New online psychotherapy tool helps patients choose therapy preferences

  • Tuesday, July 30, 2019

A free online psychotherapy tool has been launched to help patients identify their therapy preferences.

The Inventory of Preferences (C-NIP) can be used in an initial assessment or early session in psychotherapy or counselling to facilitate a dialogue between therapist and client on how best to deliver the treatment.

The C-NIP was developed by Professor Mick Cooper from the University of Roehampton and Dr John Norcross from the University of Scranton, USA.

Research* suggests that eliciting and accommodating clients’ psychotherapy preferences is important to the outcome of therapy.

The Inventory of Preferences has been trialled with 3000 people in the UK and America, and a further 1000 in Italy. The C-NIP has been translated into eight languages including Czech, Italian, Serbian, Turkish, Dutch, Polish, Danish and Finnish.

Patients firstly indicate their preferences for how they would like the therapist to work with them on 18 items. The items are grouped into 4 two-dimensional scales Therapist Directiveness vs. Client Directiveness, Emotional Intensity vs. Emotional Reserve, Past Orientation vs Present Orientation, and Warm Support vs. Focused Challenge. At the end of each scale is a scoring key, which calculates strong preferences in both directions.

Completion and scoring of the C-NIP typically takes five minutes. The length of the subsequent discussion and treatment planning varies considerably. The tool is free to use and can be found on the website.

* Swift JK, Callahan JL, Cooper M, Parkin SR. (2018). The impact of accommodation client preferences in psychotherapy: A meta-analysis. Journal of Clinical Psychology. 74(11):1924-37.