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:​

  • 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 session. However, individuals may also be interested to complete the questionnaire before starting therapy.


Prior to completing this questionnaire, 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 about the C-NIP can be found here. The inventory has been developed within a pluralistic or integrative approach, which emphasises the centrality of collaboration and shared decision making between clients and therapists.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of the C-NIP, this online tool, or the research, please contact Mick Cooper at mick.cooper@roehampton.ac.uk

Complete guidelines on the C-NIP are available to download here


The C-NIP scale will take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

See samples of the rating and qualitative scales.

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.


Access the C-NIP and a summary report free from this site. 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.

A paper form for the C-NIP is also available to download for free:

Download English version

Download Czech version

Download German version

Download Italian version

Download Portuguese version

Download Serbian version

Download Turkish 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

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