How Can I Use My Training?

The I Matter Framework and I Matter Challenge offers a practical integrated approach to improving children's mental health and well being and a language to support solid foundations for joined up thinking.

The learning experience aims to address the issue of a missing element of everyday and complex child and family practice and can engage Leaders, front line practictioners, parents and young people in their own important roles.   If you have a question not answered here, please contact us.

Who can run an I Matter Challenge Award Scheme?

An I Matter Challenge Award Scheme is a supported online learning journey.   Mostly the I Matter Challenge Award Scheme is run by the I Matter Direct Team, taking referrals for parents from Link Organisations, with a small number of self-referred parents.   So It can be supported by any school that has a Link Licence.  Parents can access with a mixed range of funds. 

It can also be run by any school, service or other organisation that has a Lead School license.  Both licences depends upon having at least two staff including one senior leader who have completed Foundation stages. To run the I Matter Challenge in-house your approved Lead professionals must have themselves completed the I Matter Challenge to at least Intermediate level and become registered as a Trainee Lead

Lead Practitioners are offered licences to support Everyday Awareness Courses, Raised Concerns Courses or Longer Term Needs Courses depending on their initial experience.  We also make a distinction between face to face without online course support licenses which are offered for individual support using the posters for the support of individual inhouse clients who would otherwise be unlikely to access online learning, and study support for the I Matter Online Learning Journey.   All Lead Practitioners must work with an Advanced Practitioner who oversees the initial registration process and supports work where there are raised concerns or longer term needs.  

We look carefully at the experience of participants and then licence you to offer particular types of I Matter Challenge - some are more specialist than others.  

Who can support access to an I Matter Challenge Award Scheme?

An I Matter Challenge Award Scheme can be supported in a number of different ways.  The Link professional or Link school or service role refers to a school or service where there are a minimum of two staff including one senior leader who have completed Foundation training and acquired a Link licence.  Such schools can act as referrers to the centrally run I Matter Challenge supported and self help programme whilst providing informal local support to their own linked parents.

What can I do with my learning when I complete a course or challenge stage?

In the first instance taking part in an I Matter Challenge at any stage is intended to support your own personal and professional development so that you are more confident in helping the children you live or work with.    I Matter ideas and course notes and the draft book 'An Introduction to the I Matter Framework' are made freely available can be purchased by you for your own reference.   So you can share ideas informally with individual clients and colleagues.  However you may not run groups for students, clients or colleagues unless you progress to the appropriate stage of our structured training process.   If you become a Link you may also apply to join the I Matter Direct Team when opportunities become available.

Do I need to complete a supported course in order to share I Matter ideas with groups of parents or young people, or my clients?

Yes.  It is possible to get a good initial idea about I Matter ideas from looking at the course notes, or the book or working through a self-help course, but putting the ideas into practice and communicating some of the key details when working in a group can be quite complicated.  So if you want to work with groups it is important to have worked through the course and taken part in discussions and completed the other elements of our training.  You can then apply to be registered for this role with support of a local organisation. Unless you are a registered Lead Practitioner or Trainee Lead you should not work with groups and should use any resources you find in a reference context only. If you are a registered Link Practitioner you become part of our informed referrer network.  You can informally support people who are working through the online course or accessing a supported learning opportunity in your setting as a complement to other interventions that are being offered by you or others.  This helps build a network with a shared language.

Can I use the I Matter assessment checklists with parents or young people?  

You can use the assessment checklists if you have completed a course and if they help you in a personal role.   However generally speaking supported training is important.    The assessment checklists should only be used professionally by people in organisations that have a licence to work with us.  If you want to use the tools professionally you must become a Link Plus, a Lead or an Advanced Practitioner.  

Do parents and young people need to have their own online account? 

Wherever possible, Yes.  In our experience, group learning is great but the practice of taking some private time to reflect is a key part of the I Matter change process.  The online course also assures quality control and consistency.   However the skills are often digested more easily when discussion happens with someone who understands the approach and a group can build relationships and add a fun factor. As a Link professional you can offer informal support.   To run a formal group you must become a Lead.  Some experienced Leads will have permissions to offer I Matter Challenge courses without the backup of an online account.

