If you’re familiar with my website, story, and articles, you must know that my love life hasn’t been moonlight and roses. After a long series of somewhat traumatic and abusive relationships, I finally felt I found the one, only to realize that he has an opposite attachment style: he’s afraid of commitment while 4,000 miles are separating us. After 3.5 years of on-and-off long-distance drama, we finally decided to live together and start a family, with only a handful of additional problems surfacing. That’s when online relationship counseling came into the picture.

While desperately observing his inability to open up to me, I suggested speaking to a professional before we became miserable and resentful. However, as an avoidant, my partner reluctantly refused to consider any third-party help.

On one of those blue, gloomy days, I opened my inbox only to find an e-mail from the marketing team of an online relationship counseling app, Hey Ritual, who offered me a free trial in exchange for an honest review as a relationship blogger.

Initially, I was skeptical: How can I review a relationship counseling app without my partner? And why would I choose relationship counseling over online relationship therapy?

You can check HeyRitual here. (And use my link for 20% off.)

Let’s start covering some basic questions first:

The Difference Between Online Relationship Counseling Services and Online Couples Therapy

Online Relationship Counseling (or online marriage counseling) and online couples therapy are two forms of virtual mental health support catering to individuals and couples facing relationship challenges. The primary difference lies in their scope and focus.

Online couples counseling typically assists individuals dealing with various relationship issues, including conflicts with family members, friends, or romantic partners, and can address various personal and interpersonal concerns. They aim to provide guidance, tools, coping strategies, and emotional support to help individuals navigate their relationships more effectively.

Relationship or marriage counseling typically focuses on distinct problems and offers tailor-made guidance and solutions. Counseling services tend to focus on the future and resolving differences.

On the other hand, online couples therapy, like any family therapy, targets people who are experiencing difficulties in their relationships and offers a holistic treatment, primarily by examining the past and, thus, the motives and roots of each behavior. Couples therapy sessions involve both partners and focus on improving communication, resolving conflicts, and strengthening the relationship. Family therapists in this context often use specialized techniques, like emotionally focused therapy, tailored to the dynamics of each partnership.

In summary, while both services revolve around improving relationships, relationship counseling can assist individuals with specific relationship challenges and a focus on the future, whereas couples therapy is designed specifically for couples seeking to address the roots of their problems and enhance their romantic bond through joint sessions.

Related: Therapy for Narcissistic Abuse: The 5 Best Affordable Alternatives

Does Relationship Counseling Really Work?

Relationship counseling, including online premarital, couples, and relationship therapy, can be highly effective in improving relationships and resolving issues. However, its success depends on several factors, including the individuals’ willingness, the professional’s expertise, and the specific issues being addressed.

Some problems might be addressed perfectly through emotionally focused therapy; others (like differences in the future preferences of the couple) are better solved in premarital counseling sessions, and others (like a different view on finances and spending habits) might have huge breakthroughs through couples counseling.

Still, when couples or individuals actively engage in online counseling and are open to introspection and change, these therapeutic approaches can provide valuable tools for communication, conflict resolution, and personal growth. Online platforms with licensed therapists have made these online relationship counseling services more accessible, allowing couples to seek help from the comfort of their homes.

Experienced family therapists in online premarital counseling, couples therapy, or relationship therapy can facilitate productive conversations, guide clients through challenges, and teach coping strategies. They often use evidence-based techniques tailored to the unique needs of each relationship.

Ultimately, the effectiveness of relationship counseling is not guaranteed, but it has helped countless couples and individuals build healthier and more fulfilling relationships. Relationship counseling offers a structured and supportive environment for addressing issues, fostering understanding, and working toward long-lasting solutions.

Read More: How Hyper-Independence Can Signify Trauma (& 5 Ways To Cope)

Online Couples Counseling Vs. In-Person Therapy

Online couples counseling has several advantages, including increased accessibility, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. However, the choice between online and in-person therapy should be based on individual preferences, comfort levels with technology, and the nature of the issues being addressed in the relationship. I prefer online relationship counseling over traditional couples therapy due to the nature of my remote work, location independence, and the specific distinct nature of my challenges.

Here are the various differences to consider when choosing online couples counseling over traditional relationship therapy:

1. Location:

Online Couples Counseling: Conducted virtually, allowing participants to engage from any location with an internet connection.

In-Person Couples Therapy: Requires physical presence at a therapist’s office, which can be more challenging regarding logistics and scheduling.

2. Convenience:

Online Couples Counseling: Offers greater flexibility for scheduling sessions and eliminates the need for travel, saving time and reducing stress.

In-Person Therapy: It may have limited appointment availability, requiring commuting, which can be inconvenient.

