Definitions used to Determine Normal 

A foundational overview of the empirically sound Functional Emotional Fitness™ SR™ paradigm begins with 7 key questions or KQ's to define "Behavioral Epidemiology" (Behavior cause and control) and 3 KQ’s to determine the data which will best represent a measurable improvement. Once these KQ's are answered the formation of an evidence-based epidemiologic model can take place and a normal range of human emotion can be defined. This moves attention away from subjective behavioral assessment and puts the focus on the core issue which is the emotion driving the behavior and how each person internally processes and stores their life events.

To be clear, normal cannot be determined via behavior, but it can be determined via emotion. 

The 7 KQ’s Which Define Behavioral Epidemiology

KQ1. What does all behavior or disordered behavior have in common?
KQ2. What determines emotion and human behavior?
KQ3. How does the subconscious work?
KQ4. What is the difference between brain, mind, conscious and subconscious?
KQ5. What is the function of the conscious and subconscious mind?
KQ6. Is depression a disease or disorder?
KQ7. Is depression caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain?


KQ1. What does all human behavior or disordered behavior have in common?
Emotion is the constant in all human behavior or disordered behavior. When this fact is recognized, there is no longer a need for diagnosis or disorder categories. The objective changes to simply measuring, monitoring, and empowering your client to take control of their emotional state, which in turn enables them to take control of their behavior.

KQ2. What determines emotion and human behavior?

What determines human emotion and behavior is information. The components of this information are words and pictures.

KQ3. How does the subconscious work?
The subconscious uses two key components in order to activate an emotional state, which in turn determines your behavior.
1) You must talk to yourself, which usually begins with a question
2) By asking a question, the subconscious will always generate an answer which in turn produces a correlating picture. It is from this subconscious picture ones' emotional state is determined and in turn, determines a behavior. In its simplest form, a subconscious process looks like this.

Word – Picture – Emotion – Behavior

The SR™ (Subconscious Restructuring®) paradigm interrupts and restructures this process, which in turn reprograms ones' emotional state and behavior.

Example: Keep in mind this is extreme slow motion. If I were to ask you where you went on vacation last the process occurs like this. You repeat the question to yourself and this evokes a picture of where you went on vacation. It is from this subconscious picture you are able to tell me where you went on vacation and how you felt about the vacation. This is how the subconscious works and one would not be able to function or communicate without the subconscious going through this process.

KQ4. What is the difference between brain, mind, conscious and subconscious?
The brain is the portion of the vertebrate central nervous system that is enclosed within the cranium. The brain would only serve autonomic functions without input of external information. The mind is in reference to conscious and subconscious. The way the brain processes and stores information is referred to as mind or subconscious. You can think of the brain as the hardware and the mind or subconscious as the software. Software can be subject to programming reprogramming at any time. 

KQ5. What is the function of the conscious and subconscious mind?
The single purpose of the conscious mind is to deliver information to the subconscious. The subconscious does everything else. The subconscious uses all information stored from birth to determine how one responds emotionally to the world and in turn determines your behavior.

KQ6. Is depression a disease or disorder?
Does a behavior or emotion require a psychological process? If the answer to this question is yes one must ask if it makes sense to classify an aberrant emotional state as a disease? Disease from the days of Hippocrates has been in reference to pathological physiological processes, which physicians faithfully adhere to. The patient or client perception of disease is something they did not bring on themselves and medical or pharmaceutical intervention is the only means of treating it effectively. This makes the initial issue much more complex, convoluted and confusing to the patient or client. The clear answer to this question is if an emotion and behavior requires a psychological process then it is a disorder.

KQ7. Is depression caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain?
The myth that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance is still endorsed even after Dr. Helen Mayberg has proven this hypothesis false in her research on area 25. Dr. Maybergs’ research confirmed it is the mind (subconscious) which affects the brain and not the other way around. This was detailed in a PBS video titled "Out of the Shadows." Dr. Mayberg went on to use deep brain stimulation for severely depressed patients without addressing the thought process behind the emotion and it was predictability suspended in 20141.

After a clear definition for behavior cause and control has been established, the next step is to define the instruments of measurement, which will address the fundamental issues relative to the Emotional Fitness (mental health) of the client. This is accomplished with three KQ’s. These KQ’s must also bring about optimum scrutiny in regard to the data.

3 KQ’s Determine the Instruments and Data Used for Measurable Outcomes 

KQ1. What is measured?
KQ2. Why is it measured?
KQ3. How is the data generated?

Following are answers, which are specific to the Functional Emotional Fitness™ SR™ paradigm. Regardless of the modality, however, these three KQ's must be answered clearly, if there is a claim of evidence-based or measurable outcomes.


KQ 1: What is measured?

Emotional Checklist: The 12-point Emotional Checklist consists of a full range of human emotion and issues to collectively indicate a depressed state. There are also individual questions within the Emotional Checklist, which address specific issues. The first three questions indicate anxiety, negative self-talk and anger levels. These are the first three issues addressed through the initial four-hour seven-step process of Functional Emotional Fitness™. Question 4 addresses sleep, question 5 addresses sadness and hopelessness, question 9 is in regard to eating behavior and question 12 addresses to suicidal ideation.

Behavior Control Checklist:  The 5-point Behavior Control Checklist enables the client to grade the practitioner in regard to delivery of information and the clients’ ability to fully comprehend the process. The practitioner is then able to address those issues if the numbers did not adequately come up.

Relationship Satisfaction Scale: The 5-point Relationship Satisfaction Scale addresses how the client relates to people they are closest to in their lives. The Relationship Satisfaction Scale measures how one communicates with people closest to them and how satisfied they are with those relationships.

KQ 2: Why is it Measured?

Depression: Depression, the common psychological disorder, affects about 121 million people worldwide. World Health Organization (WHO) states that depression is the leading cause of disability as measured by Years Lived with Disability (YLDs) and the fourth leading contributor to the global burden of disease.2

People who have depression along with another medical illness tend to have more severe symptoms of both depression and the medical illness, more difficulty adapting to their medical condition, and more medical costs than those who do not have co-existing depression.2

Treating depression can help improve the outcome of treating the co-occurring illness. About one in 10 Americans aged 12 and overtakes antidepressant medication.4

Anxiety: Anxiety disorders affect about 40 million American adults age 18 years and older (about 18%) in a given year, causing them to be filled with fearfulness and uncertainty.

Women are 60% more likely than men to experience an anxiety disorder over their lifetime. Non-Hispanic blacks are 20% less likely, and Hispanics are 30% less likely than non-Hispanic whites to experience an anxiety disorder during their lifetime.

A large, national survey of adolescent mental health reported that about 8 percent of teens ages 13–18 have an anxiety disorder, with symptoms commonly emerging around age 6. 5

Negative Self Talk: It is the strength of predominantly negative self-talk that predicts ED severity.6 Automatic negative self-talk is linked to depression, anxiety and other disorders in children.7 The first component the subconscious uses to bring about an emotional state and behavior is internal dialogue and this is the first process to be interrupted, restructured and reprogrammed with the Functional Emotional Fitness™ process.

Anger: Anger and hostility are linked to coronary heart disease in both healthy and CHD populations.8

Sleep: A chronic sleep-restricted state can cause fatigue, daytime sleepiness, clumsiness, and weight loss or weight gain.9 Sleep deprivation adversely affects the brain and cognitive function.10

Eating Behavior: Physiological changes as a result of disordered eating can affect psychology and in turn, the psychology which brings about disordered eating effects the physiology.11

Suicidal Ideation: Suicidal ideation has been linked to hopelessness and anxiety 12 both of which are measured in the Emotional Checklist and numbers, which are monitored. Question 12 is a straightforward indicator of suicidal ideation and many times closely correlate with question 1 (anxiety) and question 5 (hopelessness). The risk of suicide attempts among the PTSD population is six times greater than in the general population.13

KQ 3: How is the Data is Generated?

Functional Emotional Fitness™ data is generated by the client at This data cannot be changed by client or practitioner after it is saved

Normal Range for the FEF™ 3 Instrument 22 Point Checklist

Emotional Checklist: 1 - 4
Behavior Control Checklist: 7 - 10
Relationship Satisfaction Scale: 7 -10
*All instruments are based on a scale of 1-10

Data Analysis

Emotional Checklist: The objective of the Emotional Checklist is to reach the lowest number possible with < 5 indicating a reasonable level of control by the client. A score > 4 indicates an issue to immediately address. A sustained score > 4 on question 12 at the first follow-up after completion of the process requires a recommendation to a medical doctor.
Behavior Control Checklist: A score of > 6 on the Behavior Control Checklist indicates a reasonable understanding of the SR® process.
Relationship Satisfaction Scale: A score of > 6 indicates reasonable relationship satisfaction on the Relationship Satisfaction Scale.

Independent Evidence-Based Support of the Burris Intervention

Dr. Helen Mayberg(1) inadvertently confirmed the answer of what brings about an emotional state with her research on area 25(2). Dr. Mayberg found using brain scans that the frontal cortex dimmed down and area 25 lit up in depressed patients. As a patient recovered from depression, area 25 dimmed down and the frontal cortex lit up. Through the course of experimentation, Dr. Mayberg took a baseline brain scan of a group of healthy people and then asked them to think depressing thoughts. When the follow-up MRI was taken area 25 showed greater activity and the frontal cortex had dimmed down. Dr. Maybergs' experiment concluded depression was a result of one's thought process which in turn affected the brain. While healthy patients recovered quickly, bringing MDD patients back by simply telling them to think positive thoughts was not effective.

The ramifications of Dr. Maybergs' work are far-reaching. Her research has discredited continued claims depression is caused by a chemical imbalance. It established a distinct difference between the effects and interaction of psychology and physiology. To more clearly understand Dr. Maybergs' work one needs to make a distinct difference between mind and brain. In computer terms, the mind or subconscious would be referred to as the software and the brain as the hardware. In the case of Dr. Maybergs' work, it is the software which is causing the hardware to malfunction.

If depression is induced by one's thought processes then what would clearly be the best treatment. If one simply understood what the subconscious did with incoming information the need for deep brain stimulation, ECT, pharmaceuticals or other high-risk methods could be bypassed for the majority of patients.


From what is measured to how data is tracked and monitored to results produced, Functional Emotional Fitness™ and the SR™ process represent a comprehensive updated evidence-based paradigm for coaching and behavioral health. Since 1990 Burris Institute has demonstrated that interrupting a thought process before it has an opportunity to cause damage is effective, efficient and fast.


1. Much-Hyped Brain-Implant Treatment for Depression Suffers Setback
2. Depression: The Disorder and the Burden.
3. What is Depression?: Diagnosis
4. Antidepressant Use in Persons Aged 12 and Over: United States, 2005–2008
5.Anxiety: Who is at Risk.
6. Dysfunctional self-talk associated with eating disorder severity and symptomatology
7. Measuring Negative and Positive Thoughts in Children: An Adaptation of the Children’s Automatic Thoughts Scale (CATS)
8. The association of anger and hostility with future coronary heart disease: a meta-analytic review of prospective evidence.
9. Short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass index.
10. Sleep deprivation: Impact on cognitive performance.
11. Psychophysiological responses to food exposure: an experimental study in binge eaters.
12. Suicide ideation at its worst point: a predictor of eventual suicide in psychiatric outpatients.
13. Suicide in war veterans: the role of comorbidity of PTSD and depression