I am an independent practitioner, can I run study support groups for my clients?

There are two ways to help your clients.  If you complete professional training and become registered as a Link Professional you can be part of our referral network and can help your clients access supported learning in a manner that will complement your own offer.   If you want to help run study support groups yourself you must train as a Lead Professional or Advanced Practitioner.   Then you will be able to advertise yourself as offering study support for I Matter online learning for individuals or small groups

I understand there is an I Matter initial assessment process, how does that work?  

When running groups we make a distinction between courses for Everyday Awareness, for Raised Concerns and for Longer Term Needs.  In all cases we offer professionals and parents who train directly with us an initial registration process.    However whenever there are raised concerns or longer term needs we require professionals to ensure that participants complete a further in-depth registration and consultation process first.  This is offered by the I Matter Direct team or by licensed Advanced Practitioners.  It enables us to discuss starting points and offer some clear recommendations about how to get best value from an I Matter Journey.  

I'm the only person in my school or service who has completed Lead Professional Training. Can I run an I Matter group on my own or with a colleague who hasn't been to a workshop?  

We advise that 2 members from each school or service attend training. It's important that 2 professionals facilitate an I Matter Study Support group if it is any larger than 4 participants. We advise that most I Matter Study Support Groups are no more than 8 participants.  In a small setting a 2nd professional, who hasn't attended training, can act as co-facilitator, and therefore also learn the "style" of I Matter Thinking during the group - however they should wherever possible also complete the core training.

When supporting individuals or groups do I have to teach the ideas in the same order as in the I Matter Course?

Ideally Yes.  The separate ideas come together into the I Matter Framework and the ideas build carefully on each other.  We always advise  that everyone starts with the Getting Started Workshop before moving on to the other key ideas.   It is important to get clear about how stress dynamics work in relationships before we can learn to change how we react.

If supporting individuals or groups in a longer term process, do my clients need to cover ALL the course steps?

No. This is the advantage of clients having their own I Matter Journey and Awards account.   We like to ensure people get support to gain the big picture and practice the thinking over a longer period .  However if you are supporting a longer term process, you can pace the study support to focus on a few initial ideas or the skills you consider will be most useful to your client group.  The most important detail is to ensure that each client has understood the I Matter Model. This is the key idea. It leads the client on to the other ideas. If you are supporting families and children with additional challenges both Foundation and Intermediate ideas will be needed.

Can I pick just a few concepts and teach them to clients in my individual sessions?

In our experience, the skills are most effective when taught systematically.  In fact this is what is distinctive about an I Matter Journey.   Participants revisit a lot of important ideas in a very structured way, in a carefully selected order.  This ensures really solid foundations which equips them later to understand how to be effective in more complex situations.   Learning in a group introduces lots of opportunities for learning from others.  However, with a licence to work directly with clients using our resources, specific ideas can be tailored and personalised much more when taught individually.

My clients have particular needs, can I adapt the I Matter resources to help them understand?

The core written materials are copyrighted and cannot be changed, but we like to work with our network to ensure the experience meets diverse needs.  We encourage our Leads to be creative with their group teaching. If needing simpler graphics for posters, or with other languages we can be contacted with our suggestions. You know your clients and how they will learn best and we want to work with you. We stipulate that you keep the same "concepts" or ideas represented in different posters.   If you want to use individual concepts that you have used from I Matter Training in your own training for others then please make sure to reference where you have learned the ideas including both from the I Matter Framework Training and from the initial researchers whose ideas these concepts represent.

Now that I've attended a workshop or course, can I run a workshop for my colleagues or other professionals?

No, taking part in the training licenses you as for informed practice with your own individual students or clients.  If you think they could benefit from learning I Matter we encourage you to help them join up for an I Matter Course or Award challenge themselves, or to train yourself as a Link or Lead Practitioner.   You can encourage your colleagues to register for one of our introductory sessions.  Or If you become a member you can register them for the free prerecorded introduction.   In order to offer study support for professionals you must become an Approved Lead Professional or Advanced Practitioner.