Gill Hession lives in Burra, Shetland from where, as Northern Light Counselling, she provides Online and Face-to-Face support. As Gill says: “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”.

Gestalt Counsellor

gill hession northern light
Gill Hession

“I qualified as a Gestalt counsellor 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. Gestalt therapy can be very creative, and in partnership with the client, I enjoy exploring different ways of looking at issues and finding resolutions.”

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

Gill also has a degree in Person Centred Counselling and Psychotherapy. As she says: “My role as therapist is to put myself in the client’s shoes in order to help understand their situation and to help create a warm, safe, non-judgemental working relationship in order to support them successfully”.

Northern Light Counselling Face-To-Face

“Face to face counselling is a more personal form of therapy than, say, online counselling. It helps to build trust, and can lead toward the development of a warm, safe and supportive relationship. Research has shown that your relationship with your therapist is really important in how successful you find any talking therapy.”

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

Northern Lights by Shetland Photographer Ryan Nisbet

Northern Light Counselling Online

“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. For these reasons, as Northern Light Counselling I also offer online support.”


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