25 Sept 2023

Mat (00:03.633) Okay, welcome to another episode of the Altered Attitudes podcast, your source for insightful discussions on addiction recovery and the transformative power of change. I'm your host Matt and today we've got a special guest who, although doesn't work directly in the field of addiction, she is exposed to the dysfunctions that can be caused are and are in fact caused by addiction.

How we raise the next generation is key to a healthy future for everyone. And joining us in our virtual studio today is Jackie Lanham, an expert on VIG or Video Interaction Guidance. I don't know if any of our listeners have heard about that, but they'll certainly know all about it by the end of today. She's dedicated a huge portion of her time to helping individuals and families find their way out of the darkness of things like addiction and dysfunction and all manner of struggles that come with raising.

or indeed just being part of a family. Because it doesn't matter how good your family is, there's always going to be some problems and it's a difficult thing to do is a lot of moving aparts and that. So in this episode, we'll hopefully be able to shed some light on what VIG is, how it can play a pivotal role in restoring healthy relationships between parents and children. And Jackie, hopefully you'll share your wealth of knowledge and experience and shed some light on those powerful tools.

So get ready for an enlightening conversation that promises to shift your perspective on addiction and recovery. We're all part of a family. So I think this episode will be a must listen for really anyone out there. You know, we've all been we're all part of a family. We've all dealt with dysfunction to some degree within that. And even if you're just simply curious about a journey to healing and you want to know about these techniques, maybe you're looking to get into a career of helping others, then I think this is a must listen. So without further ado.

Let's jump into discussion with yourself, Jackie. Welcome to the Altered Attitudes podcast.

Jackie Lanham (01:53.286) Morning, morning, lovely to be here Matt and thank you for inviting me along although that was a huge big up in that intro so I'm a little worried now. So but no it is really lovely and I liked how

Mat (02:04.59) Hey.

Jackie Lanham (02:09.226) Yeah, you've kind of started to say, by we're all part of families, aren't we, in relationships? So regardless of whether that's with children of any age or within our own kind of families, I think it's important to look at how we kind of nurture and support each other through those families. So yeah, a little bit about myself. So my background is in working with families who need a little bit of extra support. And more recently,

within video interaction guidance. So I am a trainer and a supervisor in video interaction guidance, but the good thing about doing your training within this approach is that you, everybody takes the same path. So you work with the families, then you start to work with maybe a bit more complexity, and then you start to support others to work with the families. So you kind of travel that same journey.

Video interaction guidance is a therapeutic intervention and it is relationship based. So what we're looking to do is to support those relationships to work better within a family and predominantly between parent and child within this context. And the wonderful thing about video interaction guidance is it is strength based. So for a lot of our

Jackie Lanham (03:39.08) in tricky situations or struggling a little bit, often it can feel like all anybody ever tells them is what they're doing wrong or not well enough or what they need to do better. And VIG video interaction guidance actually starts from what they're doing well.

Mat (03:58.393) And so just for our listeners at home, I know a little bit about VIG now. You obviously know a lot about VIG. They probably don't know anything about VIG. But from my understanding, it's sort of a little bit like, sort of like Supernanny, where you... I don't know if any of our viewers like remember this. And you can maybe get into a bit more detail. Maybe I'm completely wrong. But the idea is that you're recording a scene essentially, and then you're analysing how that's...

Jackie Lanham (04:07.378) No.

Jackie Lanham (04:11.822) Yeah.

Jackie Lanham (04:15.539) Oh no. Yeah.

Jackie Lanham (04:25.653) Yes.

Mat (04:27.689) how that happens, what's going on there, what are the nuances. Could you just explain, am I right there, is that sort of what it is?

Jackie Lanham (04:30.943) Yeah?

