Learn I Matter
The I Matter Five Steps Relationship Health Online Learning Journey


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The I Matter Online Learning Journey is for professionals and non-professionals who want to explore what the research is telling us about how to improve child and adult wellbeing, starting with everyday situations. 

The I Matter Five Steps training includes:

An introduction to the I Matter Framework - a practical integration of research evidence relevant to child and adult wellbeing with complex concepts made simple

Explorations of the Theory to Practice of the science underlying relationship health as a way to build resilience and well-being

Fortnightly and Monthly live Q & A sessions with Dr. Cathy Betoim

Whether for work in mental health, business, education, coaching, or for personal growth, this course is designed to strengthen your clarity and confidence and support healthier and happier relationships

We're committed to helping you increase your clarity and confidence in a relationship health approach
so you can help yourself and others with life challenges

Why Study The I Matter Framework?

Have you ever...

Felt confused about the way forward to help yourself and others with challenges?

Felt there was something missing in our approach to child and adult wellbeing?

Wanted a practical approach that helped you make sense of challenges in a home and a work setting that combine science and research with realistic steps?

If so, you may find the integrated approach offered by the I Matter framework and the discipline of Relationship Health Practice to be exciting and useful. 

In this certificate based course, Dr. Cathy Betoin will introduce you to The I Matter Framework and Five Steps process and help you explore how to apply the insights to home and work situations

We’ll dive into the question of what the research is telling us about what is needed to help improve child and adult wellbeing.  You will learn a way of thinking that will support you in seeing a wide range of challenging situations through a new lens.  The thinking is relevant for everyday incidents and for common clinical situations including those arsising from adverse childhood experiences  and other forms of trauma.


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To get started you will need::

Professionals: To complete an expression of interest
Parents-Carers a supportive organisation in a community hub 

+  To think about your role and current priorities 
+ To think about your support options
+ Check your commitment to put learning into practice
+ I Matter may look simple but it can be challenging!

Each step is a complete learning experience or you can work through one to five!   

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I Matter Five Steps Online Study Programmes

Due to the complexity of issues observed in child and family work access to the I Matter Five Steps Programme is always via organistion members.  Organisations work through a developmental process so as to first equip staff and then be able to work more effectively with parents.

Each step of the I Matter Journey is a complete learning experience. Completion of Step 1-5 aims to equip you with foundation understanding for greater confidence in relationships.  If you are a group of professionals in a member organisation you can work with us to take forward a relationship health skills development strategy.  Live Workshops are offered on a Tuesday but preparation content must be completed first.
Step 1-5 Valued £895 or £995 if in leadership role to join Academy. £59pcm for 6-12m after Fundamentals. PRICES IN BETA Read Preparing 


Registration and review step
Taught 4 week Programme
Planned path or Extra to 1-2
Valued at £350

STEP 1-2

Online programme -18 hrs
3m fortnightly Q&A x 2
Pillars of I Matter Framework
6 months access
Valued at £370pp

STEP 3-5

Online programme -18 hrs
3m fortnightly Q&A x 2
The I Matter Process
6 months access
Valued at £370pp

Matter Online Training  aims to equip you with an understanding of the I Matter Framework
This is a practical integration of the research evidence on what helps improve child and adult wellbeing.

It was designed to respond to the observation that many people did not have a confident understanding
of the importance of their own role in relationships.  As such it is a foundation level life training.

Therefore the role of practitioners who are supporting participants in learning the I Matter Framework is not to offer advice on specific individual situations, guiding only on general principles, so you can understand the core ideas. The responsibility for determining specific actions remains with participants at all times.

Study of the I Matter Framework can support
+ preparation for relationship health,
+ strengthening of relationship health and
+ foundations for recovery of relationship health
+ in professional and personal situations. 

PLEASE NOTE: I Matter is an educational programme not a therapy.  Therefore when there are complex or escalated situations, involving such things as self-harming, drug and alcohol misuse, persistent school refusal, complex mental health or behaviour challenges or situations involving abuse or a history of trauma, an I Matter Learning Journey could potentially be a part of the way forward.  However we advise you should always first speak to your child's school and seek out a suitably experienced practitioner based in your own community, ideally one who has also taken part in I Matter Training and understands the approach. This will be an essential part of gaining assistance with moving forward with the details of your own specific situation.  

