PIEs 2.0 - the development process

The process

This ‘revised’ version of what we mean by a psychologically informed environment is the culmination of over two years’ of presentations, discussions, analysis, drafting and re-drafting. Some of this was done virtually, in a working party brought together to develop an assessment framework for PIEs – known as the Pizazz. We were finally ready to share the progress of this work in the summer of 2018. (For further updates, see the Pizazz pages HERE )

But the greater part of these discussion were live, informal, and on-going, and the general development of this thinking can be traced in a series of pages published and updated on this site, under the title “Is the PIE evolving?”.


The analysis

The PIE framework or model is rooted in observation of creative service development, and we have argued that the PIE framework was more descriptive than prescriptive.

But there is no observation without some kind of broader analysis in the background, and the background analysis here has a very long history, with its roots in social inclusion policy and the 'social model of disability', in psycho-social systems theory, and in social psychiatry, as expressed in the therapeutic community movement.

In the panel opposite there is a variety of articles that trace these roots.


Backwards compatibility in PIEs 2.0

Through many recursive stages of discussion and an on-line working party, a new overall framework of concepts for PIEs has now fully emerged.

We call this new formulation 'PIEs 2.0', as we are now all reasonably familiar with one of the key principles in software development: backwards compatibility. That is to say: any software upgrade must aim to add new functionality, to resolve bugs in the earlier versions; but work you had done earlier using the older version must still work, with the new version.

So it is with PIEs 2.0. This PIEs 2.0 framework has been devised in part to clarify confusions and ambiguities in the earlier models; and at least in part, in order to provide a clearer and more secure foundation for the self assessment tool, the PIzazz, which to be effective must be based in externally observable features of a service's work.


On-going work

Here, therefore, we are presenting as finalised something that that may well see further evolution yet, as the idea and the practice of PIEs are in constant dialogue. One of our videos attempts to show this, in diagram form.

This website has emerged as the principal repository for ideas and discussion; and the forum where developments have been explored and boundaries tested, in this constant dialogue.

We hope that the site will continue to pay that role into the future; but with the future funding of the PIElink currently up for debate, that may not necessarily be the case, and these discussions may need to happen elsewhere.

Preamble: the scope and overall purpose of this 'upgrade' and the revised version

The key features of the revised version are then outlined and explored in turn:

  • Psychological awareness HERE
  • Staff Training and Support HERE
  • Learning and Enquiry HERE
  • Spaces of Opportunity HERE
  • The Three Rs HERE

For more on the development of these areas, see

The cycles of practice-based learning HERE

Pizazz: A new and more customisable working framework for PIEs HERE

Pizazz: the work we now have to do ourselves: HERE


Other useful background reading/viewing

Is the PIE evolving? HERE

Memes: a cautionary tale HERE

Is the PIE just about homelessness? HERE

Psychologically informed environments and the enabling environments initiativHERE

In search on the enabling environment HERE

Creating a Psychologically Informed Environment - assessment and Implementation HERE

A very brief introduction to the key elements of a PIE HERE

A very brief history of PIE HERE

A VERY brief future of PIE HERE

Development in dialogue HERE (soon)