Hilary Kennedy is an Educational Psychologist, Honorary Senior Lecturer UCL and AVIGuk National Trainer and Supervisor. She is a key developer of Video Interaction Guidance (VIG) in the UK and is involved in supporting research in the effectiveness of VIG as an intervention.
The recent MABIM ‘introduction to Video Interaction Guidance (VIG)’ seminar explored the value of VIG in supporting mums and babies where perinatal mental illness existed. In this blog, Hilary explains the intervention and how widely it can be used to support the parent-infant relationship.
Video Interaction Guidance is an intervention through which a practitioner uses video clips of authentic situations to enhance communication within relationships. It works by actively engaging clients to develop better relationships with those who are important to them.
The VIG practitioner takes a client-centered approach – they are attentive to the client and acknowledge their concerns, while also helping them to question how they can improve their relationships. This enables clients to be actively engaged in change.
The practitioner takes a short video of the client interacting with the person with whom they would like their relationship to be better – such as parent and child, or teacher and child. This video can be coached and is often ‘better than usual’.
The VIG practitioner then selects clips which relate to the client’s goals, to illustrate and highlight moments where the interaction is attuned and shares these video clips with the client, studying the video carefully together.
They video the shared review, and together with the supervisor they actively reflect on areas where the interaction was ‘attuned’ which means “a moment or sequence of connection where the parent has left space for and then received the child’s initiative in a sensitive or joyful way” . This process is repeated three or four times.
The VIG practitioner emphasises that change, even in adverse situations, is possible, and that the key to supporting change is by affirming strengths and recognising that everyone is doing the best they can at the time.
VIG moves at the client’s pace; identifies their concerns so that the client is actively involved in the change. The process helps the clients to develop new narratives about themselves as parents, their child and their relationship with their child.
The principles and practice of VIG are very versatile and can be applied to any relationship and any age range. VIG can also be used initially to support a parent and child and then used systemically with extended family (e.g. both parents, siblings, grandparents) and also professionals (e.g. social worker, family support worker, school staff).
Accredited VIG training is available for professionals and volunteers. It takes the form of a 2-day initial training course, accredited by the Association of Video Interaction Guidance UK (AVIGuk) followed by supervision over training period (often 18-24 months), an accreditation process at each of the three stages of training plus peer supervision continues once an accredited VIG practitioner.
AVIGuk regulates the standards of the quality of VIG training and practice in the UK, and in the affiliated countries that have chosen to follow the UK training standards: Czech Republic, Finland, Italy, Greece, Malta, Australia, Mexico, Ecuador, Argentina.
To find out more look at the AVIGuk website
with articles on VIG knowledge
Forthcoming: Kennedy, H. and Underdown, A. ‘Video Interaction Guidance: promoting secure attachment and optimal development for children, parents and professionals’ in Leach. P. ‘Innovative Research in Infant Wellbeing’, London: Routledge
To download the resources mentioned in this post and to explore our other MABIM tools for leaders working in perinatal mental health visit: www.maternalmentalhealthalliance.org/mumsandbabiesinmind/mabim-tools