Yeah, you kind of are right. So yes, there is film and film is absolutely the key to, we want the parent to be active in their change and in what they want their change to look like and the film is very central to that. So we take a short piece of film, say 10 minutes of film, where the child and parent are, you know, maybe doing an activity together, you know,

everyday things doesn't have to be anything kind of whizzy. And as the trained practitioner will go away and will micro analyse that film. And what we're looking for are the moments of atonement. So we're looking at when the parent responds well to the child and they can be really small moments. So such as the child looking to the parent, the parent receiving that look and then carrying on that play in some way.

So the clips that we use from that film are usually, you know, maybe eight, nine, 10 seconds long, they're short clips. And they're always based on what we would call the parent's helping question. So at the beginning, the parent will decide what it is that they want to see in the films that will help them to move forward in their relationship. So right from the beginning, they're active in their change and in their learning.

Mat (06:02.209) Could you give us maybe an example of what one of those questions might be?

Jackie Lanham (06:02.508) Um, yes, yeah, so.

within, I should imagine within the drug and alcohol arena, but also in families where there has been ruptures or, you know, the family isn't functioning as well. Often the parent feels, quite simply, that the child doesn't even like them. And I can imagine after, you know, maybe a journey a child has been through with a parent, you know, sort of having issues with drugs and alcohol, a parent may well feel that. So the parent may

the basis of I want to see moments when my child is enjoying being with me. As simple as that. So the practitioner will hold that in mind because the goal for that is that the parent wants to be more confident with their child. But the question and the thing that we hold in mind with the film is that they want to see moments when their child is kind of enjoying being with them and wanting to be with them. So those little clips will

when they're smiling together, when the child looks to them for encouragement or reassurance and they're what we then go back to share with the parent in what we call a shared review. So we'll sit alongside the parent and this is where it's very clear that this is a therapeutic intervention because we're sitting alongside the parent, we will share these clips but it's very

Jackie Lanham (07:37.768) we don't say I chose this moment because of this, this and this. We show them the clip and we will be curious with them. What do you see? What do you see happening? What do you think that might mean? You know, so that curious approach, so the parent is active all the time. With VIG, the main thing is we're not telling the parent what they should or shouldn't do. We're supporting the parent to be able to see that for themselves.

Mat (08:03.257) where it differs from supernanny.

Jackie Lanham (08:05.602) Yes. Oh, I'm glad you came to that conclusion, Matt. Yes, Supernanny is directive, yes. Whereas with VIG, it's very much an active parent seeing and also seeing the value, like realizing that when they have those moments of fun with their child, seeing their child light up and that connection between them and how important that is, because when there's been ruptures

Often we're working with families where there's poor mental health, so their view of themselves, that narrative they hold in their mind is, I'm no good at this, my child doesn't like me. And what Vig can help support them to do is to begin to change that narrative to, I can do it. And because they're actually seeing the clips on the film. So we choose often what we call moments of exception. So there'll be a normal pattern between parent and child, which may not be as fun.

functional as it needs to be. But in our micro analysis, we'll be pulling out those really attuned moments. So moments when the parent is noticing the child, giving space to the child, receiving the child, and then showing them how the child kind of reacts with that and thrives with that. But sitting alongside them to think about what that means as well, which is where the kind of therapeutic element comes in.

Mat (09:35.825) Okay, so are there ways in which... I'm curious to know kind of what the follow-up is to that. So you've sort of shown that there is good in that relationship. There are bits that there are highlights.

Jackie Lanham (09:49.77) Yeah.

Mat (09:51.797) Do we then give them tools to be able to continue that, just to stretch that out? Like what's the next step there? Because I mean, everybody has a good bit, but that doesn't necessarily solve the bad bit.

Jackie Lanham (09:59.83) What's the next step? Yes, yeah.

No, no. So within the shared review what we...

often spend time doing as well as the practitioner is supporting them to think about what they're seeing here that they're doing well and wondering with them are there any other times that this might help you. So like we would call that sort of generalising the learning, so taking it outside away from that moment of the film and supporting them to think about the changes that they're seeing and how they might help them.

