How Can I Use My Training?

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


The I Matter Framework and learning experience aims to address the issue of a missing practice model that can fit the needs of everyday and complex child and family practice and serve as a tool to engage Leaders, professionals, 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 can be run by any school, service or other organisation that has a Lead School license.  This depends upon having at least two staff including one senior leader who have completed and an approved Lead professionals who have themselves completed the I Matter Challenge to at least Intermediate level.  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.  A Link School or Service does not run the I Matter Challenge Award Scheme in-house but can help parents access it. 

Due to COVID-19 we are fast tracking the initial process for becoming a Link Professional and Link School or Service - a role through which you can gain experience in supporting colleagues and parents who are ready to learn.

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 to be made freely available and for anyone and everyone.   After this you can share ideas informally with individual clients and colleagues.  However you may not run groups for clients or colleagues unless you progress to the appropriate stage of our structured training process.

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 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 them in a group can be quite complicated.  So if you want to work with a 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 an registered Lead Practitioner or Trainee Lead you should not work with groups. If you are a registered Link Practitioner you can informally support people who are working through the self-help online course or accessing a supported learning opportunity.  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 help your clients access supported learning through our Challenge network in a manner that will complement your 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 as part of the Challenge

I'm the only person in my school or service who has taken part in training. Can I run an I Matter Challenge 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. 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.

If 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 starting with the Getting Started Workshop and I Matter Model 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 I have to teach my clients ALL the ideas?

No. This is the advantage of clients having their own account.   We like to ensure people get support to gain the big picture.  However if you are supporting a longer term process, you can run a group series with a few initial ideas to focus on or choose the skills you consider will be most useful to your client group.  However you must 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 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.  This ensures really solid foundations - and in a group as there is more of a fun factor.  However, remember the previous comments on the structure and the order.  Use of specific ideas can be tailored and personalised much more when taught individually.

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

The 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 you to be creative with your group teaching. If needing simpler graphics for posters, you can contact us with your suggestions. we ask that you retain the logo and the key little people.  You know your clients and how they will learn best. You can tailor your resources.   We stipulate that you keep the same "concepts" for the ideas. 

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 only licenses you to work with your own individual clients and where possible we prefer you to help them join up for a challenge themselves.  You are welcome to use our PowerPoint presentation in the Resources section to introduce your colleagues to I Matter Thinking or direct them to the Introductory training.   In order to offer study support for professionals you must become an Approved Lead Professional or Advanced Practitioner.