Node Link Mapping (ITEP)



Do your clients or service users have:

  • Literacy problems?
  • Low self-confidence?
  • Problems linking cause and effect?

Node-link (or ITEP) mapping may be a different and more effective way to work with them.

Hugh undertook his own Node-link Mapping training with two colleagues who had been trained by Dwayne Simpson at the Institute for Behavioural Research (IBR) in Fort Worth, Texas. Between 2005 and 2011 Hugh worked in collaboration with the National Treatment Agency on several components of the International Treatment Effectiveness Project (ITEP), whilst working for the Lifeline Project.

The International Treatment Effectiveness Project (ITEP)

The International Treatment Effectiveness Project (ITEP) was part of the National Treatment Agency’s Treatment Effectiveness strategy, which identified areas for enhancing the quality of treatment interventions. The project was a collaboration between the NTA, the Institute of Behavioural Research (IBR) in Texas and a series of service providers in North West England and London, including the Lifeline Project in Manchester. It was also branded elswhere in the UK as BTEI (the Birmingham Treatment Effectiveness Initiative). 

Previous research conducted at the IBR found that clients receiving node link mapping as part of a range of psychosocial interventions had more favourable outcomes in terms of treatment participation, reduced illicit drug use, and reductions in criminal activity. The IBR also found that such interventions were a successful way to communicate important information about drug use. The ITEP project built on this internationally evaluated model of service improvement and adapted the model to compliment and evaluate the use of the psychosocial interventions in drug services.

Node Link Mapping

ITEP utilises interventions referred to as 'mapping' to assist with assessment and care planning. Mapping is a visual communication tool for clarifying shared information between client and key worker. It helps clients to look at the causes and effects of their thinking and also assists in problem solving. Key workers are trained in using mapping techniques and brief interventions aimed at changing thinking patterns.

Services that implemented mapping found that clients had better rapport with their key workers, that there were improved levels of client participation in treatment and that clients benefited from better peer support compared to clients in those services that did not receive mapping, or received very little.

Node Link Mapping Training

What follows is a suggested outline of a two-day training programme for drug and alcohol practitioners in understanding and implementing the psychosocial interventions used in the International Treatment Effectiveness Project (ITEP).  All of Soma's courses are tailored to meet individual organisational needs; the exact content and order of the training sessions may differ in the final delivery and may be altered at your request and to your specification.

Day One

  • Introduction to ITEP - Participants are introduced to the work of the Institute of Behavioural Research at Texas Christian University and the introduction of ITEP into the United Kingdom
  • ‘Mapping’ and its relationship with other therapeutic approaches - This session explores the concept of ‘node-link mapping’, introduces participants to the four types of maps used with clients: Information Maps, Free Maps, Guided Maps and Hybrid Maps and considers how mapping can be used to complement other therapeutic approaches
  • Practical Mapping One - This session explores Information and Guided maps in more depth and allows participants ‘hands-on’ experience of completing both types of maps in simulated exercises
  • Plenary and Reflection

Day Two

  • Practical Mapping Two - An exploration of the uses for Free Mapping and provides practical experience of completing Free Maps
  • Practical Mapping Three - This session explores the uses for Hybrid Maps and provides practical experience of their completion
  • Evaluating ITEP - This session examines the evaluation protocols established by the Institute of Behavioural Research including the Client Evaluation of Self in Treatment (the “CEST,” which measures Motivation, Engagement and Social and Psychological functioning) and Criminal Thinking Skills
  • Plenary and Reflection

Training Evaluation

Evaluation is usually conducted using two tools established by the Institute for Behavioural Research: The Workshop Evaluation (WEVAL) and The Workshop Assesment Follow-up Survey (WAFU).


Recent Feedback

"A fantastic day of training and really helpful. I saw the benfits of mapping and how you can apply them practically with clients. The training was accessible and useful and Hugh's style was great - friendly and inclusive"
Engagement Worker, Lifeline Project, London

"Friendly trainer - open to exploring the topic and could bring the topic back to practice - A useful refresher on the benefits of mapping as an extra tool to be used in supporting service users in their recovery"
Recovery Co-ordinator, Lifeline Project, London

Suitable for:
Anyone working with people who may use drugs or alcohol, including drug and alcohol professionals, Youth Workers, Social Workers, and Probation Officers

One or Two Days

Prior Knowledge:
No prior knowledge required

All training packages are mapped to the relevant National Occupational Standards

All training packages include a certificate of training for participants and a comprehensive participant's pack that can be customised to include your details.

Although Soma is based in Lancashire, in the North West of England, we deliver drug and alcohol awareness training across England, Scotland and Wales.