Jackie Lanham (10:41.524) that it worked really well when they gave their child more space to process what they needed to be thinking about. And in a discussion we would encourage them and maybe say, are there any other times that has been helpful? And they might then say, oh well actually, when we were in the supermarket last week, he didn't have a meltdown, but I think that's because I allowed him a lot of time to think about what he wanted to put in the basket next.

So all the time it's kind of supporting them to broaden that out as well But I also think one of the most powerful changes is the change in narrative and the belief in themselves So that they believe they can do that because I think with any situation If you're if your narrative is telling you it's going to go wrong. They don't like me. This is going to happen We know that that's more likely to happen. Whereas if your narrative is like based upon I can

and it's okay and you know they do really want me then that brings about a different outcome as well.

Mat (11:49.457) Okay yeah I can see that. So the love works both ways doesn't it really? If you feel loved you're more likely to give love back in a really simple sense.

Jackie Lanham (11:55.782) Absolutely, yeah and also because the you know if we're looking at containment and secure attachment the child is feeling more received, more contained, more held by the parent you know basically they're thinking my parents got me, they know they're receiving when I need something, they've kind of got that then their behaviors are going to be different as well aren't they because we know that you know all behavior is a form of communication.

and you know when children or adults aren't feeling contained or secure or heard then that's often when We'll try a different approach in behavior that can then lead to kind of things that are harder to kind of sort of work around So you're yeah, you're actually absolutely right That was that was a really lovely kind of turn of phrase because it kind of it grows the love within the family Doesn't it?

Mat (12:54.345) I wonder, they sound like there's lots of very nuanced points that you bring up in these videos and it sounds like they can be as simple as like a gesture or something. Could you maybe give us a couple of examples or one that maybe springs to mind of something you might highlight in a video like that?

Jackie Lanham (13:10.054) Yeah, absolutely.

you're right because sometimes we with communication we focus on the verbal don't we so when we use these kind of tiny moments often it's the nonverbal that will be supporting the parent to have a little closer look at so it can literally be a child reaching for something but not being able to quite get it and the parent receiving that and moving that a bit closer to them now

the parent will have never have noticed themselves doing that because it's quite an everyday thing, isn't it? But actually that level of reception and attunement, seeing your child reach, receiving that they're not quite going to get there, supporting them to move it a little closer, so you're not doing it for them, you're just moving it a little closer so they can do it with support. So those are the sort of things that we would really look at. And with the video, one of the kind of the essence

of VIGs that we replay, we use the video a lot in the shared review. So it's not just a play, tell me what you see, that's lovely, on we go. It's like, you know, play, the parent will have a thought about it, will wonder with the parent about that, will go back to the video, and will often like go back to it and support the parent to think about, you know, what was it you saw there that made you realise your child needed some help?

So like really unpicking that. So the next time they're in that situation, they recognise that and can see that as like an achievement and an attuned interaction from themselves. Whereas the narrative they often start with is like, no, you know, there's no connection there.

Mat (15:03.929) So it's really like a practice in consciousness. It's like revealing a mirror almost quite literally, you know, through the camera. Sort of like one of those ones. It's like if you're eating a peach but you're thinking about, you know, next week's dinner, you don't really taste the peach, right? It's like, yes.

Jackie Lanham (15:10.691) Yeah.


Jackie Lanham (15:22.558) you don't taste the peach at all. No, no. And that one of the other kind of...

I feel powerful elements of video interaction guidance is that the mind-mindedness, so supporting the parent to be able to step into the shoes of the child and understand how the child is feeling. So often within the shared review, once we've kind of unpicked a little bit like, oh yeah, they reached, but then you moved it closer, but they didn't say anything. I wonder how you knew that.

will then go on to, so I wonder how it felt for your child for you to know that they needed that moving closer. So you then take it a little bit deeper into those emotions and support in that parent to think about how their child feels as well, which I think you know specifically with the work that you do with you know sort of drug and alcohol rehabilitation is really key isn't it?

family's fracture.

