Workshop Description

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

The Computational Linguistics and Clinical Psychology Workshops (CLPsych) have been held in conjunction with the 2014 Conference of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 2015 and 2016 Conferences of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics – Human Language Technologies. Each workshop has supported a host of researchers helping to define and advance the state of the art in this blossoming field. Published papers 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 and 2016 workshops additionally hosted Shared Tasks, which we would anticipate for 2017 as well. CLPsych 2017 aims 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 focuses on language technology applications in mental and neurological health. We aim 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 will also have a clinically-oriented discussant, who reads the paper thoroughly in advance and briefly presents prepared commentary at the workshop.

We are 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 aim 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.

Shared Task

CLPsych 2017 may once again included a Shared Task, similar to the 2016 Shared Task. Further details will be available at: [].

NAACL Anti-Harassment Policy

Our workshop highly values the open exchange of ideas, the freedom of thought and expression, and respectful scientific debate. We support and uphold the NAACL Anti-Harassment policy, and any workshop participant should feel free to contact any of the NAACL Board members or Priscilla Rasmussen, in case of any issues.

Paper Submission Instructions

A key goal of this workshop is to foster the conversation with clinicians, both at the workshop and when these papers are read in the future. We therefore include practicing clinicians and clinical researchers on our program committee; the ability to communicate ideas, approaches, and results clearly to people who are not computational linguists will be as important as the quality of the work itself.

This year we introduce a new track of non-archival submissions, which should take the form of a one-page abstract. (These submissions will not be published in the workshop proceedings.)

Archival submissions can contain up to 8 pages of content, plus references of any length. Papers must conform to the ACL 2017 submission format guidelines, as detailed in the ACL 2017 Call for Papers. Submissions should be anonymous. Papers must be submitted using the START system (link to follow).

We accept submissions for either oral or poster presentation.


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

To contact the organizers, please mail

Program Committee