Please make sure to read further preparation guidelines click here.  Or check the Directory

We are currently open for start any time registration We run a welcome session every Friday Week 4 
We also offer a termly group registration and a rolling programme of special focus cohorts

OUR GUARANTEE: If you commit to the work you WILL see results:
Part 1:  We guarantee you will gain clarity: 
If you complete the Step 1-5 self-paced courses you will be clear about the issue of relationship health and why it is so important to child and adult mental health and well-being and will know how to take it forward.

Part 2: We guarantee you will gain confidence from the Inside:   If you fully commit to completion of 6 months of supported learning you will be more confident in implementing a relationship health approach in your own challenging situation. 

We are aiming to increase the availability of supported learning.  With a shortage of places we will give priority access to those who have completed Part 1 for Part 2 places.

If you have questions please contact-us

Here is what professionals and parents have said

I have liked so many aspects of the I Matter Training. It has given me much more clarity, confidence and strength to help myself and my child. I can only sing its praises in every way. It has made a huge difference to how I see myself, my situation and my children and has given me the tools to be a better parent/coach for my children. It has also helped in other areas of my life such as work. Parent of children aged 5-11yrs

This training has taught me way more than I could have imagined, I love it!       Foster Carer

This training has changed the way I practice at work and in my home relationships. I have enjoyed learning online and found the modules manageable with enough to be stimulating.  I really enjoyed the dynamic of the group - it was interesting hearing everyone's varied experiences.   The changes I have made have benefited me personally, and my family and my professional role.  I want to carry on and learn more.     General Practitioner who completed Core and Extended Learning Journey

"If more professionals understood the implications of the I Matter Framework the impact would be huge on our practices.   I am excited to be part of making a difference"   Professional in Education



                                                 THE BENEFITS OF EACH STEP OF THE I MATTER JOURNEY      

Learning Step:

You Will:

Preparation You will gain a deeper understanding of why your I Matter learning journey is so important

Step 1 - Acknowledge the Fog

Identify your focus relationship
Find clarity about the way forward
Discover a new way of thinking about stuck problems
Start to find the way out of the Fog

Step 2 - Become Informed

Gain a new way of understanding child and mental health practice relevant for work and home decisions
Remove all doubts about your own importance and steps to take
Start seeing results from the new actions you are taking
Option to become an approved Link as an informed point of contact for member organisations

Step 3 - Take Care of You Gain further clarity in a systematic method to establish priorities and find the way forward 
Understand why self-care is essential to your results and how to do it
Know how to strengthen and build an effective your team
Start to focus in on specifics

Step 4 - Develop Routines Gain confidence in your leadership role
Develop your ability to communicate with your child or others and other team members
Understand how to progress a focussed plan to help your child that will build missing skills
Develop confidence in your own coaching skills

Step 5 - Fine Tuning Learn a wholistic way of thinking about a child’s needs and your own

Develop your understanding of how to use everyday situations to build skills
Apply insights to helping yourself and others
Option to apply for listing on the I Matter Directory

   Express interest in Certification



Please Note:  Participation in the Supported Learning Programme is a pre-requisitie for certification

+ Help with Progressing through the Steps 

+ Community - Get to know a group of others motivated by the same issues
+ Connection and Collaboration - Develop new friendships 
+ Accountability - Support to stick with the steps of the I Matter Journey
+ Masterminding – Learn from the experiences of others
+ Our Vibe - Come as You Are - Enjoy a Safe and Relaxed Space
+ The Leader - Experienced facilitation from Dr Cathy Betoin and Other Experienced Practitioners
+ The Content -Carefully selected tried and tested practical content
+ The People - People like you who care about making a difference
+ The Experience We offer- Helpful Structures and Formats to Keep You Focussed on Results
Become certified as an I Matter Lead Educator or an I Matter Clinical Practitioner
Take forward a Relationship Health Skills Curriculum with your Team
Work with us and with your school or service to support your community.



Learning Step:

You Will:

The Wheel  Explore the applications of a relationship health approach to a full range of everyday situations
Gain a deeper appreciation of how complex and valuable the skills of parenting and caring actually area
Work for the Wheel Award.

Extended: Foundation Revisit the I Matter Framework.
Discover more tools to support you in reviewing progress.
Option to apply to become a Trainee Practitioner for Lead Educator or Clinical Practitioner Roles

Extended: Intermediate Thinking Developmentally.
Understand more about how to recognize key developmental needs.
Deepen your understanding of the process of escalation.