Mat (16:31.657) Yeah, totally. And that kind of leads me on to sort of my next question, which is really, you know, it sounds like VIG could be useful. I mean, we all have children or most of us have children. We've all been a child. And so it's obviously useful for a lot of families. But in particular, I can imagine it being quite useful for families broken by addiction. And I'm wondering if there's any ways in particular you think that there could be crossovers there. I'm sure you've had and you can't reference anybody in particular, but I'm sure you've had experiences of dealing with families that have had.

Jackie Lanham (16:49.535) Absolutely.

Mat (17:01.497) you know addiction related dysfunction in the family.

Jackie Lanham (17:02.93) Yes, yeah. Yeah, and I think it's really interesting because...

I think, yeah, Hillary Kennedy, who introduced the VIG to the UK, did a piece of work with the Family Drug and Alcohol Courts, where VIG was used as a part of a support for the families to move forward. So they were kind of marrying the VIG approach with the assessment approach, so very much looking at the elements of the potential for change with the VIG approach,

approach of, you know, where is this person at now and marrying that up and they did find that it worked, you know, sort of really, really well. There was like visible change particularly in parental sensitivity to their child so being able to, you know, sort of pick up on those cues and within my, with my own experience, you know, sort of one case that springs to mind was very much

so the children had actually been removed like for their for kind of their safety and well-being but the family were now at the point of coming back together and that was where I came in. VIG often works alongside other interventions as well so you'll often be a practitioner working alongside other practitioners which you know sort of seems to work really well but the

relationship that they have with the VIG practitioner is very different because the very same attunement principles that we're trying to encourage between parent and child we use when we are the practitioner with the parent. So we always hold hope that there is hope for change. Even in adverse situations there's always hope for change, like lots of respect, lots of

Jackie Lanham (19:08.54) and parents will often say, oh that feels very different to like the other practitioners. But with this case that I worked with, they were on the point of bringing the family back together. So I worked with the family with that and I worked with each parent. So we filmed together but then I did the shared reviews separately with the parents because for that instance, we do often do shared reviews together with parents

I was really keen that each voice was heard really strongly within that so I felt that would be better. And yeah we used the film to look at what was working well, they had their help in question and we worked through that but also although VIG focuses on the positive we don't

Jackie Lanham (20:08.08) complications with their. So it also gave them a chance to work through the emotions of their children coming back into their care. So obviously there's some kind of worry isn't there, there's concern about work, but that reconnection, that emotional reconnection of them being able to see that they can recognise their child's cue, they can respond to it, their child has fun and moments of connection with them.

and then supporting them within the shared review to think what might that mean to them and the children. So yeah, I think it completely, I think if it comes in at the right time with the right support, you know, as long as that family is kind of ready for that, you know, that repair, you know, VIG can really kind of support that emotional reconnection of a family.

Mat (21:04.437) And it's something we see, sort of, we always recommend with anybody suffering with addiction, there's almost never one thing you need. It's a support network, it's groups of people, it's maybe support groups, it might be therapy, it might be rehab, it might be... there's lots of different things that go into it. And it kind of sounds like VIG is, in terms of the reconnection with the family, it's almost like the seed of hope at the start.

Jackie Lanham (21:15.082) Yes, yeah.

Jackie Lanham (21:19.059) Yeah.

Jackie Lanham (21:28.43) Absolutely, yeah.

Mat (21:29.309) And then from there, you build upon that maybe. I don't know, maybe you can speak of this, but are there other things that typically would be coupled like talk therapy or maybe like life coaching for parents? Because it sounds like, although you might be sort of revealing this hope and turning the mirror on the situation, VIG isn't necessarily like the answer to all the problems. It's just showing the sort of the first bit and this is like, okay, this is what can be. You do have a connection here.

Jackie Lanham (21:51.997) No, no.

Jackie Lanham (21:58.815) Yes, yes.

Mat (21:59.125) but you need to do something about it. And what are those things?

Jackie Lanham (22:02.055) Yeah, I think.

