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Impact of an I Matter Training Approach 

All successful journeys start with noticing new details that have been overlooked

Recent Interview
This interview was a mum of a child who was in Year 5 when she started her I Matter Learning Journey - several years ago.
She then dipped in and out several times whilst addressing different issues.  The interview sets out the impact of her learning


Recent Sample Feedback

I knew the ideas but I hadn’t joined them up with what was happening for my child

It has made such a difference for our household

This course made such a difference to my family. I never in a million years thought we'd be where we are today. It came just at the right time in our lives

It’s been wonderful to know I am not alone…

We still have more we want to learn…

Evaluation of Kendal PCN - I Matter Fundamentals

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Evaluation of Kendal PCN - I Matter Fundamentals - August 2023

I Matter Fundamentals Evaluation -  – Kendal PCN   Summer 2023


We sent out questionnaires to approximately 54 parent participants

We have received replies from 30 to date

The parents have all approached the Kendal GP’s with concern about their child.

As a complement to other available options families were offered the option of I Matter Training
focussing on their skills to help their child

About the classes
Parents were offered
An expression of interest questionnaire
A registration questionnaire
4 75min taught I Matter class on zoom with small group of other parents including discussion
A 14 day email course with a daily 5 minute clip
Consultation on registration questionnaire
Then Option for 4 fortnightly classes
A few were offered option to retake the class a second time

Classes were mixed ages - respondents children were aged between 0-17 yrs

11 attended alone 15 attended with a family member 2 attended separate groups

Participants had had a concern about their child for a varied duration from Less than 3 months
to more than 5 years

Participants attended between 2 and more than 8 sessions


Respondents views on the training were as follows:

The training was relevant and interesting                                            26/28 strongly agreed 2 agree
The facilitators were knowledgeable and well informed                      28/28 strongly agree
The facilitators helped create a safe learning environment                 26/28 strongly agree 2 agree
I learned ideas that I now use to help me to help my child                 25/28 strong agree, 3 agree
The initial questionnaire was useful and got me thinking                    25/28 strongly agree 2 agree
The consultation was useful and helped clarify questions                   24/28 strongly agree 4 agree
I have made changes as a result of what I learned                             24/28 strongly agree 4 agree
My relationship is progressing in a healthier-happier direction           21/28 strongly agree 7 agree
I have more I want to learn                                                                  18/28 and 10 enough for now
I would recommend this course to other parents/professionals           27/28 strongly agree 1 agree
Would you be willing to talk to someone about your experience         21/28 yes

 

QUALITATIVE COMMENTS

Have you accessed any other support in relation to your concerns about your child?

School offered mentoring service,

Social prescriber who referred to I matter


CAMHS,school learning support


GP, school, CAMHS,


School, GP, counsellor, action for children


Had contacted school for support and GP

She had had term of sessions with the school

Counsellor

Dyslexia assessment also funded privately

School

GP

CAMHS

Private counsellor

school & GP

GP appointment that led to referral to I Matter


No


No


School mainly


School- specialized advisor in autism

Community Paediatrician

CAMHS for cog behavioural therapy sessions

School.

Since I Matter also have a community paediatrics referral via GP.


GP referred me to 'I Matter'

I have also been getting advice from my friend who used to be a social worker which has been helpful.


I tried to access every service or institution I could think of, inc. GP, school, CAMHS, private clinicians, group workshops, webinars etc





School
GP - led to the referral to iMatters

School, CAMHS

School - just pastoral care staff, no SENCO involvement. 
LRGS - was spending time seeking support from the School Nurse for low confidence/self esteem issues
Changed to QKS for Year 11 - dropped out of school after first half term of sixth form
GP - seen two different GPs over a year but since refused to attend appointments
CAMHS referral - refusal to engage
Privately saw a therapist for 2 months but then refused to engage

School & pastoral support at QKS
GP
Action for Children
Private councellor
Barnardos
Cahms 

2 x GP appointments. 1 wasn't very helpful and didn't know how to support. The other was when we were referred to iMatter.

CAMHS

No

School nurse, GP, Paediatrician, Occupational Therapy, Speech and language therapy, audiology.

Have sought support for him via school and his GP

No other

CAMHS, GP and school

I went to my GP and they suggested imatter

None before this

My child attended the Decider Life skills online course through Barnardo's

School have been very supportive.
I went to ask the GP for help and she referred me to the I matter programme.



Why did you decide to take part?

I wanted to improve my relationship with my child. I wanted to increase positive communication and overall wellbeing of both of us.


