About Us

Who We Are

My name is Steve Hockett and the counselling service I provide is called Alton Counselling Services.  I am a member of BACP.  I qualified in 1996 and have been providing a professional service since then.  I have an Advanced Diploma in Counselling.  In 2008 I qualified as an Adoption Counsellor registered through Barnardo’s.  This enables me to work with birth families, adoptees and adoptive parent(s).  I practice in central Southend with close-by parking and easy access by bus and train.

I attend regular training and adhere to regular ongoing supervision.  My fees are £45 per 50 minute session.  In certain circumstances this can be reduced to £25 and I am happy to discuss this.  Couple counselling is £45 per couple per 50 minute session. I very much appreciate how difficult it can be to initiate the first consultation..  It is important to show warmth and empathy and provide a safe confidential counselling setting.  The number of sessions is flexible and is decided by you, the client, in consultation with myself.   It is always the client’s decision how often they attend counselling.  Sometimes clients take a break and return when any difficulties arise. Sometimes clients take a break and return when any difficulties arise or just to review where they are at that present time.

My experiences in counselling are as follows:

I have worked in primary and secondary schools and therefore have a good understanding of children and young people.  Within the school system I have worked on self-esteem and bullying issues.  I also very much enjoy working with families and looking at their relationship needs.  For much of my counselling career I have worked with children and young people who have been in the care system.

I have worked in GP surgeries where the GP would refer clients to me for counselling to help their patient move forward.  Counselling is never a quick fix and even small steps are progress!  As a client you would only see me as my practice has no other counsellors.

Some of the areas I work in are:

  • General Anxiety and Depression
  • Life or work-related issues; bullying and sexual harassment
  • Couple/Marriage breakdown – communication breakdown; learning how to be non-judgemental in a relationship; building up trust; learning how to compromise and listen to each other
  • Sexuality Issues and relationships
  • Children and Young people in the care system and family breakdown
  • Adoptive Parent(s) and their adopted children - it is a great challenge adopting children especially working with those who have suffered from physical and emotional trauma – I help them with attachment issues/behavioural issues/educational problems at school. I have been into schools to explain attachment issues to the staff and explain how it affects behaviour and emotions.
  • I work with children with behavioural issues within the family and the school environment helping staff and parents put in strategies that are achievable
  • Autism/ADHD/ADD

I work with young people and adults who are on the autistic spectrum.  I have two grown up children who are on the spectrum.  I work with individuals/families and help schools have a greater understanding autism.

  • Self-Harm
  • I work with young people who self-harm and help them move forward, where appropriate I work with the parents as well.

If you would like to contact me for an informal discussion please do so or if you prefer you can contact me through email.

What our clients say

Steve’s guidance and advice has been invaluable to us and our family. His understanding, kindness and humour has really helped us to feel like we have a space as a family to share our thoughts and worries. Thank you so much Steve we don’t know where we would be if we hadn’t had these sessions.

From a family receiving counselling from Steve

I have been supervising L (a boy aged 8) while he has been receiving counselling with Steve over many months.
The sessions have been held virtually and have proven very successful for L giving him a voice to discuss important matters and to discuss emotions and life experiences.
The benefits of the sessions are that L has the freedom to explore his feelings whilst being closely guided by Steve. More recently the sessions have taken place in L’s ‘spaceship’ where he has a variety of resources which Steve quickly engages L with. L is able to explore through play enabling Steve to get relevant messages across to L in a low-key, drip-fed manner.
L has developed a strong and positive relationship with a calm and responsive male role model in Steve. Steve has kindly sent resources to L to enable the play to continue.
L is starting to consider the message received from Steve and using them within his school day.
It has been a pleasure to be part of this journey with L and Steve and I am sure that L will have happy memories spent with Steve.

From a school Nurture & Thrive Lead/Deputy Safeguarding Lead/Senior Mental Health Lead at a primary school.

I have been reflecting on everything the past few weeks and I just truly cannot believe how far I have come regarding the past and my struggles. Even when I have bad days now, I just accept it and move on. The counselling has been amazing and I feel so grateful for all of your help.


Steve helped me understand the traumas from my past and to be able to look forward and not backwards.

Feedback from Birth Parent

We came to Steve with our relationship really struggling. He has helped us have a better understanding of each other and we now communicate better.

We found Steve easy to talk with and particular liked goal setting.

Feedback Couple Counselling

Your suggested strategies have been very helpful and our son has always looked forward to the zoom counselling sessions and your understanding of his needs to be visual has really been beneficial.

Feedback from parent of autistic 10 year old

‘The way you engage with the young person and your awareness has given me a better understanding of him.’

Feedback from school teaching assistant who assists a 6 year child who I counsel on zoom sessions at his school.

Your support has been so refreshing as you understand and you communicated in a way that my son understood.

Feedback from the parent of a 10 year old autistic child

Thank you for helping me with strategies to help me cope at home and school. Thank you for your sense of humour.

feedback from a 14 year old with autism

Steve has been a tremendous asset to the well-being of the team at Adventure Island and Sealife Adventure showing a passion and care for turning some very difficult situations around. He has always been on-call whenever the need has arisen, and we look forward to working with him for many years to come.

James Miller

Steve has always been a kind and non-judgemental counsellor. He is very easy to talk to but is not afraid to challenge your thinking when necessary.
I am autistic and Steve understands, through personal experience, some of the specific challenges this can present.
He has greatly helped me with a range of complex issues and the support and guidance I have received from him has been truly life changing. I would thoroughly recommend Steve’s services to anyone going through a challenging time.


I came to Steve when I was at a very low point in my life. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. Steve is non-judgemental, listens, understands and provides the best support and guidance to make a person stronger. He has helped me through an extremely tough year and I can say that with his help, I am back to being the person that was always there inside but unable to see it. I now call him my Mary Poppins! He was able to help me fix things in my life, and now his work is done he can continue to help others. I cannot recommend him highly enough!


For the last 7 years I have been seeing Steve regularly and would highly recommend his services. I was put in touch with him via Barnardo’s, when I was seeking counselling specifically around the area of being an adoptee. This has proved invaluable and my wife and I are very thankful for Steve. Not only was I able to talk about anything without judgement, but I also was able to work through attachment issues in connection with family relationships and also negotiated a depressive episode while I was seeing Steve. I believe he has helped me a lot in self understanding and in relationships generally.


I saw Steve for over a year. There were a number of issues I wanted to work through, and then I had a serious health problem which he supported me with as well, so I booked additional sessions. Steve is easy to talk to and listens and adapts his approach to what works for you. You feel in control of the sessions and can focus on what you want to get out of them. He has a special interest in autism so if this is something that affects you personally or someone close to you then he will have a real understanding and insight into it.


Steve has supported both myself and my teenage son (with Asperger’s) since 2015 through mental health issues, educational difficulties and other aspects of the colourful life my son presents with!
He has literally been a life support through some immensely tough times for us indeed.
He is always kind, extremely calm, a wealth of knowledge and flexible with locations.
We couldn’t have come so far without his help and continuing support.

Testimonials from Asperger’s Syndrome

We went to see Steve as a family to help relationships within our family. My husband and I have 3 children and at times life was getting pretty hard work, Steve treated the children brilliantly, made them laugh and made them feel totally at ease. It gave us and the children quality time to talk and listen out of the home environment. It is still today a work in progress with the children’s relationships but greatly improved. It was very worthwhile and I feel that anytime we may need to revisit we can always call on Steve again.

Testimonials of Family Counselling

My husband and I have been having marriage counselling with Steve for a couple of months and have found it so helpful. Steve is so friendly and made us both feel so at each after our first session which made it very easy to return. We found that he listened to both points of view and understood both points of view. We always left feeling like a weight was lifted. We took fully on board any advice and ideas that were given to us and once implemented found things became so much easier for us. Learning to understand and listen to each other was key and I am thankful that things have changed for the better with our relationship.

Testimonials of Marriage Counselling

Thank you so much Steve for enabling me to move on in my life around many difficult issues. I have grown and taken different paths, knowing that you were always there when I needed someone to talk to. I am so grateful for all the support that you have given me, so thank you again.