Extended: Advanced Advanced Applications
Know how to apply relationship health thinking to the process of understanding complex situations
Develop the skills of I Matter formulation 
Offer a  meaningful alternative to a medicalised model of mental and physical health challenges 

  Acceptance on the Trainee Certification Pathway following full application 
Certified Lead Educator 

Evidenced effectiveness as a certified Lead Educator helping your organisation
i) take forward a Relationship Health Skills Curriculum and
ii) support the I Matter First Course as a Prevention programme in house

Certified Clinical Practitioner Evidenced effectiveness as a certified Clinical Practitioner helping your practice or your organisation
i) develop an I Matter intervention pathway for 1:1 and small group
ii) learn how to use assessment and progress tracking effectively inhouse

Opportunities to apply to be an approved Trainer.

What is the I Matter Framework?

The I Matter Framework is a very practical way of learning about the research evidence on what helps children to thrive.
Learning I Matter offers a life-enhancing learning experience as you get time to think and reflect about things that matter with colleagues and family, and an opportunity to discover new ways of seeing everyday situations. I Matter provides you with a Framework on which to build  essential skills for life and work.  Achievement of the steps, certificates and awards offers confirmation of skills that are valued by employers.

An I Matter Learning Journey offers many things to many people, supporting adults and young people to successfully navigate adult life.
We encourage every participant to select a focus relationship, ideally one that they find challenging currently and would like to improve in order to help themselves and the focus child or other.  This gives the learning journey a sharper sense of purpose.   When there is not a current challenging relationship (quite rare!) then it is possible to use a past relationship as a focus.

We have a Professional CPD and Personal Development Programme known as the I Matter Five Steps Learning Journey.
We also have a Practitioner Development programme.  It is necessary to complete the FIve Steps programme to join the practitioner journey.
This is best developed and delivered within an organisational development programme within a community linking health and education

The programme is primarily designed for adults with responsiblities for young people.  The Five Steps programme at one of four progressive levels.  Some people just like to take part and work through the steps. However others like working for completion of the Bronze, Silver or Gold  or Platinum I Matter Certificate or the Bronze, Silver, Gold  or Platinum, Level I Matter Awards depending on the level of additional support you have taken part in.  However I Matter is for anyone interested in learning about relationship health so we are currently trialling a version for young people.

There are key tasks to complete at each step Bronze and Silver, Gold and Platinum. They involve studying the ideas, reflecting on your learning, discussing your learning with others, completing a personalised needs assessment, helping out with something in your community.

I Matter can be of relevance to any young person or adult – regardless of ability, gender, background or location. Achieving an Award isn’t a competition or about being first. It’s all about setting personal challenges and pushing personal boundaries with a specific focus on being well prepared for successful and healthy relationships with children and adults.

Through an I Matter programme young people and adults learn to observe more closely and become more self aware.   They can also have fun, make friends, improve their self-esteem and build confidence. They gain essential skills and attributes for work and life such as resilience, problem-solving, team-working, communication and drive, enhancing CVs and uni and job applications. The skills of relationships are valued by employers everywhere

I Matter Training licences organisations that work with young people and adults to run I Matter programmes.   This can include, primary care networks, schools, colleges, youth groups and clubs. Through the Licensed Organisation (LO) young people (or their parents / carers) pay for a Participation Place and are supported by Leaders who support them through their learning programmes, helping them to identify personal needs, choose priorities activities, set their objectives and achieve their Awards.

I Matter Training is a social enterprise that works in partnership with Relationship Health Matters bursary scheme, who assist in raising funds by donations and grants to support Participation Places and licences. Relationship Health Matters aims to works with LOs across the UK to increase opportunities for young people and adults to gain the benefits of doing an I Matter Learning Journey

What is the research base of the I Matter Framework?


The I Matter Framework, offers a practical and easy to understand integration of the work of the many researchers, writers, and practitioners.  It was developed by Dr Cathy Betoin, clinical psychologist, teacher and parent,

The I Matter Framework draws upon a long and wide research base.  Here are just a few of the well known researchers and practitioners whose work has informed the I Matter Training programme. 

