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

Modernizing a National Electronic Health Record: a Learning Health Care System Approach.
(2023 Oct)
J Gen Intern Med 38(Suppl 4): 934-936
Atkins D, Clancy C, Elnahal S

A machine learning approach to improve implementation monitoring of family-based preventive interventions in primary care.
(2023 Jan-Dec)
Implement Res Pract 4(): 26334895231187906
Berkel C, Knox DC, Flemotomos N, Martinez VR, Atkins DC, Narayanan SS, Rodriguez LA, Gallo CG, Smith JD

The Silent Treatment?: Changes in patient emotional expression after silence.
(2023 Jun)
Couns Psychother Res 23(2): 378-388
Soma CS, Wampold B, Flemotomos N, Peri R, Narayanan S, Atkins DC, Imel ZE

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

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