Video-feedback Intervention to promote Positive Parenting and Sensitive Discipline (VIPP-SD) research

The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust has entered an exciting partnership with Leiden University, Netherlands, to become the UK training centre for Video-feedback Intervention to promote Positive Parenting and Sensitive Discipline (VIPP-SD).

It is hoped that this partnership will enable this highly effective and evidenced based intervention which was the basis for a nationwide aftercare service available to all adoptive families in the Netherlands to be introduced and used more widely in the UK. In order to do so, the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust currently offers the VIPP-SD programme to families and provides training to professionals who wish to learn the approach and become VIPP-SD practitioners. 

Mother and child


VIPP-SD is the original highly evidenced Video-Feedback intervention for parents. It was developed by some of the world’s leading attachment researchers from Leiden University in the Netherlands. It is a preventative intervention aimed at increasing parental sensitivity and has an excellent evidence base for preventing or reducing behavioural problems in young children. VIPP is recommended in the NICE guideline for Children’s attachment (November 2015).

VIPP-SD has been shown via randomised controlled trials to be extremely effective with a variety of groups (e.g. with under 5’s, adopted children, in childcare settings) and its success has been extensively reported in many peer reviewed journals. VIPP-SD is based on attachment theory but also uses some behavioural principles to aid sensitive discipline. In VIPP-SD the practitioner works primarily with caregivers and young children and the non-intrusive use of video and video-feedback is its defining component.

Further information about VIPP-SD can be found on our treatments page and on the Leiden website

Project detail


In partnership with The Adolescent and Children’s Trust (TACT), The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust was successful in securing a grant from the Consortium of Voluntary Adoption Agencies (CVAA) in order to work together to increase adopters for harder to place children and develop an evidence-based post-adoption support intervention.

This project aims to introduce the evidence-based intervention developed by Leiden University in the Netherlands, into the UK. Video-feedback Intervention to Promote Positive Parenting and Sensitive Discipline (VIPP–SD) is based on attachment theory and research, and has been developed as an intervention model with video feedback following rigorous testing in various populations of parents and children at risk. It is a preventive intervention aimed at increasing sensitivity and improving discipline strategies of caregivers in order to encourage positive interaction between caregiver and child, and to prevent or reduce behavioural problems in children aged up to six years.

The intervention is a supporting and empowering method of building resilience into adoptive placements. Interveners speak of this being one of the most powerful therapeutic tools they have ever delivered. The intervention is offered in the family’s home and is based upon the importance of the intervener establishing a collaborative, non-judgemental relationship with the primary carer. By using video technology to record visits and caregiver/child interaction, the intervener can spend time studying reactions and pick up on signals and behaviours that could otherwise be missed in real time. The intervener is trained to identify these often tiny clues and work with families to find effective solutions to any challenging behaviour or attachment issues, sharing the footage to illustrate specific points.

Dr Rachel James, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Paul Dugmore, Senior Social Worker said:

“We’re delighted that we have been successful in this bid. The provision of this intervention will develop adoptive parent’s capacity to sustain the placements of children in their care. We are hoping to show that through the increased confidence and parenting skills that the VIPP programme will engender, we can support a reduction in the number of placement breakdowns, and enable increased numbers of high-quality adopters to consider harder placing children.”

Andy Elvin CEO of TACT said:

“TACT is delighted to be working with the Tavistock Clinic to bring this evidence based service to the UK’s adoptive families. TACT is committed to high quality post-adoption support.”

Research shows that there are two aspects of parenting that play an important role in the development and continuation of behavioural problems in children: sensitivity and discipline. Sensitivity in parenting means noticing the child’s signals, interpreting these signals correctly and responding to them promptly and appropriately. Discipline means setting boundaries and regulating unruly or disobedient behaviour. The combination of these two aspects is the basis of VIPP-SD, in which sensitivity, as well as sensitive discipline, are central themes.

Basic assumptions are creating a positive atmosphere, recognising the caregiver as the expert on the child, and emphasising and reinforcing positive interactions between caregiver and child.

The intervener works on the following areas to reach these goals:

  • increasing the observational skills of caregivers;
  • increasing caregiver’s knowledge about the upbringing and development of children;
  • increasing capacity of caregivers to empathise with their children;
  • making parenting behaviour more effective by using sensitive responsiveness and sensitive discipline.