Testimonials from Clients

I’ve been seeing Steve for several weeks now. He’s helped me deal with problems I didn’t know I actually had. It’s still very much ‘work in progress’ but Steve is very easy to talk to and makes you feel very much at ease.

Testimonials from Clients

Steve has helped me achieve some clarity in what has been responsible for causing me problems. He has given me the tools, through discussion and role play, to face the problems and cope with them. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that help the most. I don’t think I would be in the good place I am now without his support.

Testimonials from Clients

During the time I have know Steve Hockett and used his counselling services he has helped me immensely. Steve has shown compassion and understanding of my problems but puts them into perspective on every occasion by helping me see things in a more rational light and by suggesting effective coping strategies. I unreservedly recommend Steve Hockett’s Counselling services having used a few in the past!

Testimonials from Clients

I would not hesitate to recommend Steve to any person who has a problem in an area where Steve specialises. Although he has got no magic wand he allows me to discuss the situation and offer insight preventing the problem from becoming insurmountable. Steve is always at hand and is non-judgemental and observes the sincerest confidentiality.

Testimonials from Clients

Steve Hockett has been my counsellor for quite a long time now. He has helped me deal with some very deep routed issues and several bereavements. Having counselling can be daunting but Steve put me at ease from the start; I trust him and feel I can talk to him about things I’d never discuss with anyone else. I feel my counselling sessions with Steve have helped me get my life on track and build my confidence

Testimonials from Clients

Thank you for everything you have done for me this year – your support and help in guiding me through the toughest moments of this year. I am now looking forward to the future

Testimonials from Clients

I am now more assertive in my relationships and cope much better in stressful situation

Testimonials from Clients

I can now stand back from things and challenge my negative thought

Testimonials from Clients

The counselling I received has been brilliant and helped me move forward in life

Testimonials from Clients

As adoptive parents we really enjoyed working with Steve as he has a great way with kids. He really helped us with strategies for coping with their challenging behaviour and attachment issues

Testimonials from Adoptive Parents

I’m grateful for Steve’s specialist knowledge in helping me come home to myself by overcoming issues related to adoption

Testimonials from Clients

I’m very grateful for Steve’s help and advice of how to cope and deal with Asperger Syndrome and to accept that the condition I have is part of who I am

Testimonials from Clients

I think we all really benefited from this counselling.  It has been a life-line at a very difficult time.  Our counsellor has really helped the emotional development of the children

Testimonial of Family Counselling

Thank you for being real with me and helping me to find a happier and more fulfilling way forward

Testimonials from Clients

If I am honest my time in counselling with you has changed my life completely

Testimonials from Clients

I am lucky to have the power and flexibility to learn and change.  I realise it is ongoing Steve – I thank you for your part in that achievement

Testimonials from Clients

My goals are different, rational, without pressure and developing into what the real me wants

Testimonials from Clients

Your professional assistance and the many approaches I took to change my outlook put me in a space where I wanted to just enjoy life and bathe in the feelings that I struggled to reach for many years

Testimonials from Clients

My life is richer now and although a lot of what is around me remains the same my framing is totally different

Testimonials from Clients

To have someone understand completely and validate how I’m feeling; no if’s and but’s or maybe and without trying to fix it

Testimonials from Clients

I now feel accepted, valued and worthwhile

Testimonials from Clients

He listens to my way of explaining things

Testimonial of Adopted 12 year old child

Steve has helped hugely, for us to make sense of our children’s deep hurt.  He has helped us deal with their behaviour

Testimonials from Adoptive Parents

Our counsellor has been very patient and extremely supportive of us during the ups and downs in trying to maintain a relationship with our son

Testimonials from Adoptive Parents

Steve has personal experience of challenging adopted children which really helps

Testimonials from Adoptive Parents

Steve’s easy to talk to and put me at ease

Testimonials from Adoptive Parents

The fact that Steve is an adoptive parent means he can relate to our concerns.  He’s very easy to talk to

Testimonials from Adoptive Parents

I have more empathy and understanding of the children’s behaviour

Testimonials from Adoptive Parents