Video Interactive Guidance (VIG) for Parents
VIG takes the view that change can be achieved more effectively in the context of a 'coaching' relationship than 'teaching' relationship, because this is collaborative rather than prescriptive, empowering rather than de-skilling. It conveys respect for strengths and potential, rather than drawing attention to problems or weaknesses. Throughout filming and feedback sessions, parents are supported to become more sensitive to their child's communicative attempts and to develop greater awareness of how they can respond in an attuned way. They are empowered to make an informed decision about change.
The use of the video is also of central importance both as a focus for co-constructing new possibilities and as a trigger for revealing intuitive feelings which can be the key to lasting change. It seems that the video helps troubled families uncover alternative stories about themselves. In the process of standing back and looking at themselves on screen, parents are able to analyse what they were doing when things were going 'better than usual'. In this way they can grow in an organic way into their new way of being without having to consciously remember and put in place new skills. There is a deeper level of healing that can take place when relationships are restored where further positive changes can naturally occur.
Method of delivery – core components
The process begins by helping the family to negotiate their own goals. Asking them what it is they want to change helps ensure they are engaged in the process. Adult-child interactions (e.g. a game, a conversation, reading a book together) are filmed and edited, to produce a short film or a set of short (30 second) clips focusing on the positive.
In the video feedback sessions that follow, the family and professional reviews a micro-analysis of successful moments, particularly those when the adult has responded in an attuned way to the child's action or initiative using a combination of non-verbal and verbal responses. They reflect collaboratively on what they are doing that is contributing towards the achievement of their goals, celebrate success and then make further goals for change. These reflections move very quickly from analysis of the behaviour to the exploration of feelings, thoughts, wishes and intentions.
These two visits to the family form one cycle and the family can take part in as many cycles as seems sufficient, or they wish to receive. The average number of cycles tends to be 6. The family is given the lead in thinking about their own part in interaction with their child, and deciding what areas they require support and further focus in.
All practitioners are 'supervised' in their own supported reflection through the analysis of themselves in filmed interaction. The films of the feedbacks are used in supervision focusing and building on micro-moments of attuned interaction, particularly those where they activate the client to make initiatives, then receive the client fully and respond with ideas that can be understood and used to promote positive change. This cyclical process has all the elements of effective adult learning. Many video interactive guidance practitioners state that working with VIG has fundamentally changed their interactions with clients, colleagues and in their personal lives. Turning points for parents and professionals seem to be around moments of joy which can be observed on the video and celebrated by both the professionals and the families and then again with the supervisor.
Video Interaction Guidance training is available by contacting Dr Hilary Kennedy at firstname.lastname@example.org or any VIGuk accredited supervisor.
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