David Atkins, PhD

David Atkins, PhD

Personal Statement

​​”Can you recommend a good therapist?” Turns out, that is a very challenging question to answer. Whereas some medical fields have reasonable quality indicators (e.g., procedure complication rates, hospital readmissions), with psychotherapy it is very challenging to measure quality.

My research brings together psychotherapy experts with engineers and computer scientists to develop automated methods for evaluating and promoting high-quality counseling and therapy. To do this we rely on speech signal processing and machine learning methodologies and then present it to clinicians and patients using interactive visual summaries.


PhD, Clinical Psychology , University of Washington , 1997-2003
MA, Psychology , Stanford University , 1994-1995
BA, Psychology , Stanford University , 1990-1994

Department Affiliations

Teaching Philosophy



My work focuses on technology-augmented psychotherapy and behavioral interventions, where we use machine learning and user-centered design to provide fast, objective, performance-based feedback to clinicians to assist training, supervision, and quality monitoring. More generally, I’m interested in data science applications in Psychiatry and assist colleagues in designing studies and analyzing data.

Recent Publications

Outcomes of a randomized quality improvement trial for high-risk Veterans in year two.
(2021 Jun 18)
Health Serv Res
Chang ET, Yoon J, Esmaeili A, Zulman DM, Ong MK, Stockdale SE, Jimenez EE, Chu K, Atkins D, Denietolis A, Asch SM, PACT Intensive Management (PIM) Demonstration Sites, PIM National Evaluation Center, and PIM Executive Committee.

What do clinicians want? Understanding frontline addiction treatment clinicians' preferences and priorities to improve the design of measurement-based care technology.
(2021 Jun 15)
Addict Sci Clin Pract 16(1): 38
Tauscher JS, Cohn EB, Johnson TR, Diteman KD, Ries RK, Atkins DC, Hallgren KA

Innovations in Community Care Programs, Policies, and Research.
(2021 Jun 1)
Med Care 59(Suppl 3): S229-S231
Mattocks KM, Cunningham KJ, Greenstone C, Atkins D, Rosen AK, Upton M

Assessing and communicating heterogeneity of treatment effects for patient subpopulations: Keynote and panel discussion on communicating heterogeneous treatment effects across populations.
(2021 May 4)
Pharm Stat
Heyward J, Lolic M, Spong C, Atkins D, Pennello G, Varadhan R

Mobile RDoC: Using Smartphones to Understand the Relationship Between Auditory Verbal Hallucinations and Need for Care.
(2020 Jan)
Schizophr Bull Open 1(1): sgaa060
Ben-Zeev D, Buck B, Chander A, Brian R, Wang W, Atkins D, Brenner CJ, Cohen T, Campbell A, Munson J

Show complete publication list »
Edit Profile