Butcher Treatment Planning Inventory (BTPI)

Butcher Treatment Planning Inventory (BTPI)The Butcher Treatment Planning Inventory (BTPI) is a behaviorally oriented, 210-item, true-or-false measure of factors relevant to psychological treatment planning. It is intended to be atheoretical, though it was informed by behavioral and cognitive-behavioral treatment orientations. It requires roughly a sixth-grade reading level and, under standard conditions, can be completed in 30 minutes. It can be scored by hand, using templates, or using computer programs. Computer-based interpretations of the results are available. In addition to norms based on a general sample, norms also exist specifically for college students (which can be used in both research and clinical practice) as well as for psychotherapy patients (which are intended for research purposes).

Scale Descriptions

The BTPI items provide individual scores on 14 scales that fall into three clusters. The Validity Indicators assess contradictory response patterns (Inconsistent Responding, INC); unrealistically positive self-presentation (Overly Virtuous Self-Views, VIR); symptom exaggeration (Exaggerated Problem Presentation, EXA); and resistance to new behaviors and ideas (Closed-Mindedness, CLM). The Treatment Issues scales assess difficulties in allying with others (Problems in Relationship Formation, REL); tendency to somaticize distress (Somatization of Conflict, SOM); negative attitudes about psychotherapy (Low Expectation of Therapeutic Benefit, EXP); self-centeredness (Self-Oriented/Narcissism, NAR); and experience of a negative psychosocial environment (Perceived Lack of Environmental Support, ENV). The Current Symptoms scales assess low mood (Depression, DEP); tension and nervousness (Anxiety, ANX); hostile attitudes (Anger-Out, A-O); self-blame (Anger-In, A-I); and potentially delusional beliefs (Unusual Thinking, PSY). A General Pathology Composite combines scores on DEP, ANX, A-O, and A-I. A Treatment Difficulty Composite combines scores on PSY, REL, SOM, EXP, NAR, and ENV.

Uses of the BTPI

The BTPI scales provide extensive information regarding numerous patient characteristics that could affect the psychotherapy process, particularly those that could prevent or delay therapy-related change. The BTPI can be administered at several different points over a course of psychotherapy. In the early stages of psychotherapy, it can highlight initial treat­ment foci, whether psychological symptoms, process factors, or interpersonal variables. For example, an elevated score on Problems in Relationship Formation might suggest a need to make special efforts to engage a patient in a therapeutic alliance, over and above whatever steps typically might be taken early on in psychotherapy. Initial scores can also serve as baseline data for subsequent evaluation of psychotherapy-related change, providing an empirical basis for decisions about issues such as extending or terminating psychotherapy. Either the full measure or one of three briefer forms (the 80-item Symptom Monitoring Form, the 171-item Treatment Process/Symptom Form, or the 174-item Treatment Issues Form) can be readministered to gauge psychotherapy progress and outcome.

Early research on the BTPI highlights its potential usefulness in guiding the treatment-planning process. Given that it bridges the traditions of objective personality assessment and psychotherapeutic intervention, it enables clinicians to make thoughtful, data-based decisions about how to proceed with the care of their patients, increasing the likelihood that psychotherapy resources will be allocated sensibly and in a manner that promotes psychological growth.


  1. Butcher, J. N. 1998. The Butcher Treatment Planning Inventory: Manual. San Antonio, TX: The Psychological Corporation. (Republished in 2005 by MultiHealth Systems, Toronto, Canada)
  2. Hatchett, G. T., Han, K. and Cooker, P. G. 2002. “Predicting Premature Termination from Counseling Using the Butcher Treatment Planning Inventory.” Assessment 9:156-163.
  3. Perry, J. N. and Butcher, J. N. 1999. “Butcher Treatment Planning Inventory (BTPI): An Objective Guide to Treat­ment Planning.” Pp. 1157-1171 in The Use of Psychological Testing for Treatment Planning and Outcomes Assessment, 2d ed., edited by M. E. Maruish. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.