Some of the most exciting developments in the social welfare / treatment field in the UK at present is occurring within the housing and homeless sectors. This has been spearheaded by the Psychologically Informed Environments Approach (PIE). A Psychologically Informed Environment (PIE) “... is one that takes into account the psychological makeup – the thinking, emotions, personalities and past experience - of its participants in the way that it operates.” In response to many community specialist services becoming over stretched, housing providers have begun to develop their own in house approaches to working with entrenched populations of homeless people. Often these peoples' lives are characterized by complex needs such as trauma, substance abuse and mental illness. Housing providers have taken a lead in providing increasing specialist and locality based services to address these needs. The PIE approach invites services to consider these clients needs from a psychological perspective and this should inform the intervention, policy, social and physical environment that these clients operate in. This is guided by 5 core values that include:
Staff support and training
The physical environment and social spaces
A psychological framework
Evidence generating practice
These new and innovative models are locality based and are giving rise to a plethora of new interventions and treatment structures. As such, they are bringing into fruition a diverse range of support that has been lacking in other sectors in recent years. Whilst more robust research needs to be conducted into the effectiveness of these modes, the Psychological Informed Environments has created a more dynamic, forward thinking approach to support highly vulnerable people.
For more information regarding training or consultation on PIE, please contact me directly.