The Cooper-Norcross Inventory of Preferences (C-NIP)
Helping Clients Articulate their Preferences for Therapy
Research indicates that psychotherapy outcomes are improved, and dropouts reduced, when clients’ treatment preferences are taken into account. Mick Cooper (University of Roehampton) and John Norcross (University of Scranton) developed the Inventory of Preferences (C-NIP) to assess such preferences. This short questionnaire aims to focus therapist activities where they may prove most helpful to clients.
On this site you can download digital copies of the C-NIP for use in clinical practice and research.
You can also access an online version of the form which will produce a summary report free. All responses are automatically anonymised to protect confidentiality. However, once the questionnaire is completed, we will ask you for permission to retain the anonymous data for research purposes and to improve our measure. Data will not be retained without your explicit permission. Personal information will not be shared with third parties. Please note, the online survey is currently longer than usual as we are trialling some different ways of asking our questions, but the summary report is the same.
What is the C-NIP?
The Cooper-Norcross Inventory of Preferences (C-NIP) enables clients to express their preferences for psychotherapy. For instance, would they like a therapist who focuses mainly on their thoughts, or who focuses mainly on their feelings?
The C-NIP summarizes any strong preferences that clients might have on four dimensions of therapist style:
Therapist directiveness vs Client directiveness
Emotional intensity vs Emotional reserve
Past orientation vs Present orientation
Warm Support vs Focused challenge
In addition, clients are asked open-ended questions about other therapy preferences they may have: for instance, the number of therapy sessions they would prefer.
Typically, clients will be asked by their therapist to complete the questions in an initial assessment/intake session. However, individuals may also be interested to complete the questionnaire before starting therapy and/or at regular intervals during the ongoing therapeutic work (e.g., review points).
The C-NIP has been translated into nine language (see available translations below), with an estimated 3,000 clients having used this measure since its inception in 2005. Our initial research suggests that clients rate the C-NIP as a helpful tool in their therapeutic journey.
If you are completing this questionnaire for yourself (online or on a downloaded form), please ensure that you have someone whom you can talk to, should the items cause any distress. In the unlikely event that you are distressed after completing the questionnaire, you can contact the Samaritans or other mental health helplines.
Please be aware that the responses to this questionnaire are intended as a starting point for discussing therapeutic approaches; and that individual psychotherapists and counsellors will vary in how able, and willing, they are to respond to clients' preferences.
Further scientific information on the development of the C-NIP can be found here. A subsequent study, published here, has examined the relationship between laypersons' and mental health professionals' preferences on the C-NIP. We have also examined the relationship between C-NIP scores and outcomes across a range of therapies, see here.
If you would like to discuss any aspect of the C-NIP, this online tool, or the research, please contact Mick Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org
Complete guidelines on the C-NIP are available to download here
The C-NIP is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). This means that you can use the measure freely in your own practice, research, or supervision without further permission, provided that the measure is not adapted in any way. However, if you wish to use the measure as part of a commercial operation (e.g., a therapy referral service), in which the C-NIP forms an integral part of the service delivery, please contact the authors to discuss licensing arrangements.
The C-NIP scale will take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
See samples of the rating and qualitative scales.
A paper form for the C-NIP is also available to download for free:
Download French (Belgian) version
Download French (Canadian) version
Download Spanish (Argentinian) version
A version of the C-NIP has also been developed to support therapist reflection. The CNIP-T v.1.1.1 developed by Czech psychologist Tomáš Řiháček, can be used by counsellors and psychotherapists to assess their own preferences for working with clients along the four C-NIP dimensions. The C-NIP-T can be used for in training, supervision, and research; and to reflect on the match between clients’ preferences and those of the therapist
For information about Counselling and Psychology research at the University of Roehampton, follow the link here
And, finally, this is how NOT to use the C-NIP...