man in white dress shirt sitting beside woman in black long sleeve shirt

Video Interaction Guidance (VIG): Transforming Communication and Relationships

Video Interaction Guidance™ (VIG) is an incredible tool that taps into the power of video technology to foster improved communication in relationships. It’s a method that has seen successful application in various contexts, from education to health services. But if you’re new to this concept, you might be asking, “What is Video Interaction Guidance?” Let’s break it down together.

Understanding the VIG Approach

VIG is a method built on the principles of sensitivity, attunement, and mentalization. At its core, it’s about strengthening relationships, making it a versatile tool that can be used in any relationship dynamic. The VIG practitioner guides the client through a process of change, helping them realize their hopes for improved relationships. It’s a client-centered approach, meaning it moves at the client’s pace and is shaped around their goals.

The cornerstone of VIG is a set of core values and beliefs that guide its practitioners. These include:

  • The conviction that individuals in difficult situations genuinely want to change
  • The belief that recognizing and appreciating strengths is pivotal to supporting change
  • The understanding that each person in a conversation holds equal importance
  • The notion that trust is established through empathetic recognition of the challenges people face
  • The fundamental principle that individuals must be actively involved in their own change process

The Mechanism of VIG

The VIG process starts with the practitioner helping the client come up with a ‘helping question,’ directly linked to their goal. For instance, the question could be, “What am I doing to build a stronger relationship with my child?” The practitioner then films a few minutes of the client’s interaction, which is then edited to create ‘clips’ of attuned moments. The practitioner and the client then review these clips jointly, discussing the client’s strengths and creating new ideas together.

This process is not only powerful but also emotionally moving. It allows clients to recognize their strengths and appreciate their progress. They are often pleasantly surprised by what they see in these clips, which helps them build a more positive narrative about themselves and their relationships.

The Rich History of VIG

The birthplace of VIG was the Netherlands, where researchers closely examined the subtle and natural ways that babies and their parents communicate. They looked for the ‘moments of vitality’ between parent and baby/child, understanding the importance of these moments and giving birth to VIG as a therapeutic method. The method was first introduced to the UK in the mid-1990s and has since been utilized in numerous countries, including the Netherlands, Germany, and the USA.

The Applications of VIG

VIG is a highly flexible method that can be used in several contexts, including health, schools, and social care. It can be used to enhance relationships between parents and their children, teachers and their students, and professionals and their clients. It’s also an effective intervention for families on the edge of care, under a Child in Need or Child Protection plan, and for foster or adoptive families.

VIG is currently being used in various health services, such as perinatal mental health, parent-infant services, children’s mental health services (all ages), adult mental health, hospital settings, learning difficulties services, elderly and dementia services. It’s also applied in schools to promote staff attunement to pupils (including children with special needs), enhance oracy and literacy skills, promote well-being for staff and pupils, and support children who have experienced neglect and/or trauma.

The Science Behind VIG

VIG works by highlighting and building on attuned moments in interaction. Clients are supported by a VIG practitioner to view and reflect together on strengths-based micro-moments of video. This process of active engagement and reflection allows clients to become aware of, and build on, their skills in attunement.

The intervention has been scientifically shown to enhance positive parenting skills, decrease parental stress, increase parenting enjoyment, and improve parental attitudes to parenting. It’s also been related to more positive development of the children, although the effect at child-level is reduced in high-risk families. Despite these promising results, more research is needed to fully understand the impact of VIG.

Training in VIG

Accredited VIG training is available for professionals and volunteers. It consists of a 2-day initial training course, accredited by the Association of Video Interaction Guidance UK (AVIGuk), followed by supervision over a training period (often 18-24 months), an accreditation process at each of the three stages of training, and continuing peer supervision once an accredited VIG practitioner.

VIG Critics and Recommendations

Despite its success, VIG has faced criticism for only focusing on positive factors. However, this critique has not been substantiated in terms of making VIG ineffective. Others have raised concerns about the length and cost of VIG training, arguing that this could limit scalability and prevent wider use of VIG.

Nonetheless, VIG is recommended in the UK by NICE (the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) and is one of two interventions recommended by the NSPCC to improve parenting. It is also recommended for health visitors, and the European Union DataPrev database also recommends VIG.


In conclusion, Video Interaction Guidance (VIG) is a powerful and effective tool for enhancing communication in relationships. It leverages the power of video technology to help individuals reflect on and improve their interactions with others. Whether you’re a parent looking to strengthen your bond with your child or a professional seeking to improve your communication skills, VIG could be the solution you’re looking for.

So, what is Video Interaction Guidance? It’s a tool for change, a pathway to better communication, and a catalyst for stronger relationships. It’s an intervention that believes in your potential to grow and change. And it’s a method that, with the right guidance and patience, can help you realize your hopes for healthier, happier relationships.



Leave a Comment

On Key

Related Posts