To become a better parent,and so help my child get "Better". Ie.become more able to cope and behave and learn  and be less disruptive within the family.


How to support my daughter's mental health, and the health of the whole family. How to prevent things deteriorating further and instead get on track to have healthy relationships and therefore good mental health.


Approaches to support my child’s emotional well being and to understand her behaviour more fully

Mainly as she wasn’t waking every night and then co-sleeping for the rest of the night. Also for her negative outlook on life/low self-esteem.


We were keen to try anything to support our daughter. 


I asked the GP for any help she could offer as I felt totally out of my depth & I Matter was suggested by Jacqui.  Other than 4 x 1hr sessions i wasn't really sure what the course entailed - but was open to any help offered which might help me learn how to support my child better


I wanted to become better equipped to understand and support my daughter's anxiety and behaviours.


It was suggested by a GP at Station House. I wanted to be able to support my son with his anxiety.

We were really struggling with our family life for a while and wanted to learn how to work through challenging situations


To try something new as focus child reported they felt talking therapy did not help them


To help our approach as parents to help our child.


Feeling overwhelmed, we were shouting a lot, to no effect. Losing control of my temper.
I have learnt a lot more about the benefits of staying calm.


I took part in the workshops because I wanted to try and understand my child better. How to deal with negative behaviour and anxiety. Learn strategies.


I took part in the I Matter programme because I was desperate to help my child and in addition the name of the workshop attracted my attention, even though I expected that it will be another child-focused programme




Originally desperation to do something. Then, in a nutshell, I learnt that I matter!

To refresh understanding and aplication of i-matter principles and to do this alongside other families/parents to aid insight into their and my ongoing issues and the benefits of applying the i-matter approach

My son has become a recluse, has dropped out of school and is refusing to engage with the world.  Our relationship was becoming broken and I needed to learn better ways of supporting him as I was becoming very depressed and starting to struggle myself.

Wanted the reassurance and guidance that we were dealing appropriately with our sons challenges but also gain more in-depth knowledge on strategies and techniques to use.

We were at desperation point, needing some expert advice on how best to manage our child through this difficult period. It was putting pressure on the family unit, and causing arguments and disagreements, so we wanted to learn how best to approach things so we could also support each other better.

It was to understand our child from her point of view& learn a more effective way of communicating with them.

How to have a better relationship with my some and help him manage his emotions.

Wanted to see if I could learn any new strategies to communicate and engage with my daughter who had become withdrawn and more challenging due to anxiety.

I was keen to manage my own thoughts and feelings around the difficulties my child was having in order to provide better support for my child.
 

I didn't want my focus child to continue down an aggressive pathway for dealing with stress etc.

I wanted to learn techniques to improve my relationships.

It was on offer and recommended to us.

I wanted to learn new skill to help my child deal with his emotions. It's helped the whole family

Mainly to understand how to help my daughter the best way possible

My child's behaviour was unmanageable at times and I was looking for help wiht setting limits

I felt that I had nothing to loose taking part in the programme.  My relationship with my son had deteriorated.  I was concerned that his impulsive and aggressive behaviour would end up with him being expelled from School as he had been suspended on a number of occasions.
I wanted to understand my sons behaviour and support him.

 

If you were to describe your experience of the I Matter Fundamentals Workshops for other parents what would you say?

It has been an eye opening experience, I learned the importance of looking after myself and not allowing myself to succumb to negative thoughts as much, as it has raised my confidence in dealing with issues at home. I dont feel as overwhelmed when facing challenges with my focus child anymore, I feel I am much more able to coach her through her difficult emotions. I feel like the entire family unit has become a bit more open and bonded than before I started I matter. It's not always been easy, I have felt guilt and sometimes regret looking at how I have handled situations in the past but this comes in a positive way, more of a realisation that it wasnt the best way to handle things, and learning the skills to handle difficult situations calmly and clearly. I do not "beat my self up" as much at all. I dont feel like a failure for having a child that has challenging moments. I feel successful because I can see her progress and I can feel how much happier we generally all are. I'm more equipped to deal with the challenges that would have made me want to escape only a few months ago. I can see things more logically and rationally now, I do not feel like I cannot do it. I feel much more In control of my own emotions too. I matter has made me feel like I have been given the key to my own internal power, and help with how to use it.


It is friendly supportive professional psychology based. It is based on sound social and psychology science, while it is probably the assistance and guidance in thinking it through as to hot it applies to you and your family which helped us most. there is peer support well within confidential "walls", and that feeling of being able to share and compare family situations with some similar issues was really helpful. It islovely that the NHS has now recognised the rationale of support for the family and so they can support the child in their health and learning issues. Many crises have been averted I think by parents learning to calm situations,recognizing "red" emotional warning signs.


