Emotional awareness, active empathy, emotional intelligence

Ordinary understanding

We have suggested that one of the advantages in using a broader and non-technical psychological ‘awareness’ - as the bedrock of psychology in the new PIEs formulation - is that it grounds the awareness we need in the everyday human capacity for understanding, empathy, tolerance, and compassion.

A further advantage is it brings other human and social issues of gender, age, or cultural sensitivity within the range of the wider understandings that services will want to consider, and handle appropriately. (We’ll take gender sensitivity as an example, when we look using at the Pizazz, in the Book of PIE training.)

Still, it is also now quite commonplace to recognise that mental health problems are – well, commonplace.  So to say that we need such awareness in homelessness is no longer as much of a stretch as it perhaps was ten years ago.

In contemporary psychology, however, there is such a wide range of schools of thought, and so many specific techniques, each with their own technical terminology, that it can seem quite intimidating to be expected to have any grasp of all this; and even overwhelming.

The simple answer to that worry is that the ordinary human capacity for understanding, empathy, tolerance, and compassion will get you a long way; and in fact without them as the basis, no other techniques will get you anywhere, especially with people with more complex needs.

Still, for those that DO want to go a little further into knowing what’s available, and what’s being found to be useful in some contexts, here we will sketch out – but briefly – a selection of those models, approaches and techniques that some services are using.

This is not to suggest that all services should be using some – or indeed any – of these approaches; but just to indicate what you might want to consider.

Further background reading/listening/viewing

Psychological awareness ; HERE

  • Empathy and emotional intelligence : HERE
  • Approaches and techniques : HERE
  • Psychological models : HERE

Training and support : HERE

Learning and enquiry : HERE

  • Reflective practice : HERE
  • A culture of Enquiry : HERE
  • Sector engagement : HERE
  • Evidence- generating practice : HERE

Spaces of opportunity : HERE

  • The built environment : HERE
  • Networks and surroundings : HERE
  • Pathways, systems and system coherence : HERE

The Three Rs : HERE

  • Rules and procedures : HERE
  • Roles and relationships : HERE
  • Responsiveness : HERE


Where are relationships in PIEs 2.0? : HERE

A lived experience view of PIEs : HERE

What's the Big Idea?  : HERE