"Tuning in" - VIPP showcased at masterclass

12 July 2019

Our Video-feedback Intervention to promote Positive Parenting (VIPP) animation was showcased recently (Wednesday 10 July) at a special masterclass event led by the Tavistock and Portman and hosted by CoramBAAF. 

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VIPP was originally developed by attachment researchers from Leiden University in the Netherlands. In VIPP, the practitioner works primarily with caregivers and young children, filming interactions and making use of video-feedback. 

The practitioner records the child and their parent/carer carrying out different activities such as playing together, reading a book, tidying up and having a meal. After the filming, the parent and the practitioner watch the recording from the previous visit and think together about what they see happening between the parent/carer and their child.

VIPP usually takes place in the family home, with up to 7 visits taking place 2 to 4 weeks apart. Each visit lasts approximately 90 minutes. 

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Dr John Simmonds, Director of Policy and Research at CoramBAAF opened by highlighting the importance of the attachment theory that underpins VIPP, and speaking about his own personal connection to the importance of attachment for young children.

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Rachel James, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, co-lead for the National VIPP Unit  of the Tavistock and Portman then spoke about the history and setup of VIPP in the UK, saying "VIPP has a very significant effect on sensitivity & attachment, highlighted in randomised controlled studies, and there is a very solid evidence base underpinning VIPP." 

While VIPP has limited availability in the UK, in the Netherlands it is offered to all adopting parents. Paul Dugmore, Consultant Social Worker and co-lead for the National VIPP Unit discussed the aspiration to reach that point in the UK, and the logistics and technical requirements of skilling practitioners to “build a community of practice".

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Assistant Psychologist Bethan Morris ran through the outcomes and evaluation from the pilot of delivering VIPP to adoptive families at the Tavistock and Portman, and some of the key feedback from parents, including one parent who said “I started to see the world through my child's eyes. The 7 VIPP sessions helped me to completely change the way I see my child and how I respond to her. We finally get each other". 

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Rachel, the parent who helped develop the animation, then joined Rachel James in conversation, speaking candidly about her experience of VIPP. Rachel was initially reticent when she was referred for VIPP, in part because she felt the communication materials at the time didn’t properly capture how it worked, which is a key factor behind the development of the educational animation. Rachel discussed the VIPP process, and how filming interactions with her child helped strengthen their relationship and facilitate positive behaviour change.

When audience member asked about how VIPP had acted as a catalyst for change, Rachel described it as "like tuning in a radio, before I could hear my daughter but wasn't properly tuned in, VIPP allowed me to become tuned in."

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