A "light-bulb" moment which helped me to see clearly how much things had gone wrong, and how different things could be.

The feeling that there are lots of other families out there struggling, we are not alone, and there is a way forward

Extremely helpful and supportive


Really very powerful. About week 3 it hit me how much I needed to change and this
then became a much more challenging and personally challenging journey.

It has developed a deeper understanding and awareness of our daughters needs and ways in which we can support her. 


It's a simplified  way to learn about behaviours & how they can affect relationships.  Daily bitesize comments reinforce what's discussed in the sessions & give you the opportunity to reflect on your individual circumstances


It has been excellent: although much of the information wasn't entirely new to me, it placed lots of fragments of information within a more coherent framework. The sequence of 'nuggets' was really helpful just to trigger my thinking. Also, having a sense of shared experiences with the other parents on the workshops was immensely helpful.


I would say it is very informative and also reassuring to hear from like minded parents.


It's been really helpful and has given us very useful insights into how situations become difficult and a way how to get past the difficulties for ourselves.


Supportive and educational. Enables you to understand the mechanisms going on in my child and why they are responding in a certain way and the contributing factors to this. Challenging at times too


It reinforces important concepts such as
• being aware of the fog and accepting that
•being the grown up
•not expecting the child to change, rather providing the environment which is safe and supportive for the child to explore different behaviours
• parents are not alone! Great to hear other stories with other families


Really supportive.

Understand more about child development now and how it affects their behaviour.

I think we were the only couple with young children so of our experiences were at a different stage to others in the group.


I would say the focus of the workshop is about you as the adult and how important it is for you to be in the right place with your well being so you can help your child.


I would definitely and strongly recommend this programme to every parent, especially to every mum, no matter if they experience problems with kids or not (yet). Those two lovely Ladies who ran the workshop are incredibly approachable, knowledgeable and have this unbelieve ability to make you feel , heard, seen and understood. It is also one of a kind opportunity to meet other parents (mothers) who are struggling too and that would give you the feeling that you are not alone



I found iMatters incredibly helpful.


The way it's delivered is is a 'no pressure' environment. You feel supported by the leaders; it's informative and interesting - learning things you wish you'd known years ago. Talking and listening to others in the group gives a sense of not being alone or the only one that's 'getting it wrong'

It was useful to listen to other parents and to compare their experiences and issues to my own. It was also useful to have the input of the i-matter trainers.

Very supportive and helpful.  Wish Id done it 2 years ago when our problems first started surfacing!

It’s a valuable and worthwhile course as really makes you think about your child, their triggers and their behaviour. It is also and informative course and great that you can share experiences with others experiencing similar problems and challenges.

I've talked about it very positively to friends. For starters, it's fantastic that there is something for parents in similar situations to us who don't require more specialist help, but just need guidance, someone to get advice from and someone to vent to about frustrations!

It is everything that every parent needs to part-take in. It absolutely changes your whole parenting skills for the better.


Brilliant—insightful and practical.


It has been thought provoking, allowing me and my husband to reflect on how we deal with challenging situations and how we can support each other in helping our daughter.

It was  a fantastic,  unbiased,  informative and supportive facilitated environment where I could learn, and reframe thinking, with a group of others in similar situations.  A safe space to share  and understand pressures parents face.


Firstly I would say to anyone considering doing it- do it!


I will be honest, before I did the course I felt like I was a failure, that I should be able to cope, everyone else does right?


But, the course was exceptional and showed me a new light. As a group we could share experiences, cry and laugh.


I really feel like all my relationships have improved since doing the course and I am immensely grateful for that.


It is important to be able to reflect and say it is 'you' that can make a positive change to your relationships.


A very positive experience, we were taught to understand situations and how to handle them. A great insight to how things can escalate out of control.


I absolutely loved it and I think every parent needs to have access to this information. I have 4 children so this will help benefit everyone.


highly recommend, open my eyes up to the way I was currently managing my daughters issues, I really had no idea the best way to help


It helped me understand what I needed to change about my interactions with my child and how I needed to structure family time to help manage the undesirable behaviour. It also gave me the opportunity to discuss specific situations and get specific strategies to use in these situations.


I found it hard and challenging to think about my feelings Cathy and Jacqui were amazingly supportive and encouraged me not to give up.


