Karen Conterio is CEO of the S.A.F.E. ALTERNATIVES® Program. The program was founded by Karen Conterio in 1985 as the first outpatient support group for those who engage in repetitive self-harm behavior. Then, in 1986, Ms. Conterio teamed with Wendy Lader, Ph.D. to offer the first structured inpatient program for deliberate self harm behavior.
Ms. Conterio was trained and certified as an alcohol and addictions counselor and is also a certified group facilitator. She is the co-author with Wendy Lader of the book Bodily Harm: the Breakthrough Healing Program for Self-Injurers (Hyperion, 1998) which outlines the S.A.F.E. ALTERNATIVES® philosophy and treatment protocol. Ms. Conterio co-authored research on self-mutilation published in Community Mental Health Journal, ActaPsychiatric Scandinavia, and Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior.
She has given in-services and lectures since 1987 and has done hundreds of radio, magazine and newspaper interviews, including Time, Newsweek, the Sun-Times, the Chicago Tribune, Forbes, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Nursing Spectrum, Cincinnati Enquirer, World Talk Radio and Ann Landers (who has frequently recommended the S.A.F.E. ALTERNATIVES® program and 800- DONTCUT® information line in her column).
Ms. Conterio has appeared on numerous television shows since 1987 including: CNN; Dateline NBC; Good Morning America; The Oprah Winfrey Show; Phil Donahue; Larry King Live; Women’s Entertainment Network-Secret Lives of Women; CBS-2 Chicago and ABC World News Tonight. She was a featured expert on self-injury in the following magazines: Allure; Seventeen; Sassy and New York Times Sunday Magazine. Internationally, both Ms. Conterio and Dr. Lader were interviewed for CAPA (French television), Catholic University of Chile TV Network Corporation and Univision for multiple network programs, Telemundo, and Marie Claire (French).
Lastly, Ms. Conterio has served as a consultant for several television and movie scripts including the television series 90210, 7th Heaven, CUT, Channel One News and two Lifetime productions (Odd Girl Out and Painful Secrets).