Curating case studies and practice examples

This site has many case studies and practice examples, scattered throughout, which can be found  as links in the pages in each topic area. But this is still a fairly small selection - usually no more than half a dozen or so examples in each case - and we can easily miss much very valuable material to learn from.

It would surely be helpful to have a more comprehensive listing. But complex needs are complex, and services to meet these complex needs will also be complex and multi-faceted. There is no easy way to give a few examples of the PIE approach in practice, as developments in any one aspect are usually accompanied by developments in others.  They are rarely if ever an example of just one issue.

Cataloguing them in any fashion is always going to be at best problematic, at worst, unsatisfactory and frustrating.  We are nevertheless beginning a process of attempting to group some of these case studies by some more generalised themes (HERE). But do bear with us:  this will take time.


Some attempted clusters

For now, in the side column here (or below, or a mobile) you find links to the case studies used in the first two UK government guidance documents. They are ten years old now; but the ideas are still relevant, even if the services have moved on. They still stand as examples of the work being done which for which we later coined the phrase 'a psychologically informed environment' : HERE

You will also find  (HERE) the selection of examples used in 'Psychologically Informed Environments from the ground up: Service design for complex needs', by Robin Johnson.  A much smaller sample to illustrate the themes in the book, these are grouped in three clusters:

  • Design or re-design of buildings and services
  • Techniques for engagement and a sense of belonging
  • Thinking differently

There is also just a tantalising sample, an un-catalogued illustration of the many projects described across various areas of the site featured here. These items come with just a few brief comments on the content. This selection of newer material has been made specifically to illustrate some of the key themes, and to suggest answers to some of the questions that folk relatively new to the PIE approach tend to bring.


Searching by keywords or whole phrases

The Library is the location for all these examples, and searching through it using keywords can be productive in showing a long string of subjects, authors etc. But searching through any on-line library simply by using keywords is an unreliable method - it relies on good initial coding, whereas issues and terminologies change, so this method can at time be quite frustrating. The search function on the Home page is generally more reliable - it will find whatever it may find, and it will search both library items and pages. But it will initially find a smaller sample; and as always, will not be a 'curated' sample, as these above are.


Further background reading/listening/viewing

The UK government guidance selections : HERE

Designing, engaging, thinking differently : HERE


A growing selection of material organised by topic

NB: this collection of pages, and selection of examples, is incomplete. We are constantly gathering more of this material; and cataloguing where we can. But this will take some time; and these links and this material can only be built up in stages. But the themes we currently propose to use are:

  • Introducing the PIE approach : HERE
  • The built environment and adaptations : HERE
  • Using the whole environment (1) : HERE
  • Using the whole environment (2) :  HERE
  • Outreach, pathways, environments without buildings : HERE
  • PIEs, communities and a sense of belonging : HERE
  • Clubhouses, cores, and campus models : HERE
  • PIEs in therapy settings : HERE
  • 'Psychologically informed business environments' : HERE
  • Whole system PIEs  : HERE
  • PIEs and ‘exclusion-informed research’ HERE


PIEs case studies – a representative sample selection of new and used material, in alphabetical order.

(NB: many items are currently inaccessible online, through a technical fault. To access specific papers, please contact the editorial team)

Well-being by design -  the questions you might now ask : HERE

A checklist of Trauma informed Care principles in built environment design : HERE 

  • Trauma informed design (DRH follow up with illustrations) : HERE


The built environment and the safe couch : HERE

Simon Community Glasgow's Access Hub


1011 Lansdowne: Turning Around a Building, Turning Around Lives — Elise Hug : HERE

1811 Eastlake – Daniel Malone et al – An example of 'single site housing' creating a supportive recovery community within the Housing First model : HERE

A walk in the park – Paula Corcoran – on constructive use of the local environment to change relationships : HERE

A Whole New World – Toby Lowe et al – a radical approach to psychologically informed commissioning; creating a PIE of pathways; markers of whole systems change HERE

Back on your feet - Suzanne Quinney - a pilot for using Appreciative Inquiry as a strengths model, creating a learning organisation HERE

Banking on Time – Graham Gardiner - working with short attention spans; a psychologically informed business environment : HERE

Behaving like a system – Lankelly Chase – a pilot in Coventry, identifying markers of whole systems change HERE

Bell Hotel Supportive Housing Project -  PIEs in Housing First - single site permanent supported Recovery Housing  HERE

Building recovery communities – Brian Morgan –  peer support for recovery from addiction; a psychologically informed business environment :  HERE

Car, bus, tram or unicorn – Ruth Franceska - outreach work; fresh thoughts on constructive use of the 'found' environment : HERE

Community work in homelessness outreach – Brendan Plante : HERE

Complex needs and available data - Grant Everrett - gathering multiple datasets for mapping complex needs: exclusion-informed research Grant Everrett : HERE

Design for Homelessness – Jill Pable  (a handy checklist for a trauma-informed approach to the physical environment) : HERE

Developing a psychological model (with PIEs 1) : learning from a Housing Association pilot - Aileen Edwards : HERE

Development at Father Bills – John Yaswinski and April Conolly - creative responses to finding new mental health needs from a pioneer of Housing First : HERE

Dunmore Canedin team –  using data; development in dialogue (Coming Soon)

Highwater House annual report – on PIE implementation: using elastic tolerance:low costs changes in building adaptation:  move-on and co-location : HERE

Implementing a Psychologically Informed Environment in a service for young homeless people - Jeremy Woodcock & Jamie Gill -  attachment theory in action; becoming a learning organisation : HERE

Participatory Appraisal – Zack Ahmed - a new approach to consultation for systems learning; exclusion-informed research : HERE

Person-centred research  – Juliette Hough and Becky Rice - exclusion-informed research : HERE

Pre-treatment therapy –  John Conolly - applications of PIEs and pretreatment in therapy settings  :  Coming Soon

Reflexive photography – Leonie Boland - OT in re-homing; exclusion-informed research. : Video) : HERE

Scaffolding of hope – Coral Westaway - the staff role; exclusion-informed research : HERE

Street Buddies – Louise Simonsen - the subtlety of unmeasurable engagement : HERE

System change - Ray Middleton & Alex Smith - system brokerage at Fulfilling Lives, Newcastle Gateshead : HERE

The Big Issue as a psychologically informed business environment (an interview with Stephen Robertson ) working with short attention spans, scaffolding new strengths : HERE 

Towards a PIE city – Sian Clark  - PIEs in acute wards in Bristol; reflective practice ; applications in therapy settings :  HERE

Veterans Community Project, Kansas City – Kevin Jamieson - community and peer support in transitional housing :  HERE

Well-being by design: the questions you might ask - Genesis Housing Association - a simple tool for judging how the environment might feel : HERE

Westminster City’ Ten Top Tips - Victoria Aseervatham – medium- low- and no cost changes HERE

Women at the Well – Caroline Hattersley - all systems negotiation – spaces of opportunity - at WATW (Coming soon)

Y-Adapt - Y people – a clubhouse model for PIE implementation in a youth work service: development and community HERE


NB, we are currently working on a more general intro : HERE

But for the moment, many inks there are not yet operative,