Our vision

Mental health and wellbeing are essential to everyone and all of us deserve to live  a life unhindered by emotional stresses.

Counselling and therapy are proven methods for improving mental health and wellbeing, interrupting negative cycles of behaviour, improving self-esteem and resilience. This in turn facilitates independence, employability and the capacity to relate positively to others within our communities.

At The Bower Tree we believe that access to counselling and therapy should not be limited by age, financial situation, ethnicity or social background and our mission is to address this by offering low cost (or in some cases free) counselling, therapy and wellbeing sessions to individuals, groups and families in Sussex.

Need for the services offered by The Bower Tree may include, but not be limited to: family breakdown, separation, divorce, financial difficulties, bereavement, loss, long term illness, stress, abuse, trauma, shock, having specific or additional needs, or a family member with a disability or illness.

Referrals for therapy may come from a GP, or another charitable organisation, or you may choose to self-refer.

The Bower Tree currently have three projects that may be of benefit to individuals and organisations:

‘Under The Bower Online’ – 10 low cost counselling or therapy sessions via video call. The low cost fee is £150 and this covers the cost of initial consultation, assessment and clinical supervision of the counsellor or therapist. The 10 sessions are free of charge.

‘Walk & Talk’ – 10 low cost, face to face counselling sessions outside whilst walking. The low cost fees are the same as those for the online video calls listed above.

‘Talk Freely- NHS’ – super low cost online counselling for NHS staff.

‘Talk Freely – Schools” – super low cost face to face counselling, for students at school or other educational settings.

Please note – all of the above projects are with therapists or counsellors needing to complete supervised clinical placement hours in their first years of practice.

If you wish to work with a qualified counsellor or therapist, the low cost rates are £25 per session, with a minimum booking of 5 sessions.

For information on how to get help or make a self- referral for therapy, please email your enquiry to info@thebowertree.co.uk

The Founding Directors

Tara Canick MBACP – Founding Director

Tara has worked in educational settings for over 20 years and has a wealth of experience in working with children and adolescents.

In 2014 Tara retrained as an arts counsellor at Tobias School of Art & Therapy and holds a Level 7 ( Master equivalent) in transpersonal arts counselling through City & Guilds.

As well as holding private practice for children and adults, Tara continues to work as a therapist for several schools and charitable organisations across Sussex.

Diane Lock MBACP- Founding Director

Diane is a fully qualified therapeutic arts counsellor with extensive experience in helping families and individuals resolve some of the challenges they face in life.

Graduating from Tobias School of Art & Therapy, Diane holds a Level 7 ( Master equivalent) in transpersonal arts counselling through City & Guilds.

Diane has also completed postgraduate training at Tavistock and Portman, in London in conjunction with the University of Essex, specialising in child, adolescent and family mental well being as well as systemic approaches to working with individuals, families and organisations.

Graham Knight, Director and Governance Lead.

Graham is an international healthcare management leader, educationalist, and entrepreneur.  He has directorships in an online education business and business consultancy.  He is also co-director of a mental health community interest company and trustee for an international eye health charity.

He has 20 years experience working as a leader in healthcare supporting NHS organisations and departments, independent healthcare business and charities to form and grow.  He is a member of The Association for the Study of Medical Education (ASME) and teaches medical management, leadership, and communication skills at his local medical school, and independently.  In the last 10 years Graham has delivered more than 500 medical management training programmes to medics in all specialties.

Graham began his career in healthcare providing marketing support to four private mental health facilities in the South East of England.  He also developed a new NHS waiting list initiative for primary care psychology services.

How you can get involved

  • Volunteer – we are seeking fully trained therapists who have either graduated or who are needing to complete clinical placement hours. There is no specific modality or training background required, however we welcome therapists who specialise in play, and arts interventions as well as talking therapies.
  • Support in kind – we need access to venues that can provide free or low cost use of space for confidential meetings or support groups. If you are an organisation Sussex that is able to offer the use of venue space, please get in touch.
  • Fundraise – help raise awareness of the services offered by The Bower Tree and gather much needed funds at the same time. Fundraising can take any form from sponsored walks & runs to cake sales and concerts. Be creative and have fun!
  • Donate – we rely completely on grants and donations in order to run as a low cost therapeutic service, all donations no matter how small, are deeply appreciated.


Please email all enquiries to: