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Beyond Capability But Not Beyond Possibility - Dr. Peter Dowrick


Hello VSM friends.


I am excited to be given the opportunity to speak about Video Self Modelling in some interesting and unusual places lately.


After speaking at the AASE conference in Adelaide last week, I will be delivering my VSM Easy Peasy course to a group of Montessori teachers online to China this coming week. How wonderful. We did a similar event 2 years ago and have been invited back to train another group of progressive educators, seeking a new way to work with complex and tricky children.


AI meets VSM

I am on the verge of investigating how AI video creation technology may work with VSM. I have avoided going down this path due to my own fears of technology changes. I am learning though that there are some interesting ways emerging of creating AI video footage of events that have not actually happened. It sounds just like VSM in a way. I am curious about what is possible, so will keep you posted on what is out there and how it may influence VSM creation.


Things my research has taught me.

My Doctorate research is moving ahead slowly but surely. I have today completed the long process of analysing my data and working through the results.


There are a few things that I can now say from my experience are true.


  1. Parents and carers are powerful people and have the capacity to make enormous, significant change in their child’s life through learning to implement Video Self Modelling themselves.


 2. It is never too late to learn. This applies to both carers/parents learning to make VSMs for the first time, 

     and more importantly, to their children, big and small who continue to amaze me with their capacity to

     learn new skills and behaviours through video.


 3. A big part of VSM’s power lies in the HOPE and belief in POSSIBILTY from the adults in the child or young adults’ life. All 5 of my participants believed that their child could learn but they knew they needed a new way to look at the situation. Change and HOPE begins with us.



This brings me to the powerful words of Dr. Peter Dowrick, the founder and early researcher on VSM in the 1970’s.

Peter Dowrick explains that VSM works when we situate the skill in the VSM “Beyond capability, but not beyond possibility.”

This means that as the supporting adults our personal sense of POSSIBILTY deeply affects what we are willing to try and teach our kids. If we believe it is too late, too hard, too tricky, that they will never learn that skill, etc. then we limit what we are willing to try and expose our children to.


If you are curious about this, I invite you to listen to your own inner speak around what is possible for your tricky child. My Doctorate participants have clearly demonstrated that when we feel empowered, our children feel empowered too.


Carol stated it beautifully in this comment after completing the VSM parent training-


“How we can empower the child is by empowering the parents. If the parents believe that they can make a difference then the child will believe, “Oh my mum believes I can do this- so I can do this.” If we walk around thinking that we can't help our children, then what do they have? And it's just a simple video, we’re not asking them to remove a kidney, you know what I mean, it’s just so easy! I just don't understand why we're not taught these skills when our kids are young.”


If you are curious to see if VSM could support the flourishing of someone you know and love, I would love to chat with you about how I can support you. Please email me on-


Much Love and HOPE




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