Online marriage counseling has become a common practice in states like Wisconsin, where lawmakers have passed bills to allow it.
While the practice is generally legal, there are still many barriers to its availability.
For one, the law only allows online counseling services to be offered by licensed marriage counselors, a profession which is regulated by the Wisconsin Board of Health.
That means it is not available to individuals who do not have a physician-authorized physician-client relationship.
Online marriage counselors are also prohibited from working with clients who are divorced or separated from their spouses.
However, the laws are slowly being relaxed and many state legislators have made efforts to make it easier for people to get online marriage counselors.
“We’re seeing more states, including Wisconsin, open up for this type of service, and it’s just the right thing to do,” said Kristi Miller, who serves as the director of legal services at the Wisconsin Legal Services Network, which advocates for the rights of those with disabilities.
The legal group is currently working on a bill that would require online marriage counselor services to have a medical professional, as well as a physical therapist, as part of their license.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done in getting it in every state, but this is the beginning of a new era for this,” Miller said.
“This is really a sign that people are really interested in getting this out there.”
The bill is expected to come up for a vote in the Wisconsin Assembly in June, and a similar bill in the state senate is currently before the governor’s office.
However there is still a long way to go.
Miller and others believe there is a way to make online marriage counselling more accessible to the general public, by increasing the number of people who have the right to use the service.
“People are still having difficulty accessing the information that they need, which is great,” Miller explained.
“But the fact is, we need to get that out there to people.”