Training and Research Centre

Faq - Frequently asked questions

Who decides what toys to use in the sessions?
The type of toys that are used should be adapted to the particular aim of study. The VIPP-SD is a model, and has to be adapted for each specific population. Therefore, it is essential to have sufficient knowledge about your target population. A common rule is that toys should be related do different types of play and should be new and challenging for the children (but not completely new, there has to be a component that is familiar). Furthermore, toys must be age adequate, and some toys should trigger playing together. It is important to distinguish between routines (like bathing) and play situations, and use both types of situations in your VIPP-SD.
Can the 'speaking for the child' also be done in the first person, such as ' I like it mommy, when you play with me'.
This is up to the interveners; for some interveners this can be very unnatural. Besides, when using the first person it is more difficult to ask the mother for confirmation. There is also a cultural issue involved; in some cultures using the first person may be undesirable. When speaking for the child, try to involve the mother also; you could also follow her lead; in that case you show sensitivity towards the mother.
What are the instructions for the collecting the first video at home? Can the mothers use their own toys as distraction?
No, we bring in new toys and ask the mother to expose it. We prefer doing the first video in a lab, because in the lab it is easier to distract the child.
What are the instructions for the 'Don't touch episode?' Do you think it is comparable with a real life situation?
A lot depends on the introduction. In real life a child may also be asked to not touch something that looks like a toy. In the eyes of a child, this more often happens than we think. Consider for example a beautiful vase that is put on the table.
Is it possible to use the VIPP-SD in adoption families with children who not yet understand/speak the new country's language?
One of the aims of the intervention is to give explanations to the child in simple words from a very young age. The same holds for adoption children. Althhough they may not yet understand everything, simple words and gestures may be sufficient. If language is a problem, you might stress nonverbal communication. The idea is also take the child serious although he or she may not understand everything.
How large shoud the intervals be between the sessions and is there a minimum/maximum interval time?
The intervals should not be too large. The main rationale behind this is that the video reviewing should not be too far apart from the filming (otherwise the video is not actually anymore; the child may have changed in the meantime etc.). Another rationale is that it is usually easier to build a relationship with the parent when you see her at regular, short intervals.If the gaps are too small, the parent does not have enough time to apply what she has learned, and the intervener does not have enough time to prepare the intervention. The ideal gap would be 2 or 3 weeks, with a maximum of 4 weeks, except for the booster sessions (with larger gaps). However, it might also work this way: keeping filming and reviewing together but adding more time after each pair of sessions. For example like this: week 1 filming, week 2 (or 3) video feedback, gap of x weeks, then again week 1 filming, week 2 (or 3) video feedback etc.
What are the indications of starting VIPP-SD? Are there contra-indicators?
There are no contra-indicators; the VIPP-SD is open for each child and parent or caregiver. The VIPP-SD should be considered as a module, a building block with a broad-spectrum approach.
When we recruit mothers with 6-month-old infants can we use VIPP-SD program with the same video-recording (playing alone? playing together?)?
Most studies were carried out in children older than 6 months. We used the VIPP without the SD component in children under the age of 1. Therefore, we do not know whether the VIPP-SD can be applied under 6 months of age, because there is no research evidence. However, it will be difficult to use the SD component in this age group.
What about the different appreciation and effects on different types of maternal attachment insecurity? Do you think it would be a guide for the intervention?
More important than insecurity is the profile the intervener makes of the mother, consisting of her strong and weak points. It is difficult to classify a mother when you visit her for the first time.
Can fathers be involved in VIPP-SD?
Some studies have shown that the involvement of fathers might be counterproductive; fathers might take over the lead, acting like the experts. Another complication could be the interaction between the parents. In our VIPP-SD, we only involved fathers in the last two sessions, after having established a bond with the mother. A first session with both parents explaining your procedure might be effective.
What are the qualifications required to be an intervener?
Thus far, a minimal Bachelor level of training was required, but we have not reached the bottom of possibilities yet. Most of the interveners in our studies were Master students. Of course, professionals (such as caregivers in child care) may also be interveners. We found out that having raised children of your own does not make you a better intervener. Interveners should have basic knowledge in attachment and child development and adequate social attitudes and skills. Furthermore, it is important to be sensitive yourself, because you are also modeling. It is important to explain what you do and the rationale behind it. In this context, there can be a tension between being sensitive and staying to the protocol; you are neither` a therapist nor a teacher. You have to find a balance between those two.
Will there be a reliability test, and if we train other people, will they have to take the same test?
The training in itself is not enough to successfully apply the VIPP-SD. There is no reliability test, but there is a post-training homework assignment that has to be accomplished. Furthermore, for self-training purposes, we provide a package with a DVD and a manual. It is the trainees own responsibility to correctly apply the VIPP-SD, and train other people the way they were trained themselves. We recommend being a co-trainer before training other people. After the training, it is possible to adapt the VIPP-SD protocol (within limits) for specific populations. In that case, you are still allowed to label this as the VIPP-SD method. If you want to do study the effects of VIPP-SD in your population, we recommend to use a protocolized and standardized intervention with a RCT design.
Can males be interveners?
In general, interveners will be female when it concerns an intervention with mothers. When focusing on the fathers, interveners might be male.