Seeing is Believing is an exciting new approach to working with the mother-infant relationship that has been developed by Carry Gorney based on a preventive intervention for new parents STEEP (Steps Toward Effective, Enjoyable Parenting) which was originally evaluated at the University of Minnesota.
It is based around the use of video to help parents/carers who would benefit from support in their relationship with their child/ or child in their care, to improve the parent-child connection. Although this approach can be used across a wide age range and with both fathers and mothers, Carry has used it predominantly with young children and infants and their mothers.
Video of play sessions is used to capture ‘sparkling moments’ in the relationship between children and parents/adults, and these ‘sparkling moments’ are used to start to tell a different story about the parent-child relationship. The video is edited and excerpts showing successful interaction, no matter how brief, are used to show to the parent and use as a basis for discussion of skills, ability, knowledge and intention. These excerpts provide parents/ adults with concrete evidence that they are doing a good job and support confidence in their skills, often in the face of professional stories to the contrary. Parents are provided with a DVD documenting this new understanding at the end of the work.
Carry is in conversation with Hugh Fox, explaining the program in detail, how it was developed and the different contexts in which it has been used.
Carry Gorney was a community artist and activist in the 1970s and subsequently worked as a Narrative and Family therapist in the English public health system (NHS), Child and adolescent mental health. She was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 1993 which she used to research interventions for new mothers and their babies and as a result developed ‘Seeing is Believing’. She has recently published a memoir ‘Send me a parcel with a hundred lovely things’ (available on Amazon) and currently works as a writer and artist.