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

Multi-label Multi-task Deep Learning for Behavioral Coding.
(2022 Jan-Mar)
IEEE Trans Affect Comput 13(1): 508-518
Gibson J, Atkins DC, Creed T, Imel Z, Georgiou P, Narayanan S

Injunctive and descriptive normative feedback for college drinking prevention: Is the whole greater than the sum of its parts?
(2023 May)
Psychol Addict Behav 37(3): 447-461
Larimer ME, Graupensperger S, Lewis MA, Cronce JM, Kilmer JR, Atkins DC, Lee CM, Garberson LA, Walter T, Ghaidarov TM, Hummer JF, Neighbors C, LaBrie JW

You never know what you are going to get: Large-scale assessment of therapists' supportive counseling skill use.
(2023 Jun)
Psychotherapy (Chic) 60(2): 149-158
Zhang X, Tanana M, Weitzman L, Narayanan S, Atkins D, Imel Z

High rates of oral anticoagulation in atrial fibrillation patients observed in a large multi-specialty health system in the Northeast.
(2022 Oct 20)
J Interv Card Electrophysiol
Dutta R, Hurley S, Atkins D, Weinstein J, Wylie J

How the VA is training the Next-Generation workforce for learning health systems.
(2022 Oct)
Learn Health Syst 6(4): e10333
Kilbourne AM, Schmidt J, Edmunds M, Vega R, Bowersox N, Atkins D

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