3. Comfort and Privacy:

Online Couples Therapy: Provides a familiar and private environment where couples may feel more at ease discussing sensitive issues.

In-Person Couples Therapy: Requires couples to share a physical space with the therapist, which may affect their comfort level.

4. Technology:

Online Couples Counseling: Relies on technology, so a stable internet connection and suitable devices are necessary.

In-Person Therapy: No technological requirements.

5. Effectiveness:

Online Couples Counseling: Proven effective for many couples, especially those comfortable with virtual communication.

In-Person Couples Therapy: Traditional approach with a long history of success.

6. Cost:

Online Relationship Therapy: It’s more cost-effective due to reduced overhead expenses.

In-Person Therapy: Often more expensive due to office rental and maintenance costs.

Read More: Fearful Avoidant Attachment: 7 Signs of Craving & Fearing Love

Why I Chose to Try The Online Relationship Counseling App, Hey Ritual

As you may know, diminishing physical closeness and withdrawing intimacy are the real deal breakers in my relationship because of my partner’s avoidant attachment style. Although he’s a bit inflexible to change or try online couples therapy, I stopped focusing on trying to change him or his mind and focused on what I could do to change certain things.

Despite the issues, I want to be transparent and let my readers know that my relationship is far from perfect. Every bond comes with unique challenges, and even as a relationship coach with a happy family, I want to keep improving myself. I accept the challenges that help me grow and trigger my attachment daily with new information, points of view, and tools.

That was the main reason I chose to try the couples counseling app Hey Ritual. And full disclosure: I loved it SO MUCH that even after my free trial ended, I remained subscribed to their paid plan and kept growing with them. I now have my sessions bi-weekly, really like my therapist, and have learned many new tools to cope with my anxiety and anger.

Let’s go into more detail on how Ritual helped me and how it can help you as an online marriage counseling app.

Read More: The Most Common Anxious Attachment Triggers & How To Handle Them

What Is Hey Ritual?

Hey Ritual is an online couples counseling app that helps you better your relationship and turn any present relationship crisis into an opportunity. You can learn and grow through video lessons tailor-made for your issue, weekly assignments, and weekly video sessions with an experienced licensed marriage counselor, family therapist, or relationship expert.

It basically offers schedule-friendly, easy-to-follow, and affordable relationship guidance, and you can practice without your partner, as a couple, or switch mid-way. What I love about it is that it helps you overcome any challenge you might have in your relationship, despite your life stage and lifestyle -whether you have or haven’t kids, are heterosexual or homosexual, married or non-married.

For example, I live with my partner, and we have a kid, yet we aren’t married or speak the same language. A problem I faced with traditional couples counseling was the language barrier (we speak in English, yet I am Greek, and he’s Portuguese – so most relationship therapists want you to do the therapy session in your native language.)

Read More: The Top 21 Questions For A New Relationship To Develop Intimacy

How Does Hey Ritual Work?

When I visited their website, it immediately hooked me. My curiosity was spiked, so I e-mailed them back that I was in for the trial and thus, a hey ritual review amidst my partner’s unwillingness to join. Here’s what I had to do:

Complete a short quiz about myself and relationship issues

The initial quiz gives you some statements with a scale, so you must rate the statements from 1 to 7 according to your feelings. This helps the experts assess your relationship issues and match you with the right professional.

the quiz works like free consultation in online marriage counseling

Finally, the quiz ends with your mental health concerns – as mentioned, online therapy or marriage therapy is different than couples (or marriage) counseling:

online marriage counseling and couples therapy quiz alongside online premarital counseling

 

Choose a pathway

Then, according to your answers and your relationship problems, there are distinct programs to choose from, lasting from 3 to 4 weeks, called “pathways.” These pathways address different issues depending on the area you want to improve. Of course, if you do the sessions with your partner, you should agree on the part you want to work on. But I loved the fact that you’re able to do the sessions solo.

I started with the “regaining intimacy” pathway since I felt intimacy was missing in my relationship. I wanted to know how to improve the situation and if it was finally possible without my partner’s help.

Hey Ritual App Relationship Guidance Pathways, online marriage counseling, couples therapy and family therapy with a licensed therapist

Get matched with a therapist and get a weekly (or bi-weekly) virtual therapy session

After choosing a pathway, you sign up for the weekly or bi-weekly plan according to your priorities, time, and preferences. I started with the free trial, so I initially chose the weekly plan, and I’m now a paid subscriber to the bi-weekly plan since I’m traveling between two continents and four countries. (oh yes, time zones are tricky.)

Then, after choosing the frequency of your video sessions, you’ll have to schedule your introductory call with your therapist. Hey Ritual’s professionals are all licensed marriage and family therapists or clinical workers. You can check their credentials in detail on Ritual’s website.

Your therapist will break the ice and help you discuss your relationship challenges and chosen pathway in detail, and she or he might suggest a different one.

My Experience With Hey Ritual

As promised, I’ll provide thorough and honest details based on my experience with Hey Ritual, alongside all my thoughts, concerns, and breakthroughs.

What I Liked:

  • I can do online marriage counseling without my partner, and although it “takes two to tango,” there are practical things you can immediately do on your own to fix certain stuff. As Isaac Newton said with his third law, every action causes a reaction. It metaphorically makes perfect sense in a relationship.

  • I could book my hassle-free sessions anytime I liked, online and within seconds.
  • I was a bit anxious and did not know what to expect at first, but my therapist (let’s call her Lorna) made me feel comfortable within seconds. In our next sessions, she offered thoughtful relationship advice on my concerns, taught me practical tools, and always gave me a “takeaway” to remember. When my free trial ended, I was so attached to her that I ended up subscribing!
  • Loved the fact that you can combine the wisdom of a virtual therapy session with educational videos, assignments, homework, and reflection exercises tailor-made to your problem. I don’t know many coaching platforms that combine therapeutic techniques with educational content.
  • The weekly (or bi-weekly) videos and assignments can be done at your own pace.

What Can Be Improved:

  • I’d like a short free consultation before committing to a three- or six-month plan.
  • I’d like the pathway recommendations before choosing the payment plan.
  • The native app in the store has still not been released. (Hey Ritual is a startup, and they currently work on the beta version, with the Android and iOS app coming soon. I was among the few lucky ones to try the pre-launched version. Spoiler alert: It’s awesome!)
  • I prefer to read than listen or watch – so I’d like a transcript of the educational videos.

What Changed In My Relationship:

  • One of our main problems was that when I wanted to connect with my partner, I kept demanding his attention incorrectly, usually using the phrase “you never…[insert verb x here],” eventually causing resentment in both. After watching the videos and speaking with my therapist, I learned to form “bids of connection” that my partner understands and turns toward.
  • I realized that my partner’s bids for connection are so subtle I barely understand them. He might sit beside me on the couch, sometimes without talking, or ask me to join him for dinner. So when these are happening, instead of scrolling on my phone or doing something else, I initiate conversation and pay attention to him.
  • I learned the importance of boundaries and how some things my partner was saying and doing were making me feel uncomfortable and neglected without even realizing it. Now, I know how to set my boundaries in a non-violent communication model, which my partner respects.

How Much Does Hey Ritual Cost?

Ritual comes with different prices and packages according to your needs.

Hey Ritual Pricing For Individual Therapy:

hey ritual price for individual therapy

Weekly Pricing:

$160 per month is a great price, considering a 50-minute appointment costs anything from  $50 to $150 per session. And well, it will be only $128 per month if you use my 20% discount code through this link.

Bi-Weekly Pricing:

If you want to do your sessions bi-weekly instead of weekly, that’s another fantastic option so you stay committed to your relationship growth. And if you use my 20% discount code, that’s only $80 per month.

Hey Ritual Pricing For Couples Therapy:

hey ritual price for couples therapy

If you choose to do the sessions with your partner, you’ll get three private sessions each (six sessions) and one joint session, so seven sessions total, for $260 per month. If you want to do the sessions with your partner, consider using my 20% off through this link to make it only $208 monthly, which basically makes the final price $30 per session, on top of the educational videos and tools you’ll work on! That’s by far the most affordable option for couples who want to improve their relationship drastically and cost-effectively.

The Advantages Of Hey Ritual Over Other Online Marriage Counseling Services & Online Relationship Counseling Apps

It’s more than quizzes and questionnaires

There are some fun apps out there to try with your partner (like Paired or Between) if you want to deepen your relationship or spice up things. However, I wouldn’t suggest those apps if you want to really fix a distinct problem that keeps surfacing and causing resentment.

Hey Ritual stands out from other relationship apps that are primarily based on quizzes and games by offering evidence-based therapeutic approaches tailored to each couple’s unique needs. It fosters genuine progress and growth in relationships, making it a superior choice for couples seeking meaningful and lasting improvements in their marriage or relationship.

Read More: Free Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Test & How to Spot High-Functioning BPD

It blends online couples therapy with online couples counseling

Combining these two distinct methods (online couples therapy and couples counseling), Hey Ritual offers a comprehensive and holistic solution that addresses both the emotional and practical aspects of couples’ needs. Online couples therapy allows in-depth exploration of emotional issues, providing a safe space for open communication and conflict resolution. On the other hand, online couples counseling offers practical guidance and skills training for improving relationship dynamics.