The programme was very informative and helped me understand and unravel the triggers which led to confrontation in my sons and I relationship. I liked the pace of it, between sessions,  you have time to absorb the ideas. And time to put the ideas into practise. I liked the fact that it was very practical. Ideas were put in an accessible way that you could easily understand. I really liked the diagrams and the charts visualizing the information.


It was in a really nice small group. I felt everyone was honest and kind and listened to one another.
The workshop enabled me to move my thoughts forward and to be positive, more flexible and more supportive to my son.






 


What are the key changes you have made and what has the result been?

I have been taking much more time to step back from situations in order to process what the best way to handle it is. I have made more time to spend one on one with my child, and to involve myself more in her interests. I have also been leaving "notes of affirmation" for myself and her, around the home. We have been taking a step back when entering the "red zone" and both of us apologising more when it is needed. I am more self aware of my own emotions and I take more time to care for myself also. I have also been trying to assess whether behaviour is caused for a reason or if it is actually a disrespectful action, and more often than not, seemingly disrespectful behaviour is caused by something completely different (ie, boy trouble, school) and it's for me.to help guide her through these tough feelings which arent really directed at me, instead of just feeling like it is, and I'm struggling and failing at being a parent. I feel stronger in myself now. I do not feel like my child walks over me. I feel like I actually know how to handle these challenges more effectively.. or at least waiting to handle them when I'm in the right state of mind.


Better balance between discipline,encouraging him as a guide and giving him space with less worry for us, more calmness (sometimes!). Trying to get a better balance between time with him and attention on him and the other lovely children we have.

I understand our relationship dynamics so much better now, how things had gone off track, and we are now working hard to repair and get things fully back on track. My relationship with my son has improved significantly, I am more confident and clear in my parenting, and we have a shared understanding and language to communicate at times of high stress. His behaviour has significantly improved, as has his school attendance. He is a happier child because of the work that we have done.

My daughter continues to have major difficulties with her mental health, which has got in the way of her accessing the benefits of I Matter, but we continue to apply the principles and work towards regaining a positive and stable equilibrium.


More structure and routine, creating a gap so as not to react instantly and emotionally when she is upset, thinking of myself more as a coach than a rescuer and to think of growing up as a mountain and


I am basecamp

I try to stay in the green. :blush: really helped that my husband took time off work to do the initial course with me. Better relationship with daughter. And she sleeps through some nights now.

I remain calmer

I approach the challenging behaviour differently - seeing it as an opportunity to support her

Consider my own wellbeing more,  enabling me to demonstrate more calm & stability for my daughter.

Remembering that my child is not a mini adult removes the additional stresses that I realise I have, in the past, put upon her.

I'm now mindful of the developmental time my daughter has lost over Covid & considerate of the impact of this.

There is more connection between my daughter & I, & she is showing signs of improvement

I feel that I am much calmer when dealing with the relationship with my daughter, and I have felt much more empathic with where she is, and the challenges that she is dealing with. Learning to step away from the immediate crisis and have a bit of reflection has been really useful.



I have tried to implement what I have learnt but my son has become fixated on needing the toilet when he is out of our home that he has made it harder for himself. He has taken on new chores at home and even has a checklist to complete each day and if he doesn't do them, he has to hand his phone over until he has. He still doesn't want to leave the house yet although he did manage a 30 minute walk with a friend last weekend. I am beginning to take care of my own mental health more and to not let his anxiety affect mine.


Clearer communication, calming myself down, recognising trigger thoughts, that make my reaction to the situation worse


Recognise child level of arousal

Aware of level of demand and impact of this

Sooth less and allow some uncomfortableness

• keeping home environment as consistent as is possible
• accepting there will be ups and downs so expectations of perfection no longer there
•providing regular time with child


I try not to shout as much.

I found the stuff about demands outstripping ability to cope interesting but really hard to implement as we don't have a strong support network and I'm conscious that it affects my ability to cope but don't know what to do about it.

Reminding myself that I am the adult and to act calmly.

Remembering to debrief my daughter once she is calm after a meltdown.

Trying to give my daughter choices

Giving us both time on our own to calm down-not talk about things whilst feeling uptight.

Making sure my daughter knows that I am in charge and that she should trust me.

I am still trying to put new, more healthy boundaries in our house, despite this huge resistance from the other side. It is a very nice and uplifting feeling to have the steering wheel back in your hands.




I have tried to step back and ignore actions that I dislike or don't agree with and where possible focus on the good things.
This is still a work in progress, it doesn't come naturally to me and feels like I'm not instilling any discipline. It goes against my instinct and to an extent makes me feel like a doormat. However, in recent weeks my focus child has been more able to talk to me which is a real turnaround and I realise I find it hard to take the extra knocks as I'm at such a low ebb myself.

