Cathy Betoin's I Matter Blog and Podcast

Why I Matter Training? #1 How does it all fit together?

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So I want to tell you about why I decided to put together I Matter Training and why I think it may be helpful to you.   The first and most important reason was that 20 years ago I was trying to understand a very confusing picture myself.   I trained at a very interesting time as a clinical psychologist.   Ideas were changing and there were fierce disagreements between psychologists about what was the proper task of a psychologist and what was not.  How to resolve the confusion was a very persona…

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Adoption Support should be like good dentistry

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It is always exciting to find people who are on the same page and making a positive difference.  Last week I spent a fun morning in Blackburn with Adoption Matters NW, an important local charity.  We were sharing coffee and trying to work out how to improve the mental health and confidence of professionals, parents and young people involved in adoption via the provision of psycho-education and support.    

In the face of the plans to expand adoption as an option for children and families, we al…

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Schools? How will you spend your pupil premiums?

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Did you know that I Matter Training can be used to help you meets the new requirements set out in the draft SEN Code of Practice, and though budgets are tight, this could be a cost effective way of investing your pupil premiums?

Key messages for schools embedded in the new code are for joined up planning and for the understanding that knowledge of SEN should not just be limited to a small cohort of specialists. Another key change places a much greater emphasis on meeting the underlying needs of…

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'I Matter' at Home

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One of the things I love most about the I Matter Framework and the I Matter Process is that they provide me with such a helpful way of thinking about what is happening, and what is needed and why, in high intensity home times as well as in a professional context.

It has been one of those weeks. This afternoon I sat with my 18 year old son - we were doing a Debrief after an incident that had started last week.

"What happened?" I asked
"Well I did red and so did you".

We agreed that we hadn't seen i…

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Outcome Measures Matter - Choose them wisely

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When it comes to understanding the growing numbers of complex challenging children and rising behavioural and mental health difficulties it matters what outcome measures we use.

The problem with most outcome measures currently in use in mental health services (such as SDQ and RCADS) is that they consist essentially of problem symptom checklists that are additionally - and often problematically - dominantly focussed on the child. 

Symptom checklists can have a place as screening tools.  It can be…

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My stomach feels hot and I want to hit him!


I have had a wonderful time recently teaching I Matter Principles in a crash 3 week course to 60 year 6 pupils (aged 10-11yrs old) at Ghyllside Primary School in Kendal.   This was a thoughtful part of the preparation of the pupils in their coming process of transitioning to the secondary school

The sessions went very well and the group caught on quickly to some of the key ideas.  The staff at the school have already taken part in an I Matter staff inset and so I was pleased when it was widely …

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Child Health Outcomes? Elephant in the classroom?

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It can be truly alarming.   The evidence about child health outcomes is everywhere you look. We have such large numbers of stressed out children who are difficult to teach.   Such large numbers of stressed out teachers, and such large numbers of confused parents who have given up trying to hold the reins. 

Yet instead of stopping to take collective stock and ask a few basic questions about what might be happening and why and about our community priorities, the answer seems to be to offer more a…

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Family Hierarchies: who is in charge in your home?

"You're free range when I say you're free range

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When a baby is small it would seem to be fairly obvious who is the Adult in charge, but one of the things that often happens in families of children with complex needs is that confusion sets in about this issue.   

Children with complex needs are often more challenging to manage because they are developmentally younger.   Their responses tend to be more intense and more difficult to make sense of.  The level of supervision that is required is h…

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Challenging Behaviour? Are you feeling Healthy Outrage or Out of Control Anger?


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One of the most common responses I find when people begin I Matter Training and start thinking about a child's challenging behaviours is that they begin to become more aware of their own angry responses towards their own child.   Then they find that they are not sure what to do with that anger..

"I know it is not very helpful to be angry with my complex child they tell me, but isn't it normal to feel angry if my child is hitting me or hurting their brother or sister?"

In I Matter practice …

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And we're off!

Yay!  The e-learning Foundation I Matter Class trial is finally running!   I am excited that there are 12 participants - most of them professionals from the Kendal and North Lancs area who work in mainstream settings but are nonetheless in touch on a daily basis with one or more (often many more) young people with complex social-emotional needs.

The class will take place over the next 7 weeks and will I hope give participants an opportunity to step back and think about some important - and fascin…

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