Reaffirming the scientific foundations of psychological practice: Recommendations of the emory meeting on continuing education

Jason J. Washburn*, Scott O. Lilienfeld, Gerald M. Rosen, Brandon A. Gaudiano, Gerald C. Davison, Steven D. Hollon, Michael W. Otto, J. Kim Penberthy, Kenneth J. Sher, Bethany A. Teachman, Tara Peris, Jonathan Weinand

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Hundreds of organizations are approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education (CE) to psychologists who provide assessment and intervention services to the public. CE sponsors are held to standards by the APA that emphasize evidence-based practice, but less is known about what is taught in individual CE programs. The Society of Clinical Psychology and the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology convened 2 meetings of members with interest or expertise in CE to consider avenues for improving the quality of CE programs provided by APA-approved sponsors. A primary recommendation stemming from the meeting was the need to move beyond an emphasis on evidence-based practice to science-based practice in CE's involving psychological assessment and intervention methods. Science-based practice accounts for not only the outcome data considered in evidence-based practice but also the scientific plausibility of the rationale for a practice. Additional recommendations included a greater emphasis on demonstration of knowledge and skills competencies in CE, the need to reinforce CE standards, and the need to better understand and incentivize CE program quality. Enhancing the quality of CE programing ultimately protects the public by educating psychologists in the most scientifically sound, efficient, and effective psychological practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-86
Number of pages10
JournalProfessional Psychology: Research and Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2019


  • Continuing education
  • Ethics
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Pseudoscience
  • Science-based practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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