Improve your therapeutic alliance & outcomes  by understanding and  addressing alexithymia

Have you ever had an “unproductive” client unable to engage with the question “How do you feel?” on an emotional level?

They might’ve had alexithymia, the most overlooked emotional health problem defined as difficulty identifying, regulating and communicating feelings.

Up to 50% of people diagnosed with a mental disorder are alexithymic. Research has also shown that 50% of people going to therapy don’t respond to treatment.

It's not a coincidence - studies have associated alexithymia with unfavorable outcomes in psychotherapy.

In our user research, we’ve heard many stories of alexithymics wandering from one therapist to another not feeling understood, because they don’t speak the language of emotions.

Unfortunately, most professionals are not aware of alexithymia, and so it is not being screened. And even if it is recognized, most professionals aren’t trained to work with alexithymic patients.

That’s why we decided to build Animi - an evidence-based app dedicated to improving alexithymia. Think of it as “Duolingo for Emotions” - teaching the language of emotions.

But since clients are only one side of the relationship, we're also working on training materials - like a Continuing Education (CE) course about alexithymia - aimed at educating professionals and giving them the tools to make a difference in their practice.

If you're interested, leave us your email and we'll let you know when it's ready.

I am interested in a CE course

Research manifesto

We've spent the last few years researching alexithymia and developing a product that holistically addresses it. During that time we've ran across hundreds of scientific papers describing the prevalences of alexithymia in various communities, as well as important (and sometime unexpected) associations and insights, such as the examples above.

We've summarized them in a manifesto explaining why alexithymia is the most overlooked emotional health problem.

If you're interested in quickly getting up to speed about  alexithymia, the manifesto will build your initial understanding quickly and for free.

50+ years of academic research summarized
100+ peer-reviewed papers referenced
Evidence-based claims
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Alexithymia & neurodiversity

Research has also shown that neurodiverse individuals are very often alexithymic..

... 50% of autistic people and up to 42% of people with ADHD struggle with alexithymia!

Some researchers even believe that the social-communicative difficulties often attributed to autism may largely be due to co-occurring alexithymia, dubbed "the alexithymia hypothesis".

That’s because it’s been shown that it’s actually alexithymic traits, and not autistic traits, that predict impaired interoception, perceived attachment to parents, impaired prosocial behavior, frequency of social interactions, abnormal facial expression production, atypical eye-gaze patterns, poor recognition of emotional facial expressions, empathetic brain responses in the insula, and more.

Other studies also support  alexithymic and autistic traits being distinct, and a recent review sums up the evidence and argues that it is important to recognize and treat alexithymic traits as soon and as best as possible. Both argue it will be important to let recognition of alexithymia guide clinical and non-clinical care. This study further proposes that targeting emotional awareness may improve social-communicative and anxiety symptoms in autism, potentially conferring long-term benefits.

Alexithymia is also the reason why emotional health solutions developed for neurotypical individuals mostly do not work well for neurodiverse individuals.

It's one of the reasons why many of our users are neurodivergent, and why professionals recommending Animi to their clients are seeing great results with neurodiverse clients.

Seeking Continuous Education about alexithymia?

Leave us your email and we'll let you know once the first CE course is ready. If you're interested in the intersection of specific topics and alexithymia, please specify the are of interest in the message field so we can prioritize.

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What people say about Animi

The best app ive ever used in my life!
I cannot recommend enough.
As someone who struggles with emotional dysregulation this has been exponentially helpful for me, as well as my family.

It feels like the app was tailored for me and reached me at the perfect moment. Regular therapy and methods have not worked for me cause guess what - I DON’T KNOW WHAT I FEEL! 😂 With Animi - I finally feel seen, valued, like I matter in this world and best of all - I feel tremendous hope. ❤️

Very helpful!
Feel like the tool has allowed me to regulate even when having very distressing emotions through understanding. Easier to map them using symptoms on the body. 10/10 something I didn't even know I needed or could help so much with PTSD/ADHD.

I really like this app - it's going to be genuinely useful for me. The emotion compass is the best part. My wife agrees! It helped me to have a conversation I would otherwise have struggled with, by showing her the cards.

As a mental health clinician, I've found Animi to be a game-changer in supporting my clients struggling
with alexithymia.

Animi stands out in its comprehensive, user-friendly approach to improving emotional intelligence. It's an
essential tool in my practice and has made a significant difference in the lives of my clients.

I recommend Animi wholeheartedly to any clinician aiming to enhance their clients' emotional
understanding and regulation.

Jay Getten
CEO, Clinical Director, and Behavioral Health Consultant

The app is in my opinion much better than emotion wheels as there is so much more details/information.

I’ve improved immensely - almost unrecognizably. Now I find myself much more capable of crying, expressing myself, and recognizing my emotions much faster, almost instantly. I have more capacity to motivate myself, approach others, and socialize. I am much happier and adapt better to my environment.

This app is very helpful. I know a lot of people with autism use this. But ever since my injury I had a hard time figuring out what I was feeling. This app has been helping me by identifying my physical reactions and helping me match them up with a word.

I DON'T LOVE this app, I learn WHAT IS LOVE in this app.
Highly recommended for people with traumatic histories, people with poor emotional intelligence who cannot get along with peers and with those who were never trained in assessing their own emotions in their early developmental stages of life.

Initial internal data show promise

A preliminary analysis of the anonymized PAQ data shows that actively using Animi (≥10 emotion logs) reduces PAQ alexithymia score (taken with at least 30 days in between) in a moderately dose-dependent manner (r=-0.31)

We're mission-driven

Animi aims to build one stop solution for alexithymia. To  help people understand, work with and communicate emotions, and ultimately improve the wellness, quality of life and relationships for millions of people.


We only collect anonymized alexithymia test data and other metadata to assess effectivity of the app. Your sensitive journal data stays on the device. We don't share the data with any third-parties nor sell it nor use it for any kind of advertisement.


We incorporated Animi as a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) to clearly signal to users, investors, or other stakeholders that we are motivated not only by profit, but mainly by our mission. Our impact has been recognized by the Social Impact Award organized by Impact Hub in 2022.


The app and resources are based on the scientific literature, and initial internal data shows great results (see for yourself). We are exploring options to validate our app in pilot studies, as the initial internal data shows the app can significantly improve alexithymia in a dose-dependent way. Please reach out if you're interested in collaborating.