through the internet and includes, for example, emails, IM (Instant Messaging) Facebook Messenger, Zoom, Facetime and Skype. These online platforms enable us to work face-to-face wherever you are in the world. Counsellor and client do not meet in a counselling room, they communicate through the internet. The client has the option to remain anonymous if he or she wishes.

Why Choose Online Counselling?

November Sky, Shetland

Online Counselling, or e-counselling, is an increasingly popular way of offering support, and is accessible when self-isolating. Traditional counselling requires counsellor and client to meet face-to-face, and this can be very beneficial for many people. Face-to-face counselling helps some people to feel a connection with their therapist. It enables the counsellor and client to see the reactions of the person sitting in front of them, helping to build a trusting, nurturing relationship.

However, there may be valid reasons why someone doesn’t want to meet a counsellor in person. For example, the client may have concerns about confidentiality, especially in a small community where there is a possibility that the counsellor might know a friend or relative.

There may be practical issues, such as lack of transport, limited available time, or a disability making it difficult to access traditional counselling services.

Cultural issues may also be a barrier. For example, there may be a reluctance to acknowledge the need for counselling support.

I live in a small island community and was initially drawn to online counselling when I realised how difficult it must be for some people here in Shetland to access support services if they fear others may find out that they are struggling.

The benefits of Online Counselling include:

  • Accessible when self-isolating
  • Being in control of where and when you communicate by email or Messenger
  • Saving money – no travel costs involved
  • Saving time – no journey or waiting time
  • Removing a potential stigma – it can be completely anonymous and there is no risk of bumping into people you know in the waiting room
  • Being as effective as face-to-face counselling
  • Easy access to counselling in your own home, particularly beneficial for people with a physical disability, or a social phobia

What Are the Fees?

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Charging a fee signifies a contracted professional business service. It recognises the training and experience of the counsellor. Just as important, it helps you to recognise that YOU are worthy of investment. You are looking after you, and that is one of the key goals of a counselling relationship.

As an experienced Counsellor it is important to me that my services are widely accessible. My reasonable rates also reflect my commitment to you as a user of my service and recognise the privilege of being invited to share your journey; this is priceless.

For online counselling you only need a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed, a reliable internet connection and a secure laptop or mobile device so we can communicate effectively.

For our face-to-face or online counselling sessions I will be in my counselling room in Shetland.


  • Burra and Trondra residents in Shetland: £40 for a 1-hour session, online or in person, from my counselling room in Shetland
  • Otherwise, £45 per 1-hour session, one-to-one, online or in person on Zoom, Facetime, Facebook Messenger or Skype
  • For 6 hour-long sessions online or in person, paid in advance: £200 (a reduction of £40-£70)

You choose the frequency (every week, every other week or whenever) and the duration (one-off, 6-sessions or whatever).


You may tell whoever you like, but I will never tell anyone what you have said or that you have been to see me. (I explain the rare exceptions in our first session.)

What Do I Do Now?

If you feel face-to-face or online counselling could be helpful for you, please click the link above. This will ask for you some basic information, and I will respond to you within 24 hours.


Photos: Gill Hession


Banner photo: Ryan Nisbet


Contact Gill Hession


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