Development and rigorous empirical tests of the efficacy of VIPP-SD and its various modalities have been generously supported by non-profit national and international research and development agencies for some decades now.

This adoption study will enable us to evaluate the efficacy of VIPP-SD and develop the evidence base within the UK context.


The evaluation consists of two dimensions: We will be measuring both the impact of the training on participants who complete the training programme and measuring the impact of the intervention on families receiving VIPP.

Training: All participants will be given an evaluation form to complete at the end of the initial training period (four days of training) and a further evaluation at the end of their supervised practice. We will be measuring their skill and competence and confidence in undertaking the intervention as well as the impact the training has had on their practice generally.

All families who are offered VIPP will be subject to CYP-IAPT (Children and Yong People Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) outcome measures to both monitor and promote clinical change. In addition research study will use the following measures to assess clinical change and efficacy of intervention:

  • Parent Completed Measures
  • Goal Based Measure
  • SDQ (2-4 years or 4+)
  • Child Behaviour Checklist (1.5-5 years)
  • Short Edinburgh Warwick Mental Wellbeing Scale
  • Brief Parental Efficacy Scale
  • Leiden Knowledge & Attitudes Questionnaire
  • How is your child doing Tracking measure
  • CHI-Experience of Service Questionnaire
  • Post intervention questionnaire and qualitative interview
  • Clinician Completed Measures
  • Current View
  • VIPP Profile
  • VIPP Logbook
  • VIPP Qualitative
  • Session Rating Scale
  • CBCL (1.5-5 yrs)


The first few interventions have been completed with families and the data are being analysed. Initial findings should be available soon.


Juffer, F., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J., & Van IJzendoorn, M.H. (2017). Video-feedback Intervention to promote Positive Parenting and Sensitive Discipline (VIPP-SD): Development and meta-analytical evidence of its effectiveness. In H. Steele & M. Steele (Eds.), Handbook of attachment-based interventions (pp. 1-26). New York: Guilford Press. 

Juffer, F., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J., & Van IJzendoorn, M.H. (2017). Pairing attachment theory and social learning theory in video-feedback intervention to promote positive parenting. Current Opinion in Psychology, 15, 189-194.

Juffer, F., Struis, E., Werner, C., & Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J. (2017). Effective preventive interventions to support parents of young children: Illustrations from the Video-feedback Intervention to promote Positive Parenting and Sensitive Discipline (VIPP-SD). Journal of Prevention & Intervention in the Community, 45(3), 202-214. Open access:

Juffer, Bakermans-Kranenburg & Van Ijzendoorn (2008) Promoting Positive Parenting: An attachment-based intervention. London: Psychology Press.

Van Zeijl, J., Mesman, J., Van IJzendoorn, M.H., Bakermans- Kranenburg, M.J., Juffer, F., Stolk, M.N., Koot,
H.M., & Alink, L.R.A. (2006). Attachment-based intervention for enhancing sensitive discipline in mothers of 1-to 3-year- old children at risk for externalizing behavior problems:
A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74 (6), 994-1005.

Van Zeijl, J., Stolk, M.N., & Alink. L.R.A. (2005). SCRIPT: preventie van gedragsproblemen in de vroege kindertijd. Kind en Adolescent, 26, 119-130.

Velderman, M. K., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J., Juffer, F.,
Van IJzendoorn, M. H., Mangelsdorf, S. C., & Zevalkink, J. (2006). Preventing preschool externalizing behavior problems through video-feedback intervention in infancy. Infant Mental Health Journal, 27, 466-493.

Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J., Van IJzendoorn, M.H., Mesman, J., Alink, L.R.A., & Juffer, F. (2008). Effects of an attachment- based intervention on daily cortisol moderated by DRD4: A randomized control trial on 1-3-year-olds screened for externalizing behavior. Development & Psychopathology, 20, 805-820.

Kalinauskiene, L., Cekuoliene, D., Van IJzendoorn, M.H., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J., Juffer, F., & Kusakovskaja, I. (2009). Supporting insensitive mothers: the Vilnius randomized control trial of video-feedback intervention to promote maternal sensitivity and infant attachment security. Child Care Health and Development, 35, 613-623.

Groeneveld, M.G., Vermeer, H. J., Van IJzendoorn, M.H.,
& Linting, M. (2011). Enhancing home-based child care quality through video-feedback intervention: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Family Psychology, 25, 86-96

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