Michael J Tanana portrait
  • Research Assistant Professor, College Of Social Work

Research Keywords

  • Natural Language Processing
  • Implementation Engineering
  • Deep Learning
  • Computational Psychotherapy
  • Child Welfare Outcomes


  • Tanana, M.J. & Vanessa, A. (2017) Using Interactive Data Visualization to Create a System for Placing High Need Children in Child Welfare. 30th Annual Research & Policy Conference: Child, Adolescent, and Youth Adult Behavioral Health. Tampa, Florida. Presentation, Presented, 03/08/2017.
  • Pace, B. T., Dembe, A., Soma, C. S., Tanana, M., Caperton, D. C., Merced, K., Gibson, J., Gray, G., Hirsch, T., Narayanan, S., Atkins, D. C., Imel, Z. E. (2016, October). Developing automated therapist feedback for Motivational Interviewing: The Counselor Observer Ratings Expert for MI (CORE-MI). Poster presented at the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Conference, New York, NY. Poster, Presented, 10/01/2016.
  • Caperton, D. D., Kuo, P., Tanana, M., Pace, B. T., Huebner, L., Narayanan, S. S., Imel, Z. E., & Atkins, D. C. (2016). Digital Exploration of Psychotherapy (DEPTH): Developing an instant clinician feedback system at the University of Utah Counseling Center. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Utah University Counseling Centers Conference, Salt Lake City, UT. Poster, Presented, 10/01/2016.
  • Tanana,M.J., Tanana, M.J., & Davis, M.J. (2016). Using Technology to Develop E ffective Continuous Quality Assurance Mechanisms. EUSARF. Oviedo, Spain. Presentation, Presented, 09/01/2016.
  • Tanana, M.J., Soma, C.S.,Imel,Z.E.,Atkins, D.C. & Srikumar,V.A. (2016). Therapy Bot: A Self-Taught Computerized Therapist. APA. Denver, CO. Presentation, Presented, 08/17/2016.
  • Tanana, M.J., Davis, M., Vanderloo, M.J., West, K., Byrne, K., & Amburgey, V. (2016). Technology and Engagement: Evaluating IV-E Residential Programs. National Title IV-E Roundtable. Salt Lake City, UT. Conference Paper, Presented, 06/01/2016.
  • Atkins, D.A., Tanana,M., Jordan, J. & Arean, P. (2016) Does my phone know if I'm depressed? Predicting daily mood from mobile phone usage. International Society for Research on Internet Interventions (ISRII). Seattle, WA. Conference Paper, Presented, 06/01/2016.

Grants, Contracts & Research Gifts

  • NSF 17-598: Technology Facilitated Training for Mental Health Counseling. PI: Srikumar. Co-PI(s): Tanana, Imel, . NSF, 08/01/2018 - present. Total project budget to date: $749,781.00
  • NIDA R44DA046243: Technology-supported, measurement-based supervision for Motivational Interviewing. PI: Tanana. NIDA, 07/01/2018 - 12/31/2020. Total project budget to date: $1,126,534.00
  • Title IV-E Research . PI: Michael Tanana. State of Utah Division of Child Welfare, 07/01/2017 - 06/30/2022. Total project budget to date: $1,472,704.00
  • NIAAA R01AA018673-06A1: Implementation of Technology-Based Evaluation of Motivational Interviewing. PI: Atkins. 09/01/2016 - present. Total project budget to date: $3,554,426.00
  • HOPE4UTAH. PI: TANANA,MICHAEL JOSEPH. HOPE4UTAH, 05/01/2016 - 10/31/2016. Total project budget to date: $10,000.00
  • UT IV-E RESEARCH. PI: TANANA,MICHAEL JOSEPH. UT DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICE, 07/01/2015 - 06/30/2017. Total project budget to date: $509,206.00


