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

Grants, Contracts & Research Gifts

  • NIAA R44 AA028463 ClientBot: A conversational agent that supports skills practice and feedback for Motivational Interviewing for AUD. PI: Atkins. NIH/NIAAA, 04/01/2020 - present. Total project budget to date: $2,077,927.00
  • NIMH 1R42 MH123215: CBTpro: Scaling up CBT for psychosis using simulated patients and spoken language technologies. PI: Kopelovich. 03/11/2020 - present. Total project budget to date: $2,541,055.00
  • 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
  • Enhancing Evidence-based Counseling for Opioid Abuse via Machine Learning Performance-based Feedback. PI: David Atkins. NIDA, 06/01/2018 - 05/31/2019. Total project budget to date: $145,660.00
  • 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
  • CHILD FATALITY. PI: OSTEEN,PHILIP JONATHAN. Co-PI(s): TANANA,MICHAEL JOSEPH. UT DIVISION OF CHILD AND FAMIL, 11/01/2018 - 09/30/2019. Total project budget to date: $23,994.00
  • 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


  • Darnell, D. & Arean, P., Dorsey, S., Atkins, D., Tanana, M., Hirsc, T., Mooney, S., (2021). Harnessing innovative technologies to train nurses in suicide safety planning with hospital patients: Protocol for formative and pilot feasibility research. JMIR Research Protocols. Accepted, 10/21/2021.
  • Flemotomos, N, N., Martinez, V.R., Chen, Z, Singla, K., Ardulov, V., , Peri, R., Caperton, D., Gibson, G., Tanana, M., Geogiou, P., & Van Epps, J., Hirsch, T., Imel, Z, Atkins, D. (2021). Automated evaluation of psychotherapy skills using speech and language technologies. Behavior Research. Published, 08/03/2021.
  • Tanana, M & Soma, C.S.,Kuo,Bertagnolli, N., P.B., Dembe, A., Pace, B.T., Srikumar, V., Atkins, D.C. Imel, Z.E. (2021). How do you feel? Using Natural Language Processing to automatically rate emotion in psychotherapy. Behavior Research Methods. Published, 03/22/2021.
  • Park, J. & Jindal, A., Kuo, P., Tanana, M., Lafata, J.E., Tai-Seale, M., Atkins, D.C.,Imel, Z.E. & Smyth, P. (2021). Automated Rating of Patient and Physician Emotion in Primary Care Visits. Patient Education and Counseling. Accepted, 01/07/2021.
  • Goldberg, S. B. & Flemotomos, N., Martinez, V. R., Tanana, M., Kuo, P., Pace, B. T., Villatte, J. L., Georgiou, P., Van Epps, J., Imel, Z. E., Narayanan, S., & Atkins, D. C. (2020). Machine learning and natural language processing in psychotherapy research: Alliance as example use case. Journal of Counseling Psychology. Vol. 67(4), 438. Published, 06/01/2020.
  • Goldberg, Simom & Tanana, M., Imel, Z.E., Atkins, D.A., Hill, C.E. & Anderson, T. (2020). Can a computer detect interpersonal skills? Using machine learning to scale up the Facilitative Interpersonal Skills task. Psychotherapy Research. Published, 03/07/2020.
  • Waid, J & Voit, R., Tanana, M., Vanderloo, M., & Kothari, B. (2020). The role of siblings in the development of externalizing behaviors during childhood and adolescence: A scoping review. Journal of Family Social Work. Published, 03/01/2020.
  • Park, J. & Kotzias, D., Kuo, P., Logan, R.L., Merced, K., Singh, S., Tanana, M., Karra-Taniskidou, E., Elston Lafata, J., Atkins, D., Tai-Seale, Imel, Z.E., \& Smyth, P. (2019). Detecting conversation topics in primary care office visits from transcripts of patient-provider interactions. JAMIA. Published, 09/17/2019.
  • Ruple, J. & Tanana, M.J. & Williams, M. (2019). Does NEPA Help or Harm ESA Critical Habitat Designations? An Assessment of Over 600 Critical Habitat Rules. Ecology L. Q. Accepted, 08/01/2019.
  • Imel, Z.E. & Pace, B., Soma, C.S., Tanana, M.J., Narayanan, S., Georgiou, P., Hirsch, T. & Atkins, D.A. (2019). Design and pilot feasibility of an automated, machine learning feedback system for Motivational Interviewing. Psychotherapy. Published, 03/01/2019.
  • 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. Vol. 21(7). Published, 01/07/2019.
  • Sivakumar, W. & W., Jensen,M., Martinez, J., Tanana, M.J., Duncan, N., Hoesch, R., Riva-Cambrin, J. & Ansari, S. (2018). Intravenous Acetaminophen for postoperative supratentorial craniotomy pain: A prospective, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Neurosurgery. Published, 04/20/2018.
  • Pratap, A. & Atkins, D., Renn, B., Tanana, M.,Mooney, S.,Anguera, J., & Arean, P. (2017). The Accuracy of Passive Phone Sensors in Predicting Daily Mood. Depression and Anxiety. Published, 12/20/2017.
  • 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.
  • Imel, Z.I., Caperton, D. , Tanana, M.J. & Atkins, D.A. (2017) Exploring Technology-enhanced Human Interaction in Psychotherapy. Journal of Counseling Psychology. Published, 04/20/2017.
  • 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.