  • Dr Mary Ainsworth - Researcher - separation studies
  • Dr Mary Sheridan - Researcher and Practitioner - Birth to Five
  • Dr John Bowlby - Theorist and researcher on Attachment Theory
  • Dr Richard Lazarus and Dr Susan Folkman - Researchers on stress and coping theory
  • Dr Stanley Greenspan - Researcher and practitioner - children's developmental needs
  • Dr Stephen Gutstein - Researcher and Practitioner in relationship approaches 
  • Dr. Dan Siegel - Researcher, Author and Director of the Mindsight Institute
  • Dr Dan Hughes, Author and Practitioner and developer of Dyadic Developmental Practitioner
  • Dr Paul Gilbert - Author, researcher and practitioner on mindfulness and compassion
  • Dr Aaron Beck and Dr Albert Ellis - researchers and practitioners in CBT
  • Dr Babette Rothschild - The Physiology of Trauma
  • Dr Gordon Neufeld - Neufeld Institute
  • Dr Dan Hughes - Author and Practitioner Brain Based Parenting
  • Dr. Russ Harris - Author of the Happiness Trap 
  • Dr. Stephen Porges - Author and developer of the Polyvagal Theory 
  • Dr. Bessel Van Derkolk  - Trauma & PTSD Expert 
  • Dr. Gaber Mate - Addictions and Developmental Trauma Expert 
  • Dr Jon Kabat -Zin Ph.D - Author and researcher on mindfulness
  • Dr John Gottman - Researcher and practitioner - couple relationships

There are not enough women on this list!    Here are some recommended references


Who is I Matter for?

An I Matter Learning Journey (the way of learning about the I Matter Framework and its applications) is for anyone interested in improving relationship health and confidence as a route to helping themselves or a child or other family member.   An I Matter Learning Journey can be for senior leaders and professionals in education, health or social care roles or for parents-carers of children and young people of any age or type of need.

In an I Matter Journey we always start with the personal learning process first.  Our focus is on you in your own relationships at home or at work.

An I Matter Journey is for you if
+ you know that you want to understand more
+ are open to learning and making some changes.

An I Matter Journey is not for you if
+ you are very focussed on what others need to do 
+ you feel you have learned enough already or don't feel you have anything to learn

An I Matter Journey can be progressed by:

Parents or carers of new babies
Parents or carers or teachers of young children
Parents or carers or teachers of teenagers
Parents or carers or teachers of children with additional needs
Young People thinking about peer and family relationships and caring for younger children
Young Adults thinking about relationships
Parents or carers or teachers of adults with additional needs
Carers of older adults

Why Learn I Matter?

An understanding of the I Matter Framework will help you think more clearly about how to make a difference in a range of everyday and complex situations.   For the hundreds of adults who have taken part in an I Matter learning Journey the benefits of achieving an understanding of I Matter at any level are multiple. I Matter is about helping you along the path to a healthy and happy relationships that support your confidence in personal and professional roles. As many of our participants say, it’s can be life-changing.

Adults and Young People learn I Matter for a number of different reasons.  This can be for:
Preparation for Relationship Health (eg before starting out in a committed relationship or before having a baby or becoming a foster carer)
Strengthening Relationship Health (when there are some mild to moderate challenges)
Recovery of Relationship Health (when there are some complex or escalated concerns)

This is a newly developing scheme.  However we hope that achieving an I Matter Certificate or Award will give you insight, skills, confidence and an edge over others when you apply for college, university or a job.  Beyond your academic achievements, employers want to see evidence of so called ‘soft skills’ that you have developed through additional interests and activities. These often overlooked but vital skills include details such as communication, commitment, leadership and teamwork. Your I Matter Certificate or Award is a fantastic way to demonstrate and evidence these skills in practice.

With your I Matter insight and skills, you’ll also be equipped to be able to make a positive difference to children and other adults’s lives in your community.   By committing to a journey of being healhtier and happier so as to help your child and others you will make new friends and have memories to last you a lifetime.

Our participants also tell us that Learning I Matter gives them character traits like confidence and resilience, that can boost their mental health and wellbeing and help them face and overcome personal challenges.  

Listen in to the recorded accounts to hear the real stories of I Matter Certificate Holders –  – whose I Matter Journey gave them the space, focus and motivation to move on with difficult situations and achieve improved relationships that they never thought they see happen would. 

Hear about other experiences and find out why employers value relationship skills and how these benefit mental health and wellbeing.

How can I Learn I Matter?

The I Matter Open Access Programme is opened for registration 3 x a year.   In our experience supported small group learning with an approved Lead Professional is the best way to learn about the I Matter Framework.  However after a lot of careful research we have decided to make the programme available more widely with a view to building up a network of practitioners who can offer supported learning as we go forward.   Currently supported small group learning for parents-carers is only available in the Kendal area.

About Certificates and Awards

There are two types of learning achievement

+ Certificates - these are awarded based on completion of the online expectations
+ Awards - these are awarded based on completion of the online expectations and participation in study support

Time Commitment?

