Two psychotherapy researchers, Mick Cooper and John Norcross, have developed a questionnaire to help people explore their preferences for therapy.
We mention this in a previous post about where CAT sits alongside a range of other therapies. Follow back via this link to read that article.
This measure, the Cooper-Norcross Inventory of Preferences (C-NIP), asks a series of questions about what you might prefer in therapy. Your responses give a score which helps to show any strong preferences about the follow areas.
Therapist or Client Directiveness
Do you want your therapist to be more directive, ask you questions and provide more structure to sessions? Or would you prefer to be more in control of the direction of the session while your therapist takes a less active role?
Emotional Intensity or Reserve
Are you looking for a therapy that has more focus on emotions? Would you like more emphasis on expressing strong feelings, and what’s happening in the relationship between you and your therapist? Or would you prefer to keep sessions more about thoughts and what’s happening outside of the therapy relationship?
Past or Present Orientation
Would you like to include thinking and talking about past events and relationships in your therapy? Or would you prefer to stay in the here-and-now or look towards the future?
Warm Support versus Focussed Challenge
Would you like your therapist to gently support you with your feelings more than challenge you? Or would you prefer a therapist who may challenge your views and beliefs at times?
The inventory also asks a set of other questions about your preferences for therapy. For example, you might prefer to see a therapist of a particular gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion. Or you might prefer therapy to take place more or less frequently (for example weekly or fortnightly). You might be looking for a short-term therapy with a definite time limit so that you know when it will end, or you might be looking for something more open-ended.
When and why might I use this form?
The authors suggest that you use the form as part of your assessment, to help you discuss preferences with your therapist. Otherwise, it may be helpful to use it as a tool for self-reflection while you are thinking about therapy. This might help you to decide what sort of therapy to try, or to ask for. You could take it along to discuss with your doctor or other health professional when asking about options for referral to therapy.
What scores might match well with a CAT approach?
We can’t predict or advise you on whether cognitive analytic therapy would be a good match for you. No-one has yet researched scores on this measure and how they relate to this model of therapy. However we would expect that CAT may be of interest to people whose preference scores are in the
- middle-to-higher range on therapist directiveness,
- higher range on emotional intensity,
- middle range on past or present orientation, and
- middle range on warm support/focussed challenge
Where do I find this Inventory?
You can access the Cooper-Norcross Inventory of Preferences (C-NIP) at this link. You can complete an online version there. If you do, scores are used for a research project being conducted by the authors through the University of Roehampton.
Alternatively, you can download and print off a paper copy and complete it privately. The paper copy is available in English, Italian, German and Serbian.
Please note that neither the authors nor the C-NIP website are associated with ACAT. ACAT takes no responsibility for communications through the C-NIP website. We highlight it as a possible tool to use as your own choice. It may help you consider what sort of therapy would feel most comfortable for you.
Thanks are extended to Mick Cooper for helpful comments on this page.