If you’re feeling unconfident as a parent, or that there is an issue with your relationship with one of your children, Video Interaction Guidance (VIG) may be a good tool to use. It involves figuring out what is bothering you and devising a ‘helping question’ that you would like answered, before taking video clips of you with your child. This is then edited to show you moments of positive attunement between you and your child, and between us we look at these clips to get a better understanding of what is going on for you and your child in those moments, and what you can take from this.
Examples of helping questions can include:
“Am I a good-enough mother?”
“Am I harming my baby because of the way I’m feeling?”
“Will I ever bond with my baby?”
“Does my baby love me?”
“Is my older child getting enough of me now there is a new baby in the house?”
“Why does my baby always cry when I do ‘such-and-such’?”
VIG is used in a lot of settings, including in specialist perinatal mental health units and in educational and social work environments, because it is such a powerful way of showing you what your strengths are. Being able to see these can have a big impact on your confidence and how you see your relationship with your child. It can bring some real moments of healing and relief from anxiety.
The Mental Health Foundation has provided a good description of VIG here.
One of the great things about it is that you are able to see what you are doing for yourself, and at the end of our work together you get to keep the clips, to remind yourself of your strengths if you need to. Some people just enjoy looking at the clips because there can be so much joy in looking at these moments of positive interaction.
After a free half hour telephone conversation (where we discuss what is going on for you and develop the helping question), a VIG cycle involves two main parts:
A 30 minute session at my practise, where we reconsider the helping question and then take up to 10 minutes of video.
A 1hr session at my practise, where we review the edited clips that I have put together in light of your helping question, and find out what new information these clips might give us.
Just one or two cycles of VIG can make a big difference, although often parents find that they want to complete 3 cycles as the focus often becomes clearer after the first cycle. Having three sessions tends to really consolidate the work.
Up to 2 cycles: £150 for each cycle
3+ cycles: £135 for each cycle
VIG is normally carried out in my office in Portobello, Edinburgh - although depending on your circumstances, my current workload and travelling distance, I may consider alternative locations.
Please do get in contact if you would like to know more about VIG or how it might work in your situation.