The I Matter Framework:
What it is and How it Can Help You


The I Matter Framework is the result of a great deal of puzzling about how decades of psychological research in children's development can be pieced together into something practical that can inform decision making around the care of children who are anxious or challenging.

There were several reasons I felt something was needed:

1.  After years of training and practice as a clinical psychologist and teacher with children I became really concerned that the way we were practising was not an effective response to the scale of the needs that were present. 

2.  Though I had been trained to deliver evidence-based practice it was clear to me that different practitioners were choosing to work with very different models or theories and this was in turn leading to very different guidance for families - and a great deal of confusion that was in turn fuelling escalation.

3. Having been a teacher it was clear to me that many of the most complex children who were needing help were never going to get to see individual therapists.   They couldn't get to appointments, or the motivation to bring them was not present, or the resources were just not present.

4.  When I was effective in helping children I realised that it was most often when I had been able to support adults in working together more effectively.

5.  I became alarmed that too many of the practices that I was observing were claiming to be evidence based, based on a too narrow interpretation of what was evidence - leading to some big and vital details were being left out of the picture.


So the I Matter Framework draws together varied strands of evidence on children's development into a practical back to basics set of ideas that can support formulation and decision making. 

Formulation is a term used in Clinical Psychology that refers to the process of trying to make sense of how difficulties have emerged, and what is keeping them stuck.  A good formulation can also help guide what the key priorities for action must be in order to restore greater well-being.   

The I Matter Framework is now taught - at a fast pace through the I Matter Online Intensive.   

If you decide to take part you will discover that on the one hand the I Matter Framework ideas look quite simple and straight forward.  In fact they are very helpful.  

However..... their implications can at times be really quite uncomfortable and challenging.  So the I Matter Journey is designed to support an extended period of learning and support so that the implications can be embedded into everyday thinking  for both professionals and for parents and carers.

The I Matter Challenge is the term we use to refer to two important connected elements that are challenging

i) Working through the key theory that we call the Pillars of the I Matter Framework (there is a lot to think about)
ii) Using your learning to make a difference in a relationship with a focus child.


The ideas that are crystallised in the I Matter Framework are built on a literature search which I first drew together in 1995.  This reference resource was called
An Integrated Approach to Practice:  A practical framework and curriculum to support training in mental health and applied psychology.

I hope you will find them helpful in your journey to help your child and others.

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Dr. Cathy Betoin - Relationship Health Matters

Dr Cathy Betoin
Clinical Psychologist, Teacher, Parent

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