pie person in environment Take a look at the ASWB's clinical exam outline and you'll find that the first item in the Human Behavior in the Environment section is this: The Person in Environment (PIE) theory. Which may lead you to a question, "What is that?"

Here's what (from the Encyclopedia of Social Work):

The person-in-environment perspective in social work is a practice-guiding principle that highlights the importance of understanding an individual and individual behavior in light of the environmental contexts in which that person lives and acts. The perspective has historical roots in the profession, starting with early debates over the proper attention to be given to individual or environmental change.

Which may lead you to another question, "Isn't that just...social work?" Answer: pretty much. Person in Environment is part of the foundation of social work practice--a "practice-guiding principle." Social workers aim to see clients as part of a bigger whole, part of larger systems with which they interact all the time, which shape them and are shaped by them. Though there've been debates along the way, for most 21st century social workers, PIE is second nature. It informs all social work practice just as it will inform all answers on the social work licensing exam.

Want more detail? Here's a video.

September 29, 2014