Text Box: Counseling Complexities & PIE?
Text Box: HOME

Top of page

Top of page

Top of page

   For years the debate over what causes mental dysfunction has been argued—it’s called the nature/nurture debate.  There is research that suggests that the environment influences human development13.  Other research supports the impact that biological factors have on a person14.  So what is the primary cause of mental illness?

   Regardless of the nature/nurture argument, a comprehensive assessment by a mental health professional is critical and a good assessment considers both issues (biology and environment). Conclusions about the existence of a mental disorder should not occur based upon a 15 minute interview—it would be hard to fully inquire about the mental and emotional changes over a life span in such a short interval.  How are all the variables considered when assessing a person in the context of the environment?

   PIE literally means Person in Environment17.  The PIE perspective is an effective method to assess mental illness (and to rule it out) because the person is viewed from interactions and relationships in the environment as a primary consideration.  PIE is most commonly used by Clinical Social Workers.  Where a person works, lives, learns and plays must be interpreted when assessing “abnormal” responses; consideration of the many systems in a person’s life (including their physical health) matters prior to labeling mental illness.  Medical conditions can certainly be the root of what originally appears as a mental illness—and a trained mental health professional who uses the PIE method considers etiology.  

   Here’s the PIE analogy: just as a pie is made up of many pieces, people are represented by the many aspects of life.  In order to have a whole pie—every single piece is needed, otherwise all that exists are parts of a pie.  Likewise, to fully understand a person, all the aspects of that person must be considered—in part and in whole.

PIE symbols and graphics designed & copyright© by Kurt LaRose, 2006 - 2017 Tallahassee Florida. 

The graphics on this page may not be duplicated, copied, or reproduced (electronically or by any other means), with the exception of viewing this web page— without the expressed

written permission of Kurt LaRose. 

 When it comes to mental health and mental illness many variables exist that need to be considered during the assessment, diagnosis, and intervention phases.  The complexities which exist in a person’s life, whether adult or child, can provide the mental health professional with ideas as to the source or cause of problems that suggest (or contraindicate) treatment.  Without an interpretation of the variables, the many aspects of life, a diagnosis would likely be incomplete, or worse yet, inaccurate.  The clinical picture must reflect the whole person. 

   The things that people think, do and say, can be interpreted as “symptoms” of a mental illness. Some mental health professionals look at most issues in life as symptoms of illness, but this view does not always consider all of the pieces of the whole person. 

   Whether you are an adult or a child, PIE matters.  The whole environment (mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, current, and past) should be viewed by an expert who understands how these complex systems operate separately and together. 

   Because peoples’ thoughts, actions, and feelings may be linked to their own bodies, or their families—or to the other people, places and things that surround them the PIE theory is an effective assessment perspective.  To understand the whole person, every piece of that person must be interpreted—and once all of the pieces are fully understood, then the whole person can be understood.  It is at that juncture, when the most accurate determination of mental illness can be made.

   Be sure to ask mental health professionals if they are familiar with PIE concepts so that you can be sure that assessment and diagnosis is comprehensive—otherwise consult a Clinical Social Worker

Text Box: Graphics designed by Kurt LaRose -  ©2005-2017
Text Box: Graphics designed by Kurt LaRose -  ©2005-2017
Text Box: Graphics designed by Kurt LaRose -  ©2005-2006
Text Box: Graphics designed by Kurt LaRose -  ©2005-2017
Text Box: Animated Graphics designed by Kurt LaRose -  ©2005-2017

Graphics designed by Kurt LaRose -  ©2005-2017

Text Box: — Answers to Common FAQS —

Initial Consult Available Video/Chat/Telephone

Meet In Office, Online or Onsite

Insurance vs Self Pay

Assessment, Testing, & Diagnosis

Brief Treatment Services Offered

All Major Credit Cards Accepted

Order All Services Online or In Office

Budget Sensitive Pricing Available

Professional Development Seminars

Program Implementation for Schools

Published Articles—Provider Available

Complete Forms Conveniently Online

Pay Pal Available for Online Orders

Treating Individuals, Couples, Families

General Practitioner—Array of Services

Mental Health Retreats

Provider Consults for Digital Private Practice


Follow Talkifuwant on Twitter
verified by Psychology Today verified by Psychology Today Directory
Add me to Skype
View Kurt  LaRose MSW LCSW's profile on LinkedIn
Text Box: TalkifUwanT
Text Box: 850-545-2886
Text Box: Kurt LaRose, LCSW, LICSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Florida License  #SW9297

Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker

District of Columbia License #LC50081569

Website layout, text & design Copyright © 2005-2017- Kurt LaRose

Top of page

Follow Talkifuwant on Twitter
Add me to Skype
View Kurt  LaRose MSW LCSW's profile on LinkedIn