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STEPPS (Systems Training for Emotional Predictability and Problem Solving) is an effective treatment for borderline personality disorder.

The 22-week evidence-based educational program teaches individuals about the behaviors and feelings that describe their disorder as well as skills to change behaviors and manage feelings.

Individuals in the program meet for two hours once a week in a group setting.

Considering Joining STEPPS?


To join STEPPS, please attend one of our Coping Skills Group meetings held every Friday at 9 a.m. Groups are held in the Adult Psychiatry Clinic at 1911 John Pappajohn Pavilion (JPP) on Level 1, near Elevator I. We will discuss which group options may work best for you and how to get started.

You can be referred by your doctor, but it is not required and self-referrals are also accepted.

The Coping Skills Group will be temporarily shut down beginning July 1, 2022. If you have any questions, please call 1-319-356-7338 or email us.


After STEPPS, You Have Several Choices:

  • For example, some individuals choose to repeat the program.
  • There is also the option of an eight-week refresher course for those who have completed STEPPS.
  • Other individuals choose to enter a follow-up program called STAIRWAYS™, which meets twice a month for one year and helps them work on additional skills.

Care Team

Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatry

Physician Assistant, Psychiatry

Social Worker, Psychiatry