VIG for parents
Video Interaction Guidance (VIG) can help you to see what you are already doing that is helping your baby/child – strengths that you may not know you have.
Having a baby and bringing up a child is an exciting time, and it can also be a stressful one. Parenting is a challenging task for everyone. Many parents lack confidence in what they are doing. You may be asking yourself:
“Am I a good-enough parent?”
“Why don’t I feel a bond with my baby/child?”
“Why does my baby/child behave in this way? I just don’t understand.”
“How can I have more fun with my baby/child?”
“Have I got enough to give to more than one child?”
It is easy to feel that there must be a ‘right’ way.
A skilled VIG practitioner helps you to:
build your confidence as a parent/carer
reduce your stress, and manage difficult situations
enjoy your relationship more with your baby/child
Parents/carers are often unsure about seeing themselves on video, and may even dread it. To their surprise, they may find this the most powerful and enjoyable part of the intervention.
This is a brief brief video of parents talking about their positive experiences of VIG.
This video was made by Cornwall Council practitioners using VIG with families.
This video refers to VIG in a perinatal service, showing a parent reflecting on her experience of VIG with a VIG practitioner.
Here we have parents talking about their experience of doing VIG with their health visitor.
What is VIG?
VIG is a strengths-based, effective, brief intervention for parents and carers of children across all ages. VIG can even be used during pregnancy to help you to connect with your unborn baby.
VIG uses videos of parents/carers and children in everyday situations to improve communication, and to find ways of getting on better.
It highlights and builds on attuned moments in parent-child interaction.
You are supported by a VIG practitioner to view and reflect together on brief moments of video of you and your baby/child.
You are supported to notice and think about: ‘What is it that I am already doing that is making a difference?’
Through this process you become aware of, and build on, your skills in attunement.
Together with your VIG Practitioner you come to a new understanding of yourself as a parent, your baby/child, and your relationship with them.
VIG relationships are built on respect, trust, hope, compassion, co-operation and appreciation. Your ideas, and what you notice, are important.
VIG is powerful: parents and carers often voice their surprise and pleasure in what they see.
Steps in VIG
This is what you can expect if you agree to take part in VIG.
1. A VIG practitioner meets with you to talk about your concerns, your hopes, and your expectations. You agree what you want to change (your goal), eg “I want to get on better with my child”.
2. From this goal, together you work out a ‘Helping Question’ for the VIG work, eg “What am I already doing to build a closer relationship with my child?”
3. You agree a time for the VIG practitioner to video you and your baby/child, in an activity of your choice, or simply an interaction, for just 5-10 minutes. This may be at home, at a clinic or children’s centre, or even outside, e.g. in a park.
4. Before the next session, your VIG practitioner looks carefully at the video recording. The practitioner edits the video to create brief clips of attuned moments, where things are going better than usual in your interaction, and you are moving towards your goals.
5. Your VIG practitioner meets with you to share these video clips in a ‘shared review’.
6. Together you look carefully at each clip, noticing what you are doing that is making a difference, and is helping you to reach your goals.
7. The focus is on your strengths, and how you can do more of what is already working well.
You may meet for several ‘VIG cycles’ of videoing, followed by a shared review, to discover more about your baby/child and about yourself as a parent.
What happens to the videos?
Your VIG practitioner will talk to you about how they plan to keep your videos safe. How this is done depends on the organization your VIG practitioner works for. In many organizations, the videos are deleted at the end of the VIG sessions. Depending on the organization, you may be able to keep a copy of the videos to enjoy.
You can withdraw your consent to videoing at any time if you do not wish to continue, and if you do not want your videos to be stored.
How do I find a VIG practitioner?
VIG practitioners are working across the UK, with families in a wide range of circumstances.
You may find there is a local public service (for example, your health visitor, or a family support service) that offer VIG. Some specialist services, such as CAMHS, perinatal services, and educational psychology services, offer VIG.
Click the button to see our national directory of accredited VIG practitioners who work independently.
The VIG practitioner does not have to be local to you – VIG can be offered online.
Can you do VIG online?
VIG does not have to be done face-to-face. VIG practitioner and client can meet online (e.g. using Zoom or Microsoft Teams). You can ‘meet’ using a device such as a tablet, laptop or mobile phone.
Your VIG practitioner can video you and your baby/child remotely, through your device and their computer. It’s the same process as described in the steps above, except that you meet online again for the ‘shared review’. Your VIG practitioner shows you clips by sharing their screen.
For some people, online VIG can feel more comfortable than face-to-face. VIG can be just as effective online as in person.
Here is a quote from a research project carried out during COVID lockdown:
‘A well-managed online connection can be as effective as an in-person meeting: clients value these personal connections, especially at times of restriction.’
Zoom or Room project by Nicola Yuill, Devyn Glass & Zubeida Dasgupta, University of Sussex UK, 2022.
What Code of Conduct applies to VIG Practitioners?
AVIGuk aims to protect the public in various ways.
We set standards of conduct, performance and ethical practice through our core values and beliefs, which are communicated to our registrants.
We set standards for registrants' training to ensure that all those completing an approved AVIGuk training meet the standards of proficiency required at each level of training.
We maintain a database of professionals who meet these standards.
We set standards of continuing professional development for all registrants.
Where is VIG recommended?
The evidence for VIG has been growing over the last 20 years. Studies show that using video feedback methods reduces parental stress and increases confidence in parenting.
VIG is recommended in the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines on Children’s Attachment (2015), Children with Autism (2013) and Social and Emotional Wellbeing (2012).
More on VIG...
New VIG Research and Evidence page on its way