Accepting the limits of my influence and changing the way in which I seek to influence my son. There has been a greater focus on enjoying being together and rebuilding the fundamental relationship. L continues to mature and while there is plenty to continue to work upon, he is more helpful and cooperative and we enjoy time together more frequently.

I have learnt to look after myself better, to stay more controlled so that i can provide a more consistent support and approach for my son.  I have gained more understanding of his situation and my reactions.


I remain more calm when I am being challenged


I try to set enforceable boundaries instead of blowing hot and cold by trying to enforce rules that i cannot maintain


I am less negative in my approach, although I still cannot see the future

Never try to speak to our child about hat has happened when he is in an agitated or heightened state…. Always wait until he has calmed down and then have a chat to him.


Always ensure we discuss afterwards about why a difficult situation happened and how could we have done things differently.


Remember we were a team and to tag team if one of us is struggling.


Continue to have firm boundaries and expectations even when emotionally we are stretched and struggling.

Understanding the importance of managing my own stress levels and emotions when beginning to manage a difficult situation with my child has been very useful. I have tried to remain more calm, although it is sometimes very difficult in reality!

Understanding that children's developmental ages differ has also been helpful so that we can reduce our levels of expectation in terms of what our child should or shouldn't be able to do.

 

Being more mindful of things that might trigger a misunderstanding. Understanding my child& not react to everything. Knowing when to bring a situation back to a calmer state. This has helped with having a happier, overall better& healthier relationship.

A calmer home environment. Able to deal with own stress better.

I’ve tried to back off a bit, not ask too many questions particularly because my daughter finds it difficult to talk about feelings.

Tried to focus on small positive steps and not difficult or challenging situations to help form good foundation to build better relationship and communication.

I have a much stronger, calmer, confident approach back to parenting,  which in turn has relaxed and strengthened my relationship with my child. In turn his behaviour is calmer, and more mature and   he is gaining confidence improving at school. 
I honestly feel if this hasn't been available  and delivered in the way it was by Kathy and Jacqui there would have been a very different path followed by my child that would have been incredibly detrimental to his adult life.

I am kinder to myself and believe in my parenting. I use resources (grandparents etc) to ensure that I am rested and not as stressed as that was the real cause to some of my challenges.
When I feel myself getting stressed with situations with my child, I can challenge my thinking and go back to the principles of the course.


My relationship with my children is strong because of the changes I made, and I can use all the information and techniques for my younger child.

A better understanding of my child and how we communicate as a family.

Clear instructions to my child and comfort them when I say no. Make sure the demands on my child are doable and check they have enough resources. A snack can really help a situation.

Not get annoyed or angry when my daughter has issues, learned to adapt and understand why she struggles

We have made clear the behavioral expectations in the home and consequences of inappropriate behaviour. We spend more time together that does not involve electronics. My child rarely has behavioral outbursts now and when he does, he usually spontaneously apologizes once he has calmed down (and the apology seems genuine).

To find the right time to talk to him. He's a lot calmer because I'm calmer with him when he's at home.  It is Impossible to have a conversation If we are both at loggerheads.


Concentrating on the positives rather than the negatives.


Reinforcing structured boundaries such as, no screens after 10.  Leading to a good night's sleep.

 


 



If you were to sum up your key take aways from the training what are they?

I can do this.
I am a good mother.
My children do not need me to serve them, they need me to guide them.
Taking care of myself is just as important.
I deserve to be respected in my home.
I have the capabilities to handle these challenges.
Small steps are still steps in the right direction.
I set the tone in my home.

Accepting it is down to me how I emotionally react so flare ups have to be worth it if I see red, and they rarely are! Discussing issues when in calm green state is still tricky but persevering with communicating encouraging but not being a walk=over,setting some boundaries and pointing out when they are crossed, without worry that it will create a storm..


Parenting has to be firm and consistent as well as nurturing. Its important to repair a relationship after an incident. We have to break things down into small steps to get to our goals, there are positives in even the most negative situations. Need to balance demands and resources, and utilise support networks around us. Things can be different!


More understanding, empathy and patience for my children

Seek help when needed.

Be a team with those you parent with.
Try to stay green.

See above and Leaving my daughter to calm down and choosing the right time to talk with her. 

Nuggets & gems. Be glad of the good things no matter how small. Many of the nuggets will stick in my head, mostly the visual of the attachment figure - straight hand/wobbly hand!

