Case studies and practice issues

NB: Apologies for any delays or confusion, as this section on PIEs in practice - as with some others here - is being radically re-shaped. Over this period there may be many links which do not yet work. In most cases the items can still be found by browsing the main menus, or searching the Library


Time and again we have to stress that the phrase 'a psychologically informed environment', a 'PIE' -  both the general idea, and the framework that gradually emerged, to explain it - came into being first simply as an attempt to describe what we found actually happening already in some 'frontline' services.

We found - and so tried to describe this - in particular in homelessness services, as this was where, for historical reasons, much of the most inventive and engaged work with those most excluded was to be found, in the first years of the 21st century.  In consequence, the idea was taken up most enthusiastically there; and this has sometimes been understood as meaning that a PIE is something particular to homelessness services.

Nevertheless, the origins of this approach, and the thinking behind these first attempts to describe it and tease out the key features, go back far further, into the history of social psychiatry in the mid-20th Century (and beyond); and those developing PIEs can draw inspiration form emerging practice across a very wide range of services, client groups, and philosophies of care.

Here, simply for convenience, we divide these examples of practice into three broad clusters:

  • those that are primarily case studies of particular services;
  • those that focus on particular user groups, needs or settings; and finally
  • those that explore the connections and overlaps between the PIEs framework and other models or attempts to summarise 'what works', often in more specific contexts.


Case studies

Needs and settings 



Page links and further reading/viewing/listening

The development of PIEs and the PIES framework  HERE

Case studies of particular practice developments HERE

Particular user groups, needs or settings; and finally HERE

Other models or attempts to summarise 'what works' HERE