What is VIG?
VIG stands for Video Inactive Guidance. It is a technique which aims to improve communication and relationships. It is most typically used for interactions between children and adults, either parents or professionals, although it can also be used within pairs (or even groups) of adults. Its aim is to give individuals a chance to reflect on their interactions, drawing attention to elements that are successful and supporting clients to make changes where desired. It involves participants in viewing and discussing very short recordings of their successful interactions with a Video Interaction Guider.
Where Does It Take Place?
Videotaping takes place wherever interaction normally occurs. The process begins by helping the family or professional to identify and negotiate goals. Asking them what it is they want to change helps to ensure that they are motivated and engaged in the process. Positive adult-child interactions are then filmed; at home, in any group setting, during play activity or in the workplace. The film is then edited and focuses on the positive.
Who Can You Use it With?
• With parents/carers or staff who are involved with children on a regular basis. Children can be aged from babies to teenagers and include those with additional support needs
• With families
• With children themselves
• With staff in any work setting - e.g. as a supervision and staff support/development tool or for team development
The Video Interaction Guider records about 10 minutes of interaction between the participants - either adult to adult, adult to child, or worker to adult and/or child. The guider returns on another day with about three selected clips showing the best examples of communication. The clips are selected using the Contact Principles - a set of principles developed from research into effective interaction. The guider and participants then view the clips and discuss them fully. The participants should then begin to see many elements of the skills they have and exactly how they can build further on these. This process is repeated until agreed success is achieved
What About Things People Do Wrong?
People do learn from their mistakes but repeated focuses on the negative aspects are likely to be seen as criticism and undermine the relationship that the guiders and participants have. VIG is meant to be empowering rather than de-skilling. It conveys respect for strengths and potential, rather than drawing attention to problems or weaknesses. VIG focuses on developing successful interaction skills which can be used to replace negative interaction. It guides the participants to develop their understanding of what works for them.
What Good Will it Do?
Participants become much more aware of their own skills in effective communication through viewing themselves. Their own views of the situation are listened to and responded to by the guider. They feel empowered. Their relationships, interactions and behaviours can develop considerably as they change their communication style.
How Does it Work?
Research has still to explain fully how it works. However evidence to date shows that it
• reduces stress for the participants
• positively reframes the participants' perceptions of themselves
• changes patterns of interactions
Practitioners believe that the technique works for the following reasons
• Filming is done in context - home, school, workplace, so it is based on what really happens.
• Participants are able to stand back and look at themselves on screen
• The process of actually seeing themselves communicate effectively is empowering and changes self perception
• There is raised awareness of their own interaction skills and the potential for further growth
• participants feel listened to by the guider and that their views and feelings are received
• The guider models the contact principles during feedback to provide a positive blueprint for approaching interaction and communication
• A shared understanding develops
• Changes in participants' self awareness and the self modeling that takes place through viewing themselves together with the support received all contribute to positive changes in communication and relationships with others.
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 interactions, 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.
The VIG approach 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.
Some of the Primary Mental Health Workers within CAMHS are trained in this approach and can be contacted to discuss possible referrals.
If you are you interested in using VIG or training please contact Suffolk CAMHS.