  • Tanana, M & Soma CS, Srikumar V, Atkins DC, Imel ZE (2019). Development and evaluation of ClientBot: A patient-like conversational agent to train basic counseling skills . JMIR. Accepted, 04/02/2019.
  • Imel, Z.E. & Pace, B., Soma, C.S., Tanana, M.J., Narayanan, S., Georgiou, P., Hirsch, T. & Atkins, D.A. (2018). Design and pilot feasibility of an automated, machine learning feedback system for Motivational Interviewing. Psychotherapy. Accepted, 12/21/2018.
  • Pratap, A.,Atkins, D., Renn, B., Tanana, M.,Mooney, S.,Anguera, J., & Arean, P. (In Press) The Accuracy of Passive Phone Sensors in Predicting Daily Mood. Depression and Anxiety. Accepted, 07/10/2018.
  • Tanana, M.J.,, Vanderloo, M.J. & Waid, J. (2017). Harnessing the potential of administrative data to inform child welfare programming with dynamic visualization methodologies. Child and Youth Services Review. Published, 12/13/2017.
  • Sivakumar, W. & W., Jensen,M., Martinez, J., Tanana, M.J., Duncan, N., Hoesch, R., Riva-Cambrin, J. & Ansari, S. (2017). Intravenous Acetaminophen for postoperative supratentorial craniotomy pain: A prospective, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Neurosurgery. Accepted, 10/30/2017.
  • Imel, Z.I., Caperton, D. , Tanana, M.J. & Atkins, D.A. (2017) Exploring Technology-enhanced Human Interaction in Psychotherapy. Journal of Counseling Psychology. Accepted, 02/16/2017.
  • Tanana, M., Hallgren, K. Imel, Z.E., Atkins, D.C., & Srikumar, V. (2016) A Comparison of Natural Language Processing Methods for Automated Coding of Motivational Interviewing. Journal of Substance Abuse and Treatment. 65: 43-50. Published, 05/01/2016.
  • Tanana, M., Dembe, A.,Soma, C.S.,Atkins, D.C, Imel, Z.E., & Srikumar, V. (2016). Is Sentiment in Movies the Same as Sentiment is Psychotherapy? Comparisons Using a New Psychotherapy Sentiment Database. Paper presented at Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics HLT, Computational Linguistics and Clinical Psychology Workshop (CLPsych), San Diego, CA. Published, 04/15/2016.
  • Pace, B.T., Tanana, M., Xiao, B., Dembe, A., Soma, C.S., Steyvers, M., Narayanan, S., Atkins, D.C., & Imel, Z.E. (2016). What about the words?: Natural language processing in psychotherapy. Psychotherapy Bulletin, 50(1), 14-18. Published, 04/01/2016.
  • Tanana, M., Hallgren, K. Imel, Z.E., Atkins, D.C., Smyth, P., & Srikumar, V. (2015). Recursive Neural Networks for Coding Therapist and Patient Behavior in Motivational Interviewing. Paper presented at Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics HLT, Computational Linguistics and Clinical Psychology Workshop (CLPsych), Denver, CO. Accepted, 03/15/2015.
  • De Havenon, A., Petersen, C., Tanana, M., Wold, J., & Hoesch, R. (2015). A pilot study of audiovisual family meetings in the intensive care unit. Journal of Critical Care, 57. Accepted, 03/01/2015.
  • Henderson, H., Bourgeous,J.W., Tanana, M.J. & Adams,A. (2015) Psychometric Racial/Ethnic Bias in Off ender Assessment. Journal of Black Studies. 46: 462-481. Accepted, 02/01/2015.
  • Tanana, M.J., Davis, M., Castillo, J. & Prospero, M. (2011). Legal Representation and Education for Minority Youth Intervention. Journal of Forensic Social Work. 1 (2). Accepted, 01/01/2011.
  • Prospero, M. & Tanana, M.J. (2009). Jail as a Condition of Felony Probation: A Utah Study. Policy Perspectives. 5 (9). Accepted, 01/01/2009.