There are several levels of the I Matter programme which, when you’ve successfully completed them, lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold I Matter Learning Certificate or Award.   In order to achieve the Award, you must take part in a small group study support opportunity hosted by an I Matter Trained practitioner.

The main differences between the Bronze, Silver and Gold Level Awards  are the minimum length of time it takes to complete them, how challenging they are in terms of the study work involved and the minimum age you can start.

Study Activities for each I Matter section take a minimum of one hour a week over a set period of time, with another 1 hour for discussion if you are completing an award.   so they can be fitted in around academic study, hobbies and social lives. Development and regular progress must be shown and all activities must be completed within 12 months of registering for any given stage..

You are free to start at bronze or silver level but most people prefer to start at Bronze and work upwards as Bronze involves more direct teaching and will give you an introduction to I Matter more quickly.

Bronze Level - Fundamentals - Will take you a minimum of 1-3 months
Silver Level - Core Training - Theory Will take you 2-4 months
Gold Level - Core Training - Theory to Practice - will take you 2-4 months
Gold Level - Extended Journey - Will take you 4-6 months

After that there is the option for practitioner training

How much will it cost?

We endeavour to keep costs down so that as many people as possible can take part.   However if you wish to get the maximum benefit from an I Matter Learning Journey then it is important to realise that there is a substantial commitment involved.

It is difficult to give a precise cost as there are several components to the costs and each persons situation is different:  Costs can include:
i) The cost of the online learning course
ii) The cost of additional small group study support
iii) The cost of personalised study support or coaching as needed.

Professionals - your fees can be paid by your organisation or by yourself
Parents-Carers - your fees can be paid by an organisation if you have entitlements or by yourself if you have the support of a link professional

In some places we work with organisations who pay for the licence for local participants.   In other places we work with our partner organisation Relationship Health Matters CIO to raise funds to support individuals and families who wish to apply for bursaries to take part.  

There may sometimes be additional costs for rooms, or administration or activities or transport.  If one of our licensees charges this they need to explain the costs and what they are for

Every member receives discounts on certain items in our shop

What happens after I sign up?

When you sign up initially the first thing that you will receive is a log on to the preparation course.

We invite you to take time to work through this stage so that you can have a greater understanding of what is involved before jumping in with a greater financial and time commitment. 

Once you decide to sign up you will need to decide on one of the following 
Bronze and Silver (Step 1-2 over 6 months
Bronze and Silver and Gold (Step 1-5 over 12 months)
Bronze and Silver and Gold and Wheel  (Step 1-5 over 24 months)

You will then be sent a registration questionnaire.   This will start you off on the process of thinking about your focus child and the current situation.   If you decide to take part in supported learning then the questionnaire will form the basis of a discussion between you and your Lead about key priorities and support options.   The online learning account is where you progress and work through your I Matter programme and also where the I Matter Direct team can check and approves you’ve completed the online activity in each section.

Depending on the package that you sign up for you will receive a welcome pack with some printed resources.

Now, you can start working through the programme and progressing with your I Matter Challenge – although you don’t have to wait until you get your Welcome Pack to start planning your next steps.

I am a Practitioner - Why should I consider certification?

The I Matter Framework is carefully structured and offers a tried and tested step by step learning process that assists preparation for, strengthening of and recovery of relationship learning journeys for those in a full range of relationships across the lifespan.

The I Matter Learning Journey was developed to respond to the often overwhelming concerns seen in child and adult mental health services with the intent to make it easier to work upstream with a focus on prevention rather than simply in reactive mode when difficulties have become entrenched.     

The I Matter Learning Journey is therefore offered as a practical and accessible foundation for practice in a wide range of settings and roles.  As such it can be a complement to a wide range of therapeutic modalities.   It can equip professionals and parents for confidence in supporting young people and for more effective and rewarding relationships and team work with other adults.

The carefully designed steps are also specifically designed to support professionals and parents in the process of sticking with the longer term learning process that relationship health and personal development generally always requires

After much trial and error, the way that has emerged to assure the consistency of an I Matter Journey is to provide this through the structured online learning resources.   However we know that the online learning alone is not the best way to progress an I Matter Learning Journey.

Therefore the role of certified practitioners is to support the relationship building, discussion and integration of key principles in the context of specific immediate local relationships.   This supported learning can be through 1:1 or small group learning, both supporting different needs.

The certification process equips licensed organisations and practitioners to be able to offer this small group and 1:1 support based on your existing professional roles and qualifications.