Helping you to track progress

Andrii Solonskyi, MS in Psychology January 19, 2023

Socrates and Two Students by Pietro della Vecchia (between 1626 and 1678)

Therapies are used to treat a variety of mental health issues. Therapeutic effectiveness measurement is an important part of the evidence-based practice of mental health. Without it, there’s no way to know if a client is actually getting better. Therapeutic effectiveness can be measured in various ways, including through process measures (i.e., how many sessions are needed to achieve a given outcome?), and outcome measures (i.e., how much improvement has occurred?). 

If you’ve ever been to therapy, you know that it can be an emotional experience. You’re working with a trained professional who knows how to help you figure out the issues that are holding you back from achieving your goals. In addition to providing insight into why things aren’t working in your life, therapy also provides tools and strategies so that you can take actionable steps toward change and improvement. That said, it’s important not to forget just how much progress has been made during the course of treatment! As someone who has completed years of therapy myself and trained other therapists on using data-based methods for helping clients measure progress over time, I have some information to share.

Innovation for mental health screening

Up until recently, it has been difficult to predict the success of psychotherapy. In a review published in 2013, researchers from Duke University and Harvard Medical School found that only 35% of patients who receive counseling for anxiety disorders achieve remission. Thirty-seven percent may feel better after therapy but still have symptoms; and 28% continue to suffer from their disorders even after treatment. The reason for these low rates is simple: most people do not know how to measure their progress. 

When it comes to mental illness, the demand for new screening methods is increasing, and eye tracking is an ideal answer. It is a noninvasive technology that measures attention bias, response inhibition, and mental workload. 

That is where Anima comes in handy. Anima helps you to monitor your therapy progress easily. In just 10 minutes, it gets an accurate assessment of your psychological state, compares this result with previous attempts, and informs you if you’ve made progress or not.

Anima uses eye-tracking technology to provide a direct measure of what is happening in the brain. When people look at something, they make eye movements which are recorded by a computer. The recording shows where they are looking on the screen and for how long.

In recent years, there has been much research into the use of eye movement and eye-tracking methods for therapy [3,4]. In particular, attention bias has received a lot of attention in the field of neuroscience [5]. 

Attention bias, as it’s called in psychology, is a term used to describe the way our brains automatically focus our attention on specific thoughts and images [1]. This can be helpful when you are trying to accomplish a task or make a decision, but it can also lead to biases that affect what we see—and how we feel.

Measurements can help finetune your therapy

Therapy is a process, not a destination. The goal is to utilize your therapist as an advisor and guide who helps you make progress toward your goals, but it’s up to you to put into practice what they suggest in order for the treatment plan, and progress tracking software (like Anima) that they provide will be effective.

The more data you collect about yourself and how therapy has helped so far, the more accurate your results will be. This can help guide future steps in therapy, such as whether it’s time to graduate from individual sessions (or if there are other obstacles preventing your recovery).

Measuring progress allows you and your therapist to identify your strengths, areas that need improvement, and strategies for moving forward [2]. If a test shows that your anxiety has decreased, then you know that the changes in therapy are working. If the test shows an increase in anxiety, then it may be time for a change of direction or new techniques.

Measuring progress is challenging, but extremely important if you want to make effective changes in your life — and stay on track toward achieving your goals.

Therapy is hard. It takes courage to seek help, but it’s more than just taking the first step – it’s a continual journey of self-discovery. Anima helps you quantify your progress and share this progress with your therapist in an intuitive and actionable way. I can’t explain why therapy works. But I know it does for me, many others and our product is designed to help it work for you too.


  1. Clarke, P. J., Marinovic, W., Todd, J., Basanovic, J., Chen, N. T., & Notebaert, L. (2020). What is attention bias variability? Examining the potential roles of attention control and response time variability in its relationship with anxiety. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 135, 103751.
  1. Ionita, G., Ciquier, G., & Fitzpatrick, M. (2020). Barriers and facilitators to the use of progress-monitoring measures in psychotherapy. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie canadienne, 61(3), 245.
  1. Kuckertz, J. M., Schofield, C. A., Clerkin, E. M., Primack, J., Boettcher, H., Weisberg, R. B., … & Beard, C. (2019). Attentional bias modification for social anxiety disorder: what do patients think and why does it matter?. Behavioural and cognitive psychotherapy, 47(1), 16-38.
  1. Huppert, J. D., Kivity, Y., Cohen, L., Strauss, A. Y., Elizur, Y., & Weiss, M. (2018). A pilot randomized clinical trial of cognitive behavioral therapy versus attentional bias modification for social anxiety disorder: An examination of outcomes and theory-based mechanisms. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 59, 1-9.
  1. Carlson, J. M., & Fang, L. (2022). Attentional bias to threat and gray matter volume morphology in high anxious individuals. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 22(3), 600-609.