Together, these approaches ensure couples receive a well-rounded support system, enhancing their understanding of each other and equipping them with tools to navigate challenges, resulting in more fulfilling and lasting relationships.

The sessions can be with or without your partner

I already mentioned that Hey Ritual offers the incredible option to have solo sessions, a feature that adds a unique dimension to relationship support. This flexibility is so handful because it recognizes that personal growth and self-reflection are essential to a healthy partnership.

Sometimes, individuals need a safe space to work through their own issues, gain clarity, or build resilience before addressing shared concerns as a couple. Solo sessions empower users to focus on their specific needs, which can ultimately contribute to more productive and harmonious joint sessions. So, Hey Ritual’s inclusion of solo sessions promotes individual well-being, fostering stronger and more balanced relationships.

Your therapist gives you homework and tools tailor-made to your case

Hey Ritual’s effectiveness lies in integrating educational videos, reflective exercises, and personalized homework tailored to the individual’s unique circumstances. The combination of these elements creates a holistic and empowering counseling experience.

According to your chosen pathway, the educational videos provide valuable insights and strategies, enhancing your understanding of relationship dynamics. In addition, reflective exercises such as journaling encourage introspection and self-awareness, fostering personal growth. The therapist’s guidance in assigning customized “homework” through takeaways after every session ensures the practical application of what’s learned, translating knowledge into real-life improvements.

This comprehensive approach equips individuals and couples with the skills and resources they need to make meaningful, lasting changes in their relationships, making Hey Ritual an exceptionally effective virtual counseling app.

Video sessions are an integral part of your subscription

Unlike services that rely on text and calls (and are actually promoting those alternative methods), Hey Ritual provides a more personal and immersive experience through mandatory video sessions. I think the fact that you can only connect with your counselor via video and hear them out, see their facial expressions, while giving and getting full attention makes a huge difference to the effectiveness of the tools you’re learning. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

It’s cost-effective

While couples expect to pay between $100-$250 per session for couples therapy, Hey Ritual takes the cost burden away by being the most cost-effective and modern couples counseling solution you can find in the virtual world. Considering you’re using my discount code for 20% off, you’ll be paying $208 per month as a couple!

It’s convenient yet intimate

Hey Ritual redefines the landscape of relationship therapy by offering unparalleled convenience and intimacy compared to stereotypical in-person couples therapy. Traditional therapy often entails scheduling conflicts, travel hassles, and rigid office hours (besides many other problems we’ve encountered, like that language barrier – therapists wanted us to do the sessions in our native languages).

In contrast, Hey Ritual empowers couples to connect with their counselor from the convenience of their home, eliminating logistical barriers and making the experience more familiar and comfortable (did someone mention the stereotypical tissues or the opposite-facing chair?)  I’m not sure about you, but I’ve always preferred a more flexible yet intimate setting where I can openly express myself without the stress of a “clinical environment.” My sessions with Hey Ritual felt more like a friendly and effective coaching call than therapy, making it a game-changer in couples counseling. Bonus points to the warm coffee I could sip while listening to Lorna’s wisdom!

It has a 14-day money-back guarantee

In traditional (and virtual) therapy, you still have to pay for your session, whether you are well-matched with the therapist or not. You cannot really say, “Thanks for the session, but I don’t think it was helpful, so I’m not going to pay you.” You have to pay for the service, despite how helpful it was.

That’s another advantage of Hey Ritual. If something goes wrong, or you feel that the service will not help you, you can write to the support team and get your money back within 14 days. I’d say that it definitely takes more time than 14 days to feel the substantial change and difference in your relationship, but there might be a small chance that you don’t want to use the service anymore in the first two weeks. Nothing to lose, really.

Read More: 5 Books on Attachment Theory Explain Your Obsession Over Certain People

Final Thoughts: Why Is Hey Ritual The Best Online Relationship Counseling App

In the realm of virtual couples counseling, Hey Ritual emerges as the unrivaled choice.

Seamlessly blending virtual couples counseling with therapeutic techniques provides a dynamic and highly effective platform for healing and growth. Hey Ritual’s commitment to personalized support, with tailored exercises, educational resources, and expert guidance, ensures couples receive the precise tools to address their unique challenges.

This fusion of technology and therapeutic expertise not only enhances accessibility but also empowers couples to foster deeper connections, resolve conflicts, and build lasting, fulfilling relationships. In my opinion, when it comes to combining the best of virtual couples counseling and therapeutic techniques, Hey Ritual stands head and shoulders above the rest, making it the ultimate choice for relationship transformation.

Get 20% off your Hey Ritual sessions through this link.