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Facilitating Parent Baby Groups – Training Course

Next Courses:

Bristol, 16-17 November 2018

This is a modular training course comprised of a two day introduction and six weeks of supervised placement. The course is aimed at early years professionals who want to learn to run groups for parents with babies aged from six weeks to two years old, underpinned by therapeutic principles and informed by attachment and brain development research.

The Aims of the Training

  • To observe and reflect on the psycho-physical responses evoked by being in a group, and by working with babies and toddlers
  • To reflect on recurring themes, the needs of parents, babies and toddlers, and the role of the group facilitator.
  • To learn about the impact of toxic stress on parents, babies, toddlers and facilitators, notice signs of anxiety and practice ways to manage it
  • To experience attunement via embodied mentalization and strength-based video feedback
  • To run groups safely and effectively using a variety of evidence based techniques
  • To become confident to start your own parent baby group and support parents and babies to strengthen their relationships

Module 1: Introduction to Parent Baby Groups

On day one we focus on the recurring themes of parent baby groups, relevant theoretical frameworks (neurophysiology, intersubjectivity and group dynamics) and suitable methods to encourage a calm and connect system. The day involves interaction, discussions, some presentations and videos, body awareness and mindfulness exercises.

On day two we cover the origins of Watch Wait Wonder (WWW), practice mindfulness, being attentive; and explore ‘a Space to Play’. We think of how this method applies to groups, when WWW is not suitable; what practicalities are needed to setting up and maintaining your Baby Watching group. We will observe and reflect on either a live parent baby group or selected videos. You will have an opportunity to be filmed in role-play, and given strength-based feedback by the group. We discuss the advantages and challenges of using visual feedback in parent baby groups.

Module 2: Placement

Co-leading a Baby Watching group over six weeks and filming yourself (or getting a friendly colleague to do it). Best moments will be reflected on in six VERP (Video Enhanced Reflective Practice) group supervision sessions.

Participants in the past have included: dance movement therapists, VIG guiders, perinatal and early years professionals, nursery nurses, therapists, counselors, social workers, psychologists, health visitors, midwives, children’s centre workers and play therapists.


Video Interaction Guidance (VIG) – Two Day Introductory Training

Day one will provide an introduction by showing what Video Interaction Guidance is, (for a brief summary see my FAQ page) how and why it works by exploring underlying psychological theories of inter subjectivity and looking at the current research evidence. There will be an emphasis on using VIG with young children in families although the range of applications will be introduced. The skills training part of the course will focus on learning to select suitable strengths-based clips from videos of parents and young children using the ‘principles of attuned interaction’ which are at the core of VIG. All participants will get the chance to prepare a video (either their own or one provided by trainers).

Day two will provide experiential training in conducting a ‘shared review’ of the video with parents where participants will use the video they prepared on day 1. Participants will be filmed reviewing the selected clips in role play and receive video enhanced coaching in small groups. At the end of the day they will be prepared to review a film with the family (if they brought their own film) or to take their first film in the family and start VIG supervision.

After you have attended a two Introductory Training Course, you can practice VIG straight away under supervision. You will need to have access to clients in your work environment, obviously permission must be granted by both the client and the management. In terms of equipment: a camera, tablet or phone, plus access to a laptop for editing, showing and filming shared reviews. For further detailed information on VIG and to book a place on a VIG Training course please go to