Boss out to lunch - & the filing cabinet..... stimulus/belief /response highlights my need to take a breath for a green response not a red one

To trust my instincts & believe in myself that I can make a difference.

I am the adult, and I have to remember that in the heat of the moment

My daughter is not doing these things out of spite, but that they are a reflection of a lot of uncertainty and anxiety about how she fits into her family and social groupings

This is a long term process, and that there is no simple, one size fits all solution.

I need to be an authoritative parent not a passive one.

Less words and more action, which I still need to keep building on.


Working on my own anger and frustration and disappointment


More insight in my behaviour and responses as a reaction to events

• I am the grown up - keep calm and centred whenever possible
•Ups and downs are natural part of life
• change is possible


Stay calm.
Think how little their brain is (developmentally!).
My house my rules...Firm and clear.

Needing to give myself so time away. To take care of myself.
Mainly the same answers from the last question. I think they overlap.

The main, the most important and the core one is
"I MATTER" as simply as that.



It's natural for kids to be a mirror of their parents.
My own self-loathing has had a really detrimental effect on my focus child and my attempts to teach by 'don't do as I do...' have failed tremendously.
I demand respect but don't show any for myself and then am surprised and angry when I don't get it from my children.
iMatter is just the best name for this program - it's made me see that I provide material goods for my kids but not sufficient emotional support.

It's important to have positive interactions as a base from which to work on more challenging issues. Showing love is more effective than showing control. It's important to trust the process and be patient.

My son needs support outside of that which I can offer.

To stay calm and in the green zone as I am no good to my son or myself if I let myself get on the red zone  (whatever the situation)
To be kind to myself & know we are doing the best for our child.


Always use a closure conversation after a challenging or difficult situation.

I need to be more supportive in order for my child to learn and develop and change, and I need to behave more like a role-model for him.

Healthier child-parent relationships are very important for an overall well-being. Children need to be nurtured, heard& supported to thrive in their mental health& confidence.

That my personal state of mind and approach is a major factor in my sons behaviour.

Concentrate on the positives in the  relationships, look after myself to be in the best place for my daughter.

Keeping pace
Reminding of basics
Communication
Development of child's brains

The little voice that was on my shoulder saying I was 'failing', or 'everyone else is coping-why aren't I?' has been replaced by an iMatter voice. it is a positive voice that says be Confident, be Consistent and be Kind.

A massive positive impact on our family, we now have a different child and we operate as a family unit together.

 

understanding my daughter and her needs

 

Keep trying to understand the triggers that lead to conflict and waiting for the right moment to talk.
And if I stay calm it helps everyone around me. If you are not feeling very strong in yourself how can you be strong in your Parenting?


How could we improve this course?

I dont have any ideas I think it's already pretty great.

Better co-ordination of the disparate software to access the course, although that could be me ,at age55  (ITLuddite!).

I am still on my learning journey. The only way i can see it could have been improved is to have started it several years earlier. Thank you.

None

N/A


I struggle to attend the course on Wednesday mornings as I teach that day.  


Maybe make the sessions 1.5 hrs if possible?


It would be helpful to share some of the diagrams and models that are used in I Matter, as the one hour sessions are intense, and it is easy to forget some key information or frameworks that have been introduced and discussed. However, I appreciate that there are IPR and confidentiality issues with that.


The only problem is the timing but I unfortunately work full time Monday to Friday so not sure how that can be improved.

It may have helped if there was something my son could do in parallel to the course.


I found it very useful, I think I need a bit more information about the last chapters in the introduction course


Possible longer input especially if trying to return to school in September


Can’t think of any improvements :)

Format seems to work well


I think the first course was really good.

I think I need to be careful that constructive advice wasn't over analysed and affected my self esteem, as I think that's one of my issues that affects ability to feel like a good parent at times.

I think everything was ok.

I did get interrupted by my child in a couple of the sessions which were frustrating and distracting.

It might be nice to meet everyone in person, as the energy of those two ladies must be incredible.

We (parents) could maybe support each other even better.  Maybe some on-line group set up for the course could be useful to keep contact and to remind each other what we have learnt during the workshop.






For me iMatters was a 'perfect fit'  I've needed help for a very long time but don't consider I'm worth the time and effort of a counsellor 1-on-1.


The fact that this was geared around helping my child was the reason I was able to undertake it.



I was unable to attend all the sessions. It would have been valuable to me to have attended more but there was a clash with work commitments.

 

Being more competent with technology and to feel more confident sharing sensitive personal issues with a group of strangers.

