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

Harnessing Innovative Technologies to Train Nurses in Suicide Safety Planning With Hospitalized Patients: Protocol for Formative and Pilot Feasibility Research.
(2021 Dec 15)
JMIR Res Protoc 10(12): e33695
Darnell D, Areán PA, Dorsey S, Atkins DC, Tanana MJ, Hirsch T, Mooney SD, Boudreaux ED, Comtois KA

Feature Fusion Strategies for End-to-End Evaluation of Cognitive Behavior Therapy Sessions.
(2021 Nov)
Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 2021(): 1836-1839
Chen Z, Flemotomos N, Ardulov V, Creed TA, Imel ZE, Atkins DC, Narayanan S

Automated quality assessment of cognitive behavioral therapy sessions through highly contextualized language representations.
PLoS One 16(10): e0258639
Flemotomos N, Martinez VR, Chen Z, Creed TA, Atkins DC, Narayanan S

Soil fertility interactions with Sinorhizobium-legume symbiosis in a simulated Martian regolith; effects on nitrogen content and plant health.
PLoS One 16(9): e0257053
Harris F, Dobbs J, Atkins D, Ippolito JA, Stewart JE

Knowledge and Attitudes Toward an Artificial Intelligence-Based Fidelity Measurement in Community Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Supervision.
(2021 Sep 18)
Adm Policy Ment Health
Creed TA, Kuo PB, Oziel R, Reich D, Thomas M, O'Connor S, Imel ZE, Hirsch T, Narayanan S, Atkins DC

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