• Dale V Wayman, PhD

The Fifth Force in Counseling?

Updated: Jun 17, 2020

I was thinking about the 4 forces in counseling (there are various lists): Psychodynamic




I am wondering what is coming next?  What is going to be next major force, a paradigm shift, to occur.  Prior to 2020, I was thinking that the next shift was going to be technology or social justice.  Now, I'm pretty convinced with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, that we have entered into the fifth force, which is technology.  However, we also see the huge need for social justice while this pandemic has been going on.  So, maybe....the fifth force will technological social justice?  Is a blending of the two possible and will it shape the way we educate counselors now?

We can see how technology helps counseling to reach populations that were previously marginalized.  So, I'm thinking the fifth force will be a blend of technology and social justice. I have been thinking for several years about what might be the 5th force and upon researching the use of Virtual Reality in helping people with phobias, the certification of telemental health counseling and supervision, online education and training, use of apps in counseling and also in staying in contact with clients between sessions, the smart phone is almost a cultural expectation, the internet reaching into rural areas, etc... I've been expecting that technology would be the next force.  

So, my questions really are, "has the COVID-19 pandemic pushed technology into our profession as the 5th force? Would it have happened eventually if COVID-19 had not happened?  Has the COVID-19 pandemic made technology more important quicker than it would have otherwise been?  Has the COVID-19 pandemic finally pushed technology into its rightful place in our profession?" 

Also, who decides what is the 5th force? What are your thoughts?

For an interesting read: Fleuridas, C. & Krafcik, D. (2019). Beyond

Four Forces: The Evolution of Psychotherapy. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/2158244018824492

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