We have been able to attend at the times of the courses, however, many parents would struggle, so having a bit more flexibility for daytime or evening would be better.

We have been lucky to be paired with 2 other families who seem to also be very supportive of our own situation, however they have much older children (14 and 16) with very different problems. Although I understand that the content of the course is applicable to all ages / relationships, it makes it difficult to talk about our problems when they are obviously dealing with something much bigger and more impactful to their own lives. It sometimes makes me not want to talk about our issues as it doesn't seem as important. We had a couple of really good weeks when everything seemed to fall into place and we didn't have anything negative to say, but it felt really unfair to celebrate that in front of the other parents who had been in tears about their week. 


If we were paired with parents of similar aged children, or children experiencing similar problems, it would be far more beneficial. Currently we find the information Cathy tells us very useful and interesting, but the rest of the session isn't very relevant to us.

It would be really useful to have access to the resources that are shown in the sessions in advance, so that we can make notes on them during the sessions and keep them for future reference. It's a lot to take in in a short space of time.

Sometimes questions are sprung on us in the session and it's very difficult to think of specific examples on the spot, especially when other parents are waiting and listening.  If we had the questions in advance we could think of the best examples to use and discuss. I often think of these after the sessions and wish I'd mentioned them!

When we joined the first zoom session, we actually realised that we knew one of the other parents as they work at our child's school. It hasn't been an issue and we trust that they are keeping all information confidential, however, it may have been useful to learn who the other parents were prior to the session in case there were to be any issues with being part of the same session.

 

The questionnaires are too long, repetitive and confusing. Found them challenging to complete. I think they could be refined.

 

I'm not sure it could.
Perhaps face to face session offered for those who prefer

I can't suggest improvement when I thought it was excellent.

I really liked that we could share our issues as a group. Yes, it is awkward at first because we don't like to say things out loud that we feel bad about, but, I could try to learn about issues that would or could arise later in my focus child's life.

Maybe having hand outs or online materials

 

Wish I'd of had more time to attend the other lessons

It would have been helpful to have more space between the initial course and block of follow-up sessions and then a 4 to 6 month follow-up session.

Cathy and Jacqui are an amazing team.  The course came at just the right time for me.




 

 

What questions do you still have?

How to deal with sibling violence when I am outnumbered and they wont stop screaming at each other. That's the only thing I feel unsure of at the moment, is when I am powerless because there is 3 girls all screaming and fighting together and I cannot even be heard.


Nil


Improving my skills at managing conflict, and difficult and serious self harm behaviours.


More regarding routine and structure and coaching


I still need help as my daughter is beginning to increasingly self-harm by biting her arm and I want to know where best to go from here.


Further ways to support daughter.  She is managing lots of new situations well. 

 

Nothing that immediately springs to mind...


How can I help my son overcome his OCD he has now with needing to pee? Is there advice on how to get back to school?


More information on the themes towards the end of the introduction workshop


Difficult to answer cause I dont know what I dont know (if that makes sense)

 

I thinks its great this course was available via the GP. I also let the GP know.


I would like to learn more about children with different needs like autism and sensory issues. The I Matter course was great but I would like to understand more about specific difficulties.

I would like to know as we were referred by our GP, do you makes notes and share information with the GP about what has been discussed about our difficulties or is it all confidential within our little group.

I would like to learn learn and learn how to talk to (or rather how to listen to) difficult teenagers, so I could work in a similar field in the future, as I think there will be only more and more people needing support with raising up healthy kids.


I'm now paying for my focus child to speak to a therapist and my daughter has asked that I seek help myself. I hope I can make the effort to continue my learning.

The ongoing support is excellent and continued check ins help to question the situation and refocus.

 

How best to approach to school and get them to support my son with his individual needs more in the structured classroom environment as not very confident in the sharing of information & support network. Appreciate they are under staffed and over stretched but the child’s well being should still be paramount.


Putting everything we've learnt into reality is difficult. You think you know it and can apply it, and then situations come up when it just seems impossible to make progress using those methods.

We made progress, but have gone backwards, and feel we need to continue to have guidance on dealing with specific situations.

At what point would you suggest the child himself would benefit from having some help from a specialist?

 
 
 
 

I would always be open to learn.

None

 

none

I can't think of specifics at the moment, but as my child has evolved, I have new questions that I did not have at the time of the course.

I would like to learn more about Dyslexia and understanding learning difficulties which will also help me at work.

 

 

Any other questions or comments?

Thank you


No


A heartfelt thank you.


No


A huge thank you to Cathy and Jacqui. I really appreciate all that you gave in terms of encouragement, time, guidance and teaching.


