New intervention technique to keep families together

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RESEARCHERS from the University of Dundee have published the first book on an innovative intervention technique credited with helping to keep families together and improve the performances of teachers and pupils.

Video Interaction Guidance (VIG) promotes empathy and builds positive relationships. Subjects, whether in a domestic or professional setting, are filmed and then take part in shared review sessions with VIG practitioners. Feedback is given on positive aspects of their behaviour as they interact with family members, colleagues or persons under their care.

Not giving negative feedback is an essential principle of VIG, as it teaches the subjects to think about their behaviour and how this impacts on others. VIG has shown to work in the most intractable situations, where other interventions have failed. Even in vulnerable families where there are child protection issues or substance misuse, VIG works by nurturing and developing positive outcomes.

The book, ‘Video Interaction Guidance: a relationship-based intervention to promote attunement, empathy and wellbeing’ was edited by Hilary Kennedy and Miriam Landor, from Dundee’s School of Education, Social Work and Community Education, and Liz Todd, from the University of Newcastle.

Hilary Kennedy said, “There has never been a greater need for people to relate more effectively as it is only in this way that we are going to be able to address the considerable problems of the world.

“The use of VIG in many different kinds of situations in this book is a reminder of its potential for many more.”

The book is the first to explain the theory behind the approach, review research evidence, and offer case studies that document how VIG has been successfully applied in family relationships, schools and higher education, individuals with communication and developmental disorders, and as a reflective professional development tool.

The approach is discussed from a range of theoretical perspectives and within the contexts of narrative therapy, infant and attachment interventions, positive psychology and mindfulness. Aimed at social workers, psychologists, educators, and other professionals, the book is both a theoretical exploration of why VIG works and a practical guide to its application.

The book will be launched during an international seminar on the use of VIG, to be held at the University later this week. The seminar, ‘A Celebration of VIG’s achievements – from Tayside to UK and international projects’ takes place on Friday, 25th May.

The seminar has been supported by a grant from the Scottish Division of Educational Psychologists, British Psychological Society (SDEP, BPS). Social workers, education researchers, practitioners and students from across the UK and Europe will be in attendance.

Dozens of further cases are in the pipeline and nine translators have been struck off the approved list.

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