Yeah, I think because families are complex, aren't they? There's never one size fits all. So it depends kind of the background on that family. Some of the families we've worked with, there's sort of elements of chronic neglect there. So therefore you might be marrying up things with like the graded care profile, there might be social work assessment going on at the same time

Jackie Lanham (22:34.176) what support this family needs but often as well what comes up is past trauma isn't it you know so then it will be much more about exploring with that individual what sort of therapy is that is going to support them best to kind of process that past trauma so I don't know within I'm kind of interested within your program like where you what things you kind of offer and where you

that like VIG might fit within that.

Mat (23:08.553) Yeah, it's interesting because I think it's another tool for the toolbox. Like you say, every situation is so different. I mean, some people suffer.

Jackie Lanham (23:18.932) No.

Mat (23:21.281) something, it's a system that could be used outside of parenting as well it sounds like. Just giving somebody that window and kind of enlightening them in that way, revealing that consciousness to them, getting them to reflect back on it. Because there's so many things we all do every day that we don't think about, we don't take account for. But actually if somebody analysed our day to day, they'd probably pick out a bunch of things that you thought, oh god I never know I did that for this reason.

Jackie Lanham (23:46.59) You just absolutely, yeah, absolutely don't notice.

Mat (23:50.313) Hmm, so it sounds, so I think it could be, it's really interesting insight. It's kind of a bit scary in some ways because it's like the whole big brother's watching you thing. You can kind of think of it from that instance. Like when, you know, I like to read a bit of sci-fi stuff and you think, oh God, maybe we're getting, maybe Facebook's watching us and they're taking all these nuances out. But from a really like positive perspective, obviously, you know, the work that you do with families on a serious note.

Jackie Lanham (24:02.018) Hahahaha

Jackie Lanham (24:08.665) Hahaha

Mat (24:20.721) I really like the idea that it just gives a seed of hope because a lot of what addiction treatment is really facing the you know the hard facts and it's a lot of You know, there's hope there, but it comes at a point a cost of really reflecting inwards and I think Quite and we talk about showing the mirror as well And vague is quite literally that so Yeah, I can see it fitting in well so long as it's coupled with everything else, you know, it's like anything it needs even you know

Jackie Lanham (24:47.687) Yeah.

Mat (24:49.777) We always say, you know, get an assessment if you have any kind of addiction problem because there's no one size fits all and there's lots of different things that can be coupled together, you know, like life coaching and talk therapy and, you know, perhaps things like VIG. So if people want to access those services, how do they do so? Because I mean, it's the first time I'd ever heard about it, but then I'm not a father. So maybe I've...

Jackie Lanham (24:56.576) No.


Jackie Lanham (25:14.704) Well it is, interestingly, and kind of aside from...

kind of thinking about the work with families, we also use VIG in a way that we call VERP, so Video Enhanced Reflective Practice, and that's used a lot by professionals such as educational psychologists, and that's about supporting a professional in their relationships. So like you said, we all have relationships, and it's, you know, it's an intervention to support, it's a relational kind of intervention, so we all have those.

Mat (25:20.477) Mm-hmm.

Mat (25:36.013) Hmm.

Jackie Lanham (25:48.208) kind of another string to that is kind of the video enhanced reflective practice. But to learn more about VIG, so our kind of our registering body, because like all VIG practitioners have to be kind of registered with AVIG UK, so they oversee kind of the standards, the training to ensure that it's always kind of carried out in a safe, effective way. And the website for that is called AVIG UK.

literally put it into the search engine and you'll get the front page for that and it tells you what VIG is, it also tells you which obviously I haven't covered today because it like we just needed to know about VIG, more the research base to it as well and how it was developed and the underpinning theories to VIG as well and then you can scroll all the way down and it also says about how to access a VIG practitioner as well.

Companies can contact AVIG UK and kind of commission training or packages and there's a like a contact for that as well so you can do it individually or you know you can kind of buy a by a package in with it as well so and so that you would be able to offer that as part of your service that would be another like you said earlier kind of a tool in your box you would have

kind of there ready to kind of go in so there's a lot of information on that on that website and yeah you can literally just pop it in and learn all about it and also contact good old Google what did we do before that

Mat (27:30.477) Google. Okay so an individual could go on the website and book in something.

