THE SPIN® APPROACH
SPIN®USA provides training and certification in the evidence-based model SPIN®VIG to professionals who work with families, who teach and care for children, who train and supervise staff and who build programs and lead organizations.
SPIN®VIG for Parent Coaching & Family Therapy focuses on positive parenting and builds healthy, strong parent-child relationships. It applies the latest knowledge in neuroscience and developmental psychology to precise analysis and warm discussions (collaborative review sessions) of videos made from the best examples of a parent’s own interactions and communications with her infant, child or children.
The conversations between a trained VIG coach and a parent highlight and build on the best a parent offers to her child. These supportive video review sessions serve as the springboard to deep and wide-ranging conversations that in turn support the parent’s competence, motivation and sustained efforts to promote her own wellbeing and her child’s. Because SPIN VIG works from family strengths, it allows parents with significant histories of violence and abuse to build on their best capacities while still healing from their traumatic pasts.
SPIN®VIG for Teacher Training supports and strengthens the nurturing capacity, competence and skills of teachers and caregivers in all settings in their work with children. VIG helps teachers and caregivers to identify and build on their own strengths and competences and value their own capacity to build relationships that support children’s healthy development and promote persistence in learning.
SPIN®VIG for Staff Development & Supervisor Training is a strengths-based model for reflective supervision of staff in child welfare, education and other human service settings. The individual coaching and group training are specifically designed to increase the capacities of both staff and supervisors. VIG’s reflective coaching/training model allows SPIN VIG certified supervisors to focus on the development and integration of those core skills which are essential to successful staff development and supervision. Using work-specific videos and the proprietary training model, SPIN trains supervisors to microanalyze and mirror the strengths which staff demonstrate and to help them fortify existing skills and build new skills that directly impact practice and produce concrete results.
SPIN®VIG for Executive Coaching and Leadership Development is a strengths-based program specifically designed to enhance performance within agencies at both the organizational and departmental levels. SPIN VIG integrates best practices and current knowledge in multiple disciplines (systems theory, learning theory and brain research, organizational development and management theory) to build competencies critical to effective leadership with particular focus on the capacity to build, motivate and lead teams to success.
Elements of VIG Practice
VIG sessions are organized around collaborative reviews–joint conversations centered on “best-moment” videos. These sessions allow the VIG Guider and the people with whom they work (parents, teachers, social workers, program staff and teams) to jointly envision new possibilities. Seeing themselves at their best helps people analyze what they were doing when things were going ‘better than usual’. In this way, they can clearly and concretely see (and trigger their mirror neurons to repeat) a new way of being, without having to consciously remember and put in place new skills. Their motivation to learn and change is also enhanced by the pleasure they take in seeing their successes (and sharing them with their VIG practitioner). The sense of competence that results further builds their motivation and capacity to persist in the face of challenges. This is the cycle of growth that builds cumulatively as each new, scaffolded skill takes them to new heights of achievement.
THE BASIC SPIN CYCLE
The core of all SPIN training and practice is a basic three-step process:
- Filming: Make a short 10 minute on-site video.
- Analysis: Analyze and edit the video to assess strengths, set training goals, plan collaborative review.
- Collaborative Review: Show selected video to highlight and review strengths, build competence and enhance motivation, and teach skills in detailed one-on-one coaching sessions.
In the mid 80’s, psychologist Harrie Biemans and a team of colleagues from the Netherlands were searching for more effective approaches to child welfare practice. They became inspired by the work of ethologist Colwyn Trevarthen at Edinburgh University, who was studying successful interactions between infants and their mothers. He found that the mother’s responsiveness to her baby’s initiatives developed intersubjectivity, or their shared understanding, which is the basis of all effective communication, interaction and learning.
THE BASIC CONTACT PRINCIPLES
Biemans recognized that the communication principles described by Trevarthen were reflected in the patterns of communication of well-functioning parents and child-care workers. Based on these observations, Biemans and his colleagues developed a schematic ladder of communication skills that they call “The Basic Contact Principles”. These principles are based on structures found in natural mother-infant communication and fall into four hierarchical clusters of skills that underlie any effective communication.
Biemans further developed these communications principles through video recordings of interactions and video feedback to achieve success with a group of youth in a residential facility in the Netherlands. The methodology has evolved from an application specifically geared to direct service to families to broader applications in child welfare, education and program management.