Case Study - An innovative digital measure for use in compassion focused therapy

A brief, digital measure of the three key emotion and motivation systems for self-monitoring and psychoeducation

Dr James Kirby
Native app development (React Native)


This app is a brief, micro-intervention based on a foundational concept from Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) known as the 'Three Circle model' (which, coincidentally, also inspired the name of this company).

CFT is a model of clinical therapy that introduces the three main emotion and motivation systems that affect how we think, feel and act. These are known as the Threat, Drive and Soothing systems.

All three are important, but they don't always act in the most helpful ways!

This app was developed in collaboration with the Compassionate Mind Research Group at the University of Queensland. It allows you to take a brief snapshot of your threat, drive and soothing systems at any given moment by simply resizing the circles. Data is stored anonymously on the user's device, allowing them to check in throughout the day, week, or year to see how their systems have changed or responded to their circumstances.

The aim is to help users to recognise the importance of their 'soothing' system, and encourage users to reflect on how their day-to-day experiences are linked with their thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

What we did

  • Design
  • Build (React Native)
  • Infrastructure
  • Evaluation Support

Dr Jamin Day and Three Circles Psychology are the very best at what they do. They have transformed my ideas into innovative digital tools that have changed the way I do research. Could not recommend them highly enough.

Dr James Kirby
Clinical Psychologist and Director, Compassionate Mind Research Group

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