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

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

What Is the Return on Investment of Caring for Complex High-need, High-cost Patients?
(2021 Sep 10)
J Gen Intern Med
Chang ET, Asch SM, Eng J, Gutierrez F, Denietolis A, Atkins D

Learning health systems: Driving real-world impact in mental health and substance use disorder research.
(2021 Aug)
FASEB Bioadv 3(8): 626-638
Kilbourne AM, Evans E, Atkins D

Automated evaluation of psychotherapy skills using speech and language technologies.
(2021 Aug 3)
Behav Res Methods
Flemotomos N, Martinez VR, Chen Z, Singla K, Ardulov V, Peri R, Caperton DD, Gibson J, Tanana MJ, Georgiou P, Van Epps J, Lord SP, Hirsch T, Imel ZE, Atkins DC, Narayanan S

Enhancing the role of research in a learning health care system.
(2021 Jun)
Healthc (Amst) 8 Suppl 1(): 100556
Atkins D, Kullgren JT, Simpson L

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