Melissa Steptoe

Melissa Steptoe

Registered Member MBACP

Contact information

Phone number

Contact Melissa

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Therapist - Basildon

Basildon SS16
Sessions from £45.00


  • Concessionary rates


  •  Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays from 12pm until 8pm (last session 7pm)

I will usually respond to emails or messages during these times, although I aim to respond with 48 hours.

If you call me, I am more likely to answer within these hours. If I don’t answer, and you want me to call you back, please leave a message or text me, including your name and a number that is safe for me to call you on. If you just call and don’t leave a message, I won’t call you back because I don’t know if it’s safe/confidential. 


  • Currently available online only, via Zoom.
  • Sessions available during the above office hours.
  • Sessions are usually weekly on the same day at the same time.


  • £45 weekdays, £50 Saturdays, £25 concession rate for a 50-minute session.
  • Concession rate availability: for people on a low income, limited number of slots, weekday sessions starting between 12pm and 4pm only.
  •  I ask that assessment sessions are paid for in advance (same cost and length as a normal session). Normal sessions can be paid for within 24 hours of the session.

About me and my therapy practice

Integrative therapy adapted to you, online on Zoom. Special interests: working with LGBTQIA+ clients and Gender, Sexual & Relationship Diversity; and working with people experiencing antagonistic or narcissistic relationships.


I know that reaching out for support can be difficult and feel scary. Please feel free to get in touch with any questions, or to talk about counselling. I’ll be happy to help.


Therapy is a safe space for 50 minutes every week, when you can talk openly and honestly in confidence. You won’t be told what to do or judged, and hopefully you’ll feel heard, believed, and understood. 


  • Working with LGBTQIA+ Clients; and Gender, Sexual and Relationship Diversity (GSRD)

It can be helpful to have a therapist with awareness of GSRD so that as a client you don’t have to educate your therapist, or worry about being judged or not being understood. 

Sometimes this is the focus of therapy, a lot of the time it isn’t because we have relationship, work, mental health, and life struggles like everyone else. Either way, it can help to know that therapy is a safe place to bring all of yourself, your relationships, and your life.

I have worked with many clients who have LGBTQIA+, non-binary, poly and kink identities or experiences, including as a volunteer counsellor at a LGBT+ charity for 4 years, & have completed training in this area.

  • Working with people experiencing antagonistic or narcissistic relationships

Likewise, it can be helpful to have a therapist who understands the toll of being in a relationship that is full of conflict, and who understands that clients who are struggling with an antagonistic partner, family member, friend or colleague might need different tools to navigate these relationships than the usual good communication toolkit (talking about your feelings, taking turns talking etc.). Other techniques, like engaging less and setting good boundaries, can help you stay emotionally safer.

Practice description

As an integrative therapist, I adapt how I work and use the approaches and tools that are the best fit for you, so you get the most out of our sessions. That said, I think that having a good relationship with your therapist is at least as important as the type of therapy you have, which is why having an assessment session is useful to see how we get on together.

I usually start therapy working in a more humanistic way so we can build a trusting relationship. I try to see the world from your perspective and understand who you are and what you’re struggling with. I offer you acceptance not judgement; I will be honest with you and authentic in the hope that you will feel able to be honest and be yourself, and talk about what is really bothering you. Occasionally I can work in just a person-centred way if it suits a client. Most of the time, I will introduce elements of other types of therapy, depending on what I think will most benefit you.

I sometimes integrate, or use elements of: psychodynamic therapy (e.g., if you find yourself repeating patterns in your relationships, you might be influenced by something in your past, and you can’t change this until you become aware of it); Transactional Analysis (e.g., using the concepts of “Parent-Adult-Child” or the “Drama Triangle” to help clients understand how they are relating to other people, and make changes if necessary); Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (tools like the ABC model can help us look at how your thoughts, feelings and actions are linked and can sometimes keep you stuck in a loop, and how you can break out of that); Gestalt Therapy; Acceptance and Commitment Therapy; creative therapy; Existential therapy; and others. I also sometimes use mindfulness techniques and psychoeducation (e.g., helping clients understand patterns in antagonistic or abusive relationships, and how this differs from healthy relationships). 

My first session

The first step is to arrange an assessment session. 

After you contact me, I'll get in touch to agree a time and date for an assessment session. I’ll try to respond within 48 hours, probably during my office hours. If you call my mobile and I don't answer, please leave a message including your name and a number that's safe to call you on.  

An assessment session is different to a normal counselling session. I need to direct the flow more than usual and ask you some questions, because I need to check that counselling with me is an appropriate form of support for you. I need to find out what brings you to therapy and what you hope to gain from it; we will discuss what counselling is and how we might work together; you can ask any questions you may have; and we can see if we get on and are likely to work well together. 

Assessments are online via Zoom and are the same length and cost as a normal session (see "Availability" above).

Before we have an assessment session:

  1. I will send you a copy of my “Data Protection and Privacy Policy”, which I will need you to read, sign and return before the session. This is so that you are aware of confidentiality in counselling, and its limits, before you disclose personal information. It is also important that you know and agree to how I use your data (to provide counselling only), how I keep your data safe, and your data protection rights.
  2. I will also send you a copy of my “Counselling Agreement” and “Information Leaflet” just to read, so you are aware of how I work and so you can ask any questions during the assessment.
  3. I will need you to complete a form with some basic information, like your name, contact details, availability, and GP details.
  4. I ask that assessment sessions are paid for in advance. 

After the assessment session:

  • If we decide to work together, we’ll sign a “Counselling Agreement” so we know what to expect of each other. 
  • If we decide not to work together, I will try to direct you to alternative or more appropriate support.

What I can help with

Abuse, AIDS/HIV, Anger management, Anxiety, Autism spectrum, Bereavement, Cancer, Cultural issues, Depression, Disability, Health related issues, Identity issues, LGBTQ+ counselling, Loss, Menopause, Mood disorder, Neurodiversity, OCD, Redundancy, Relationships, Self esteem, Self-harm, Sex-related issues, Sexual identity, Sexuality, Stress, Vegan allied, Work related issues

Types of therapy

CBT, Existential, Gestalt, Humanistic, Integrative, Person centred, Psychodynamic, Solution focused brief therapy, Transactional analysis

Clients I work with

Adults, Older adults, Trainees

How I deliver therapy

Long term sessions, Online therapy, Short term sessions