Support offered by the educational psychology team
Lewisham Educational Psychology Team uses an approach called consultation to work with children and young people in schools and other settings. We work with a parent or carer and usually someone from the school or early years setting to explore your hopes for change or to think together about a child. Together, we explore a range of factors to help us build a picture of what might be happening for a child or young person and then we usually agree on some actions.
The Educational Psychology team support young children’s learning, play and well-being using psychology. Our approach may differ based on the child’s individual strengths and needs, but usually if a child has been referred to us, we ask to meet with the referrer and parents to discuss the concerns.
We often ask about the child’s strengths and interests as this helps us to think about ways to support them. We might also observe the child or meet with them to do some play activities so that we can find out more about their development. After our initial visit, we ask to meet again in approximately six weeks, so that we can see how things are going. We might also help to make a plan to support the child’s transition to school.
Educational psychologists also try to attend some of the Explorer and Little Explorer sessions at the Bellingham, Laydwell and Evelyn Children’s Centres. This gives us the opportunity to have a chat with parents about any concerns or questions that they might have about their child’s development. We can provide a ‘listening ear’ or help to signpost to services and/or helpful resources.
We also have an Educational psychologist who specialises in the early years and works in partnership with professionals within the local authority. They provide training and support to early years settings and support projects within the local authority.
Video Interaction Guidance
Video Interaction Guidance, often called VIG, is a strengths-based approach to improving positive communication between an adult and child. The adult may be a parent, carer, member of staff from an education setting or another important adult in a child’s life. The adult and the educational psychologist watch video clips of positive interactions, such as playing or reading together. These clips are shared with the adult to prompt thinking about how to build on these moments to further develop positive communication, including being in tune with the child’s emotional needs.
What happens during VIG
VIG takes place somewhere convenient for the adult such as at home, school or nursery.
- The psychologist makes a short film (approximately 10 minutes) of the adult and child doing something they enjoy in the home or school setting.
- The psychologist chooses a few short clips from the film which show the adult and child communicating well.
- The psychologist and the adult meet and watch the clips together and talk about the positive aspects of the communication.
The psychologist is likely to create several short films and hold VIG sessions to share the edited clips with you. Often you will have a VIG session to review a video and then a new video will be recorded on the same day. Sometimes these will happen on different days. Each recording and review is called a cycle. The number of cycles varies based on individual circumstances, but is often around 3 to 4 cycles.
Confidentiality and consent
As part of the VIG process the psychologist is supported by their supervisor. Supervisors are experienced VIG practitioners who have achieved supervisor status through completing additional qualifications in the use of VIG. The clips are viewed by the adult, the psychologist and their supervisor.
Film is only made when consent has been given in writing from parents and can be withdrawn at any time. We also pay attention to both the assent and consent of children and young people. This means that if a child or young person communicates that they do not want to be involved, we will stop recording and consider with you whether they are saying ‘no’ to being recorded for that session or to being involved in VIG at all.
All video recordings are kept securely and confidentially for the period of the work.
Parents can have a copy of the video clips if they wish.
Links to school services
If you are a school or setting, visit the School Services website for more information on support available from the Lewisham Educational Psychology Team.