Psychologically Informed EnvironmentsWorking with organisations to create a change in culture
What is a Psychologically Informed Environment?
Psychologically Informed Environments, or PIEs, is a method of creating a place that puts psychological practices in every aspect of the organisation, from the team to physical space and protocols. The aim is to create a safe, supportive environment for those who are vulnerable, considering the problems they face and working in a more constructive way. The practice can be applied to all kinds of working environments.
PIEs are based on five elements:
- Staff support and training
- Physical environments and social spaces
- Psychological frameworks
- Evidence generating practice
Ultimately, it is relationships that are the key to a positive cultural shift. Those working within the organisation will take into account the way a person thinks and feels, why they behave in a particular way, what experiences they have gone through. Their reactions will become more considered, and they will have a better understanding of how to help those in need.
In order to achieve this, staff support and training must be delivered to the whole team, including board members, executives, management and front-line staff. Not only do behaviours change, but the way in which protocols are written and run, and the design of physical environments, change too.
How PIEs are created
The bottom line is that creating a considered Psychologically Informed Environment takes time.
Firstly, the Fortis Therapy & Training team will observe the day-to-day running of the organisation in order to fully understand the way in which its run, the behaviour and reactions of the staff, and the impact this has on anyone needing support.
The next step is to conduct a confidential, facilitated consultation and then reflective practice. This will allow the whole team to reflect on the way they work, management styles and reactions to various situations, as well as share ideas for moving forward. Training and development will then take place over a period of time, making necessary changes to frameworks and practice that generates evidence showing a positive cultural shift, measuring results for future evaluations and further development.
By combining theory based training with regular reflective practice, staff are able to engage with the training material and relate it back to their everyday practice. It also helps staff to problem solve together and deal with the challenging emotions that go alongside supporting people with complex needs. We have received a lot of positive feedback from our front-line staff about both the training and reflective practice.
Engaging in this process has not always been easy as it is very different to how we were used to working so we are very grateful to Fortis, who have provided a knowledgeable, consistent and supportive presence throughout.