Thank you!


Just "Thank you" Cathy.  It really has made a difference & a positive change in our household.


No, so far it has been an excellent programme, and I look forwards to participating in the consolidation workshops.

 

It's been a very useful experience to our family.


Been a very good experience for me.


Thank you Cathy!


No.

Thank you so much for your time, and putting everything together.


I have really enjoyed the course. It has helped me evaluate lots of things in my own life that I can change. Thank you.


no


Thank you for providing the service

Thank you for the help you have been able to give.

 

Thank you so much for such a valuable and worthwhile journey and so lovely to share experiences in confidence with other parents who don’t judge or make assumptions.

Sincere thanks Cathy & Jacqui for leading the sessions & a your knowledge and information sharing.

 


This course literally saved my family. I never in a million years thought we'd be where we are today. This came just at the right time in our lives. I will forever be grateful for it& definitely recommend to every parent out there!

 

A big thank you to Cathy and Jacqui for providing this service, really helpful.


Just a huge big thanks to the local services for commissioning this wonderful project. Your very lucky to have women like Kathy and Jacqui on board.


I am so thankful and relieved that I did this course. I learnt so much. I am so grateful to Cathy and Jackie.

 
 
 
 

I’m really glad I did the course. And thank you, at times I thought I can't do this, It's too hard having to really think. But I'm so glad I did it because our home is really calm now. And me and Johnny laugh a lot. I've got so much to thank you for.

Parent of a Child with Complex OCD behaviours

I would like to share my experience with I Matter training in our family.   Our son started with obsessive compulsive behaviour around the age of five. And then as the years went by, it became more firmly entrenched. Then by the time he started secondary school two years ago, he disclosed to me his suicidal thoughts.

By that stage we'd already been through and had an assessment by the community paediatric team, who came to the conclusion that our son had generalised anxiety disorder and shared traits of being on the autistic spectrum.

Luckily I had heard of I Matter from a friend at that stage in our GP referred us to meet up with Cathy my husband and I have two older children at the time all started work on the matter training, the online material plus telephone and zoom meetings with Cathy. 

In the training we learned about concepts such as the brain development stress and well being parenting styles and also attachment theory. Once we understood the concepts, we began to putting them into practice within our family environment.

Within a short space of time, we actually started to notice that our child's level of anxiety started to lessen still with its ups and downs, but definitely signs of improvement. And this is before our childhood started working directly with Cathy.

Once our son started working with Cathy she taught him the same concepts we'd learned just obviously in a bit more of a simplified way and he got the concepts really well. He was only 11 at the at that stage.

At first I was a bit sceptical about, you know, our son's ability to you know, change this long established OCD behaviours. His anxieties have dominated many aspects of our family life for so many years.  Examples of this would be for instance, his inability to tolerate sounds of his washing up or the piano being played, opening closing doors, putting lights on and off, all those kinds of things that happened hundreds of times a day and in a busy house. Certain people had to be in specific places if he were to watch TV with him. There was lots of ritual and I think he really got rundown with it becoming emotionally and physically exhausted, as you'd expect. It was also having a major impact on our three other children as well.

So as our son progressed through the meetings with Cathy his awareness and understanding grew, further improvements were made, but I feel it's really important to say that it really was a combination of family members working through the I Matter training as much as the work with our son.. Working through the I Matter online training was useful and so also the joint sessions with other parents really, really useful as well.

The link between our relationship and our behaviour towards our son was fundamental in turning things around. And key first specifically, was our parenting style, which once we'd started to change it had a great positive impact on the whole family.

So two years on from work from starting the EMR to training our son is really coming into his own. It's really lovely to see that his he's tackling his own is OCD behaviours at his own pace.

And with our support, he's overcome some really challenging behaviours. Examples of improvement is you know, we can all sit around and have tea together sit and chat. Watching TV now isn't a stressful he's also thriving at school. He's very quiet still in class, but he does join in. His teachers love him because he's really conscientious.  He has a small but very close core of friends who are really supportive him.

The other crucial thing is that these changes have taken place over the last two years. So I Matter is not an overnight fix, by any means.   But I can honestly say that the skills that we've learned as a family feel like Skills for Life, and we continue to use the key concepts of I Matter on a regular basis at home.

I'm sure there'll be many more ups and downs along this journey, but I am feeling much more confident now to know how to help my son, and how to create an environment which is safe and nurturing, but also has the important boundaries in place.

I really would recommend I Matter  training to any family looking for a wholesome and holistic approach. Many Thanks   Cathy.