Accessing and Accommodating Preferences in Therapy - Exeter

Accessing and Accommodating Preferences in Therapy - Exeter

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Iron Mill College

7 Barnfield Cresent



United Kingdom

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How can we go about understanding what clients’ preferences are? And what should we do to accommodate them?

About this event

Research indicates that assessing and, where possible, accommodating clients’ preferences in therapy can be highly beneficial to outcomes. It is also something that, ethically and clinically, most counsellors and psychotherapists would want to do. But how can we go about understanding what clients’ preferences are? And what should we do to accommodate them?

Working with clients’ preferences is by no means straightforward, and literature and training in the area is sparse. What happens, for instance, if a client does not seem to have any preferences? Or if what they want is not what the therapist thinks is best for them? And what should a therapist do if what a client wants is not something that a therapist feels able, or willing, to offer?

This workshop, based on the recently published Personalizing Psychotherapy: Assessing and Accommodating Patient Preferences (Norcross & Cooper, 2021, APA), addresses these questions and many more. It will introduce participants to the latest theory and evidence on working with client preferences; and give practical guidance on how to assess client preferences, including through use of the Cooper-Norcross Inventory of Preferences. The workshop will also give practical guidance on how to integrate clients’ preferences into practice, either through adoption, adaptation, proposing an alternative, or referral to another. Case studies and personal reflexive exercises will be used throughout the workshop to deepen learning.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

Ask clients questions that can elicit preferences

Respond to clients’ preferences in a range of ways

Apply the Cooper-Norcross Inventory of Preferences in their work, and for self-reflection

Comprehend the evidence for assessing and accommodating client preferences

Comprehend, and be able to integrate into practice, the theory behind preference work


Session 1: Evidence and theory for preference work

Session 2: Assessing and eliciting clients’ preferences

Session 3: Using the Cooper-Norcross Inventory of Preferences

Session 4: Accommodating clients’ preferences into counselling and psychotherapy


This workshop is typically delivered as a one day event. It can be delivered online.

The workshop combines self-development exercises, theoretical input, practical exercises, case studies, and small and large group discussion.

The workshop is appropriate for training and practising counsellors, psychotherapists, counselling psychologists and other mental health professionals.

This workshop deepens and extends material that is introduced in Mick’s workshop on pluralistic therapy.

Meet Mick Cooper:

Mick Cooper is an internationally recognised author, trainer, and consultant in the field of humanistic, existential, and pluralistic therapies. He is a Chartered Psychologist, and Professor of Counselling Psychology at the University of Roehampton.

Mick has facilitated workshops and lectures around the world, including New Zealand, Lithuania, and Florida. Mick's books include Existential Therapies (Sage, 2017), Working at Relational Depth in Counselling and Psychotherapy (Sage, 2018), and The Handbook of Person-Centred Psychotherapy and Counselling (Palgrave, 2013).

His latest work is Integrating Counselling and Psychotherapy: Directionality, Synergy, and Social Change (Sage, 2019). Mick’s principal areas of research have been in shared decision-making/personalising therapy, and counselling for young people in schools. In 2014, Mick received the Carmi Harari Mid-Career Award from Division 32 of the American Psychological Association. He is a Fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and the Academy of Social Sciences.

This is an 'in person' workshop, based at Iron Mill's venue in Exeter. The running of this workshop as an 'in person' workshop is dependent on the Covid-19 restrictions and social distancing measures in place at the time of the workshop date.

If Covid-19 restrictions are such that the workshop cannot go ahead in person, it will either be postponed or moved online. If this happens, all delegates will be contacted and offered the choice to re-book or receive a refund. We will review arrangements 2 weeks' before the event and inform you of any changes.