Please note: this page is from an earlier version of the PIElink, before PIEs 2.0 was developed. For a more up-to-date version of PIEs One, see : HERE

The intention behind all this

Not one but three Big Ideas has motivated this site.

The first, of course, is the very idea of a PIE - a psychologically informed environment.

The second is the prospect of using the web to the full, as a communication channel, with video, webinars, and a full searchable Library.

The third is the ambition of then creating an on-line community of practice, and so to help ‘close the loop’ between research, policy, and practice.

For more on how we mean to use this website to help support a community of practice around PIEs, take a look at the page on the Community of Practice.

But first, for an account of why it is that PIEs are important, you might take a look at "Psychologically Informed Environments? Who needs them?" - a talk delivered to the South West regional conference in the summer of 2015.

Here Robin Johnson, the editor of the PIELink, presents some telling statistics, and suggests some arguments for promoting PIEs in homelessness services, at a time of 'austerity' and severe cuts in budgets.

For a quick introduction to the idea of a PIE, have a look at the other columns on this page; watch the “Handy Guide”; and have a browse through the Questions page.

Those who register as members can also then browse the collected papers, videos etc in the Members’ Library, and get involved in particular discussions via the Forums.


What do we mean by a PIE?

And how can you tell if you are one?

At its simplest, a psychologically informed environment has been described as  "one that takes into account the psychological make-up – the thinking, emotions, personalities and past experience – of its participants, in the way it operates."

But as all human social environments tend to do that to some degree, we tend now to reserve the term for those environments - places, services -  that do so consciously, and with some particular purpose or goals in mind. This site is all about how we develop psychologically informed services to meet the challenge of homelessness.
On these pages, you will find plenty of advice, examples, inspiration, some training material, and other 'food for thought', to help you on your way. Here's one:


So as we see it, being a PIE is a continuous process - more a journey than a destination. For a quick, 'handy' guide, the easiest place to start is probably with "The Handy Guide to Being a PIE" - which you will find in the panel opposite.


The basic elements of a PIE

This "handy guide" outlines the key elements to consider, in becoming a PIE.

The handy guide to being a PIE from RobinJohnson on Vimeo.

NB: at some 15 minutes running time, this is rather longer than most of the videos you will find in this section of the site*, at least.

But its also a quicker introduction than the two other definitive statements, which are the essential reading -

  • "on meeting the psychological and emotional needs of people who are homeless via more psychologically informed services"

(known as the "complex trauma" guide),  which was followed by


* There are longer videos in the Members' area.

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