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

Developing and Implementing Predictive Models in a Learning Healthcare System: Traditional and Artificial Intelligence Approaches in the Veterans Health Administration.
(2022 May 24)
Annu Rev Biomed Data Sci
Atkins D, Makridis CA, Alterovitz G, Ramoni R, Clancy C

An Automated Quality Evaluation Framework of Psychotherapy Conversations with Local Quality Estimates.
(2022 Sep)
Comput Speech Lang 75():
Chen Z, Flemotomos N, Singla K, Creed TA, Atkins DC, Narayanan S

Delivering Remote Measurement-Based Care in Community Addiction Treatment: Engagement and Usability Over a 6-Month Clinical Pilot.
Front Psychiatry 13(): 840409
Hallgren KA, Cohn EB, Ries RK, Atkins DC

The Work-Opioid Connection: What Do Construction Workers and Military Veterans Have in Common?
(2022 Feb)
Am J Public Health 112(S1): S33-S35
Atkins D, Bohnert ASB

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

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