We love challenges.

The whole approach of a psychologically informed environment, and the adoption of a "psychological model", comes with a clear recognition that any real embedding of ideas in a service only comes when staff and service users are able to question how the service runs, and make changes.  This extends to questioning what 'being a PIE' really means; and even how suitable it really is, as a model.  

For example, for some gently challenging thoughts, in cartoon form, on the role of psychology in the development of PIEs, see the video - "Does it take a psychologist to make a PIE?"   NB: there is also a longer discussion of these issues, in an article from the Members' Library:   The meanings of 'psychology'.

The Pizazz - the self assessment process for PIEs, published in the summer of 2018 (HERE) - insists that any psychological 'model' that is adopted by a service must be relevant to the needs of the clients, and the context (and proposes three key tests or criteria).


The Pizazz Facilitator's Handbook is also quite explicit that challenge and disagreement as to what the PIE approach really means, in any one context, is to be welcomed, as part of the 'culture of enquiry', rather than expecting a culture of adherence. In this way, the underlying thinking  ('reflective practice' needed for a PIE can be kept live and relevant.

Similarly, there were many discussions, and some reservations,  in the Housing Care and Support journal special issue on PIEs. Subject experts from a variety of fields were invited to write a commentary, brief or extended, on the concept of a PIE, and the 'operational guidance' - 'Psychologically Informed Services' (Keats et al, 2012) - that had then just been issued. These authors were encouraged to be as critical or wary as they felt appropriate. 

NB: for copyright protection reasons, other than the editorial, these papers are now only available in the Members' Library.


One persistent question since then, is whether there is any significant difference between the (primarily UK) concept of a PIE, and the (primarily US) concept of 'Trauma Informed Care".  

In a webinar, Homeless Link's Jo Prestidge and Claire Ritchie explore the rival claim of each, and their many areas of overlap. More recently, in a webinar interview (No 55 in the series of Trauma Informed Lens podcasts), Jay Levy and  Robin Johnson explore these areas, with the Lens' host, Matt Bennett.

See also the links with Housing First, Pretreatment, and broader 'system change' approaches ( see pages elsewhere on this site).


Further background reading/listening/viewing

PIElink pages

Questions : (HERE)

PIE sceptics : HERE


Library items

"Does it take a psychologist to make a PIE?" (cartoon version) Robin Johnson

The meanings of 'psychology' by Robin Johnson

Psychologically Informed Environments and Trauma Informed Care, (HomelessLink webinar), Claire Ritchie & Jo Prestidge

Principles and practice in the psychology of homelessness Robin Johnson (draft) 

Housing Care and Support (2012) Special Issue on PIEs


Matt Bennett: Connecting paradigms; talking trauma across the Atlantic with Jay Levy and Robin Johnson (Episode 55)  HERE

Finally, for more on the interface between PIEs and "Housing First" approaches, or between PIEs and 'Trauma Informed Care', see the separate sub-sections in this  section.