Psychiatric care and environments


As you might expect, in work with services for people with complex needs, the history and the origins of the psychologically informed environment approach is quite multi-faceted; but one of the more significant strands in this history was the development of 'social psychiatry' in the second half of the 20th Century.

From here came the inspiration, the  practice and many of the actual ideas  that fed into the original recognition of the emergence of the psychologically informed environment, as a phenomenon. (Also many of the challenges, in articulating a new way of thinking and working - see: 'a cautionary tale': and also 'learning from the CPA') .

Charting how psychologically informed environments seemed to work, in practice, began in the context of homelessness services, But very quickly it began to branch out to realise the relevance in many other related areas.

History tells how a similar spreading of the ideas had happened earlier with the therapeutic community approach, which later morphed into enabling environments, which was one of the more immediate origins of the PIE; and later still morphed again and broadened still further,  into the relational practice idea.

Then and now

With a growing number of psychiatric in-patient services now showing an interest in the PIE approach, we are now seeing a return of these ideas and principles to their origins. But it would be very interesting to hear more from these services about how in practice this re-introduction goes.

Further background reading/listening/viewing

PIElink pages

The roots

The original account


Library items

(Please note: you will need to be registered and logged in, to access items from the members' Library.)

Social Psychiatry and Social Policy for the 21st Century - new concepts for new needs, Part One: the ‘Psychologically Informed Environment’ Johnson & Haigh, 2010

The 'complex trauma' guidance DCLG & NMHDU 2010

'Memes; a cautionary tale, Part One; The psychologically Informed Environment'

Key Learning from the history of the CPA in mental health : HERE

Psychologically Informed Environments and the Enabling Environments initiative Haigh et al 2012