Ask anyone to define normal and they will reference behavior. Normal cannot be determined via behavior but it can be determined via emotion, which is the driver for behavior. When making an observational subjective assessment as is done with children and ADHD one is bypassing the driver of the behavior or the root cause. The term observational subjective assessment in translation simply means one is guessing because there is a void of any meaningful data. If you want everything to work you must understand how it works and this is what you are about to learn.

Why Burris Institute has Defined Normal

  1. Clear objectives for the client are established.
  2. A coherent consistent system of measurement takes place at every session.
  3. Dangerous behavioral medications have been virtually eliminated for young children.
  4. Burris Coaches do not have to guess if an issue has been resolved.
  5. The proficiency of every Burris Coach is measured in conjunction with client progress.
  6. Efficacy of treatment is confirmed at every session.
  7. Psychophysiological issues are more readily identified and addressed.
  8. The care of the client is more focused and changed sooner when required.
  9. Someone at risk for suicide is immediately recognized and addressed.
  10. No need for meds, labels, or personal history with a clear definition for normal.

How Burris Institute has Defined Normal

To determine a psychiatric baseline for normal requires a definition of behavioral epidemiology (behavior cause and control). This is established through 7 Key Questions or KQ’s. 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.

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 do 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 extremely 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 the 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's 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 emotion and behavior require 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 with her research on area 25. Dr. Maybergs’ research confirmed it is the mind (subconscious) that 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 Wellness (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 Burris Emotional Wellness 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 Burris Emotional Wellness. Question 4 addresses sleep, question 5 addresses sadness and hopelessness, question 9 is in regard to eating behavior and question 12 addresses suicidal ideation.

Behavior Control Checklist:  The 5-point Behavior Control Checklist enables the client to grade the practitioner in regard to the 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, a 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 over takes 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 eating disorder 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 Burris Emotional Wellness 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 affects 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 correlates 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?
Burris Emotional Wellness data is generated by the client at This data cannot be changed by the client or practitioner after it is saved.

Normal Range for the Burris 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.
The client determines what is normal for them within the above ranges.

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 good understanding of the SR™ process.
Relationship Satisfaction Scale: A score of > 6 indicates good relationship satisfaction on the Relationship Satisfaction Scale.

No Medication

When one takes the approach of immediately measuring the emotional state of the client and then addressing the thought process behind it, medication is unnecessary the largest percentage of time. It is only when one does not immediately address the primary issue or if one is guessing does medication become the only viable option.  Medication may be appropriate for a physiological disorder but a clear distinction must be made as opposed to grouping psychological and physiological disorders. One can benefit from Emotional Wellness even if there is a physiological issue. However, one rarely benefits from medication if it is specifically a psychological issue.

No Labels

Regardless of whether someone is suffering from depression, PTSD an addiction, or an eating disorder the primary issue is emotional distress and there is a thought process behind this distress. Effectively addressing this fundamental issue does not require a label. In fact, a label could prohibit a quick recovery or even cause a higher level of emotional distress.

No Personal History Required

Is personal history useful when attempting to come out of an emotionally distressed state? If you are indeed addressing an emotionally distressed state and not a personal history issue, the answer is straightforward. Digging into personal history while one is emotionally distressed can and will exacerbate emotional stress. If the emotional distress is specific to a thought process, which the majority of behavior disorders are, then personal history or psychoanalysis is NOT useful. If a physiological issue is confirmed a medical history is most certainly appropriate.

No Stigma

When labels, personal history, and medication are bypassed in favor of immediately addressing the thought process and emotional state behind a behavior there is no stigma from the beginning. If you suffer from depression, PTSD, addiction, or an eating disorder in the absence of evidence of a physiological abnormality, you are simply not emotionally well, you are NOT mentally ill.

Making a distinction between a psychological disorder and a physiological illness is imperative to resolve either issue as quickly as possible. This is only possible if the disorder or illness represents its true origin via its naming convention. In other words, is it a thought process or a physiological abnormality? If there is no evidence of a physiological abnormality then it simply makes sense to immediately address the Emotional Fitness of the client and the thought process behind it. It does not make sense to stigmatize the client with labels, medication or by dragging them through the junkyard of their past.

About Kelly Burris, PhD, MBC

Kelly Burris has defined ‘Normal’ in an industry, that only defines broken or disordered. He is the developer of the empirically sound Subconscious Restructuring process and founder of Burris Institute. With over 150 medical references Subconscious Restructuring represents a scientific breakthrough in mental health, and it has done this without meds, labels or personal history.

As part of the Burris, ecosystem Subconscious Restructuring Practitioners can manage, track and interact with current and future clients after certification on This same ecosystem enables corporate, military, and educational entities to supervise and monitor the performance of their internal Subconscious Restructuring™  (mental health) infrastructure in the cloud. 


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