Jackie Lanham (27:39.93) They could, yeah, they could find out, definitely find out more about it. It's normally, because it's done, as you rightly said earlier, like a package, then they would normally talk to the professional working with them, like, because they would normally already have somebody, you know, sort of working with them about being able to access VIX, so that was kind of supported more rather than just kind of going directly.

Mat (28:08.981) like a social worker, for example.

Jackie Lanham (28:10.864) Yes, yes, well you might have a social worker, they might have a family support practitioner, it's also well embedded within health so they can speak to their health visitor as well. So yeah, VIG is kind of not just kind of at the kind of social care level, it's very much it's now being introduced to the, I don't know if you've heard of the family hubs that are kind of being developed across the country.

and there's a Best Start for Life project. And that part of that project, the practitioners within the family hubs are being trained in VIG to support the families. So yeah, it's well embedded in various kind of areas. So yeah, if you've got a professional working with you, if you talk to them about it, they should be able to help you with that.

Mat (29:04.545) It sounds like, like we were saying, it's something that can apply to even more outside of families as well. So I'm sure it's something we'll be seeing more of. I can imagine it being implemented in workplaces and things like that as part of a review system. So it's interesting thoughts there about where it might go. And obviously more and more is done through a camera nowadays as well. So I think we can probably see more of it.

Jackie Lanham (29:15.211) Yes, yeah.


Jackie Lanham (29:24.371) Yes.

Yeah, so yeah it is and that was kind of yeah and also you know sort of thinking we can do, we can carry out VIG remotely as well. So because obviously Covid taught all of us didn't it that we needed to try and do things remotely so yeah we can do it that way as well and the supervisions that are then carried out of the practitioner can be done in that way so it's

Jackie Lanham (29:55.156) can feel a bit big brother because there's film and things but a lot of families now film everything don't they like literally you've only got a look on social media and there's your breakfast your dinner your tea and everything else in between isn't there so yeah but we do that is one thing those initial conversations often families are a bit wary of being filmed especially if they've you know sort of had a long process of professionals in their lives

as we say to them, we'll be focusing on the positive, we'll be looking at what you do well, they're still a bit like, I'm not really too sure. And it often isn't until we have, like we said, what we call that first shared review, that first time looking at the clips, you literally see their shoulders drop and they're like, oh, it really is what I'm doing well. Because up until that point, I think they're thinking you're going to whammy them with, yeah, something that doesn't look quite so good because of their experience.

Mat (30:53.981) Yeah, and that first sort of consultation, if that's what you call it, that you have with them, that first touching bass, where you explain it to them must be so important because of course everybody acts a little bit differently on camera when they know they're being recorded.

Jackie Lanham (31:05.142) They do, they do, you're absolutely right. And...

Like that right from the beginning and that's one of the things as VIG practitioners we say we They are we have AVIG UK values and beliefs So that is about that hope that respect that using those attunement principles So the person has plenty of space and feels listened to and contained Because to do this sort of work they need to feel safe You need to create a safe therapeutic environment for them and that starts right from the minute you walk in the door.

Mat (31:43.317) Thank you, thank you, Jackie. Thank you so much for your time today. What I'll do is I'll put all the kind of links and what have you will be in the show notes below. So whether you're watching this on YouTube or listening to it on Spotify or Apple podcasts, there'll be some links about how to access these services. And we'll also link to Rehabs UK website as well, where we offer free assessments. And this is all sorts of things we can talk about as well and things like therapy and you know.

No matter what the issue is, there's always somebody out there to help. I think that's what's most important. So is there any closing statements you want to say there, Jackie?

Jackie Lanham (32:18.122) No, no, just it's been, yeah, been lovely and good to chat.

Mat (32:22.113) It's been great and I really appreciate it. Thank you so much for today.

Jackie Lanham (32:25.09) Thank you.