As a Mental Health Residential Manager for the
DuPage County Health Department in Illinois in
the early 1980s, Norman set out to find solutions
to the problems his staff had in working with
clients diagnosed with Borderline Personality
Disorder. Research of the literature provided few
usable treatment protocols and even less clarity
about the nature of this disorder. Norman then
turned to the experts - a group of individuals with
this diagnosis - with whom he met weekly for two
years. During this time they explained to him what
it was like living with this disorder.
Based on this information, Norman coined the
phrase "Emotional Intensity Disorder" (preferred
by the participants over the DSM label) and wrote
the original manual, "A Systems Approach to
Treatment: A Borderline Personality Disorder Skill
Training Manual," which , as he describes it, later
evolved into STEPPS "in the very capable hands
of these University of Iowa professionals."
Norman is retired and lives in Los Angeles with
his wife Karen
Norman E. Bartels, M.A., M.P.A.