Because watching Empowers: VMF offers clarity and transformation

By Christine Nico, Feature Reporter
The Rainbow Times
August 19, 2010

Video Mirror Feedback ® (VMF), a phrase and approach coined by local communication coach, Carlyn Saltman, was established to help people understand themselves in a holistic manner and learn to communicate more effectively. Such an approach leads to self-empowerment and healthy relationships in virtually any setting.

“VMF is a unique blend of mindfulness-based coaching and the constructive use of short-video clips to make it comfortable for people to more objectively see their strengths and skills, as well as the patterns holding them back from relating more effectively with others” said Saltman, Communication Coach and Founder, Video Mirror Feedback.

According to Saltman, there are numerous reasons to participate in VMF. Through video viewing, she explained, clients are able to witness their desirable qualities, see and hear differences with what is communicated verbally and through body language, and recognize old thought patterns that block trust, empathy, connection, motivation, and confidence. Examining oneself practicing new techniques and how they affect perception helps to transform trapped energy into empowerment.

“Most people don’t know how they come across in personal and professional situations,” she said. “Think about how often we have misunderstandings. That is, at least partly, because we don’t know how we’re perceived by others. Seeing yourself in short video clips with professional support can accelerate our ability to bridge the gap between what we think we’re conveying and what the person listening actually understands.”

Video playback, the generic terminology for Saltman’s approach, has been used since the early 1960’s in many professional settings, including psychotherapy and sales.

“It was fascinating to find out that dozens of researchers before me, many of them doctors and PhD’s at prestigious institutions, had studied the impact of video playback and gotten results that demonstrated how effective it can be when used by a skilled practitioner” she said.

As an experienced documentary filmmaker with training in Psychosynthesis Counseling, Mindfulness, Conscious Communication, and Non-Violent Communication, Saltman attributes her VMF success to her collaborative 30-yeareducation and the way it combines visual and energetic sensitivity.

Clients reflect on their VMF experience via Saltman’s website. One anonymous testimonial describes how video feedback transformed her life.

“It helped me accept my situation … It reminded me that it just is, without judgment and that I am able to ‘hold’ the mirror of what I saw during my Video Mirror session … the beauty, the struggle, the pain, the intelligence … with compassion and equanimity as a grounded ‘reality,’ not just a fleeting possibility.”

“VMF can benefit anyone who is struggling to be and love themselves,” Saltman said.

In addition to several testimonials noted on Saltman’s website, she has also experienced positive change by participating in VMF.

“Five years ago, my husband and I filmed ourselves in a couple’s session,” she said. “The instant, vivid feedback that was mirrored back motivated us to communicate differently with each other. Within days, we were enjoying each other’s company more and finding that it wasn’t as difficult as we thought it would be. That feedback continues to affect our choices to this day. Anyone who wants to have less stressful relationships at home and work needs to know their inner truth and how to express it clearly – both verbally AND non-verbally.”

In addition to personal relationships, business professionals are discovering the benefits of VMF.

“Better communication means shorter meetings, fewer misunderstandings, and higher productivity. I am currently working with an HR director of a large firm in Boston where VMF sessions will be offered to directors and senior directors over the course of a year as part of each executive’s individual development plan,” Saltman said.

Recently, Saltman has been working with another large-scale company that must remain anonymous due to confidentiality issues. By utilizing VMF for one of their Human Resource managers, positive transformation resulted, she explained.

“The manager identified a specific challenge to work on and we had a very productive private session focused on helping her speak more confidently and concisely in meetings without repetition,” said Saltman. “I’m very excited about bringing my approach to using video and coaching into the world of business.”

Although some people may be intimidated at first by the thought of being captured on video, Saltman notes that most forget about the tiny camera due to engaging interactions. As they become used to observing themselves they realize how much they are learning about themselves, she said.

“I currently see private clients in downtown Amherst and downtown Greenfield, MA and I travel throughout New England when there is a cluster of clients in one location, especially Boston,” said Saltman. “I’m also developing the option of offering VMF on the Web. Of course, I’d always rather see people in person, if possible.”

“It’s my calling,” Saltman said. “It’s the way I make a difference in people’s lives.”

For more information about VMF or to receive a free 30-minute consultation, please call 413-522-0789 or visit www.videomirrorfeedback.com.