Workshop Description

Computational Linguistics and Clinical Psychology — From Linguistic Signal to Clinical Reality

The 2017 Computational Linguistics and Clinical Psychology Workshop (CLPsych) was held on 3 August 2017 in Vancouver Canada, collocated with the 2017 Conference of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL).

Important Dates

22 October 2017 – 2018 Workshop Proposals due


Past workshops have been held in conjunction with the 2014 and 2017 ACL Conferences and the 2015 and 2016 Conferences of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics – Human Language Technologies (NAACL-HLT). Previously published papers of the workshop have proposed methods for aiding the diagnosis of dementia, quantifying repetitive behavior in conversations of autistic children, and detecting a number of mental health disorders in social media, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and schizophrenia. The 2015, 2016, and 2017 workshops additionally hosted Shared Tasks. CLPsych 2017 aimed to continue the discussion and build the momentum towards releasing tools and data that can be used by mental and neurological healthcare professionals.

Goals and Topics of Interest

This workshop focused on language technology applications in mental and neurological health. We aimed to bring together natural language processing (NLP) researchers and clinicians, with the following four goals:

  • To increase language technologists’ understanding of what people working in the field of mental and neurological health — clinicians, psychologists, and social workers — do, and what their real needs are;
  • To increase clinicians’ understanding of what’s possible in language technology and what it might have to offer
  • To formulate targets and priorities for near-term improvement of the practical state of the art
  • To help facilitate the creation and development of high-value NLP tools that can be used in the clinical community

Instead of the traditional presentation+questions format, each paper also had a clinically-oriented discussant, who read the paper thoroughly in advance and briefly presented prepared commentary at the workshop.

We were particularly interested in submissions that bear on issues like the following, relative to psychological conditions and neurological disorders:

  • What features of language or speech could play a prominent role in diagnosis, monitoring, and other elements of clinical practice?
  • What algorithms and forms of modeling are applicable?
  • What kinds of data exists or could be obtained?
  • What tools or resources does this research make available?
  • What practical or ethical issues require attention?

We aimed to emerge from the workshop discussions with a further strategy for progress in this field, informed by both the NLP and clinical psychologist participants. This could include, for example, identifying additional topics, tasks, and data; formulating a plan for creating and sharing IRB application templates for NLP work in psychology; or identifying the top-level requirements for an NLP toolkit specifically devoted to practical issues in clinical psychology.


Kristy Hollingshead, IHMC
Molly E. Ireland, Texas Tech University
Kate Loveys, Qntfy

To contact the organizers, please mail

Program Committee

Steven Bedrick, Oregon Health & Science University
Archna Bhatia, IHMC
Wilma Bucci, Adelphi University
Leonardo Claudino, HCPS/NINDS/NIH
Mike Conway, University of Utah
Glen Coppersmith, Qntfy
Brita Elvevåg, Psychiatry Research Group, Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Tromsø, Norway
Kathleen Fraser, University of Toronto
Ben Hachey, University of Sydney
Craig Harman, Johns Hopkins University
Graeme Hirst, University of Toronto
Christopher Homan, Rochester Institute of Technology
Dirk Hovy, University of Copenhagen
Zac Imel, University of Utah
Loring Ingraham, George Washington University
Anitha Iyer, Mental Health Association of NYC (MHA-NYC)
William Jarrold, Nuance Communications
Yangfeng Ji, University of Washington
Dimitrios Kokkinakis, University of Gothenburg
Tong Liu, Rochester Institute of Technology
Shervin Malmasi, Harvard Medical School
David Milne, University of Sydney
Meg Mitchell, Microsoft Research
Aimee Mooney, Oregon Health & Science University
Eric Morley, CSLU – Oregon Health & Science University
Danielle Mowery, University of Utah
Sean Murphy, New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute
Cecilia Ovesdotter Alm, Rochester Institute of Technology
Ted Pedersen, University of Minnesota
Craig Pfeifer, MITRE
Daniel Preotiuc, University of Pennsylvania
Emily Prud’hommeaux, Rochester Institute of Technology
Matthew Purver, Queen Mary University of London
Philip Resnik, University of Maryland
Rebecca Resnik, Rebecca Resnik and Associates, LLC
Brian Roark, Google
Mark Rosenstein, Pearson
Masoud Rouhizadeh, Stony Brook University & University of Pennsylvania
Maarten Sap, University of Washington
H. Andrew Schwartz, Stony Brook University
J. Ignacio Serrano, Spanish National Research Council
Richard Sproat, Google
Hiroki Tanaka, Nara Institute of Science and Technology
Kate Niederhoffer, Circadia Labs
Jonathan Singer, Loyola University Chicago
Jan van Santen, Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU)