The Central Role of Lifelong Learning and Humility in Clinical Psychology

Jason J. Washburn*, Bethany A. Teachman, Brandon A. Gaudiano, J. Kim Penberthy, Tara S. Peris, Gerald C. Davison, Steven D. Hollon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Lifelong learning plays a central role in the lives of clinical psychologists. As psychological science advances and evidence-based practices develop, it is critical for clinical psychologists to not only maintain their competencies but to also evolve them. In this article, we discuss lifelong learning as a clinical, ethical, and scientific imperative in the myriad dimensions of the clinical psychologist’s professional life, arguing that experience alone is not sufficient. Attitude is also important in lifelong learning, and we call for clinical psychologists to adopt an intellectually humble stance and embrace “a beginner’s mind” when approaching new knowledge and skills. We further argue that clinical psychologists must maintain and refresh their critical-thinking skills and seek to minimize their biases, especially as they approach the challenges and opportunities of lifelong learning. We intend for this article to encourage psychologists to think differently about how they approach lifelong learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)744-756
Number of pages13
JournalClinical Psychological Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2023


  • continuing education
  • critical thinking
  • intellectual humility
  • lifelong learning
  • science-based practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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