Therapist Spotlight: Helen Rice
I’m a relationship therapist in private practice in Poole, Dorset and founder of BeLoveCurious. I’m passionate about what I do – supporting individuals and couples to have authentic loving relationships – whether that’s helping clients to find, sustain or redefine love, or letting a limiting relationship go to create space for a more fulfilling one.
Hi Helen! Can you tell us a little more about yourself?
I married my husband David last year which neither of us thought we’d ever do. We met online in 2012, had our first date the same evening and we’ve been together ever since. We moved out of London five years ago for a change of lifestyle. It’s been quite challenging in some ways, but I’d say we’re stronger as a couple and very happy with where we are in life.
What led you to a career in counselling?
I decided to become a relationship therapist following a period of personal development that led me to make some major changes in my approach to all things love, sex and relationships! It started with my wanting to do something about being single for a decade, despite life being great in lots of other ways.
Through various coaching programmes and forays into psychology, philosophy and spiritual ideas, I realised that my unfulfilling love life was a reflection of my negative self-beliefs and that these could be transformed. In short, I became free to be more authentically me, then my love life changed forever!
Helping other people transform their relationships was an inevitability after that. So, I embarked on five more years of professional training and I feel very proud to have established myself in private practice and created BeLoveCurious as the online relationship therapy practice.
Your philosophy is focused on curiosity, rather than giving relationship advice. How does this approach differ from traditional relationship therapy?
I’d say that curiosity is the bedrock of relationship therapy, to be honest. People are individuals with unique personal histories, values, beliefs, behaviours and emotional responses, so one-size-fits-all advice is very unlikely to lead to the kind of life-changing results our approach offers. ‘Being curious’ creates a sense of openness. It allows for an enquiry that’s free of judgement and this can help shift people’s understanding of themselves and others.
Ultimately, being ‘love curious’ helps clients to reveal new possibilities for their love life, sex and intimate relationships that are 100% relevant to them. When a client is coming from a self-discovered context, it’s natural and far easier to put into action any new thought patterns or behaviours that emerge from the therapy than anything that could be offered as advice or ‘a fix’.
What can clients expect from the first session with you?
Our aim is that clients feel able to speak openly, experience being listened to and understood, have more clarity about their goals and end the session enthused by what’s possible.
From a practice perspective, it’s important to elicit what prompted someone to get in touch and why now, and, if it’s a couple, that both sides are heard. The session focuses on the client’s relationship history, mapping out their broader life situation, and clarifying key goals. It’s usually question/answer in style, rather than the dialogue we come to have as the sessions progress. I don’t tend to offer much interpretation here, but I am formulating ideas and hypotheses for future sessions. Even so, clients often report the first session delivered some useful insights or early signs of change.
Tell us more about your website, Be Love Curious.
BeLoveCurious offers everyone who wants to have a great relationship access to effective, online support – delivered by qualified relationship therapists.
Our clients include individuals and couples who want to enhance their love life in the areas of dating, marital or non-traditional relationships and sex. Speaking with one of our experts provides the opportunity to have straight-talking, non-judgemental conversations about what’s really important to them. The goal is to leave clients with more freedom to create the relationship of their dreams, just by being themselves, and not the person (or couple) they think they ought to be.
We currently offer a trial session, four semi-structured programmes which facilitate a client-specific enquiry over six sessions, and ad-hoc follow-on sessions.
Have you any advice to give someone interested in therapy?
A client wrote a beautiful testimonial recently, that sums it up perfectly: “I was sceptical and didn’t think it would work… Now, having been through the process, I honestly believe everyone should do this. Just take a leap of faith and try it because you won’t ever look back!”
And that’s what I’d say too. If you truly want a great relationship and don’t yet have the one you want, give therapy a go and be open to where the conversation takes you. Most people feel immense relief after their first session because they’ve been holding on to unhelpful thoughts and emotions for a long time and this is an opportunity to share them in a safe space. You can always change therapist or modality if an approach isn’t working for you – just don’t give up on yourself!
Where can people find you?
You’ll find me and our team of fabulous online therapists at BeLoveCurious and on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I’m also available for private consultations via my personal listing here on Counselling Directory or at my local practice poolerelationshiptherapy.co.uk.