KAREN CONTARIO and WENDY LADER, Ph.D. Karen Contario is the program director of SAFE Alternatives, in Chicago. The program was founded by Contario in 1984 as the first outpatient support group for those who engage in repetitive self-harm behavior. In 1985, she teamed with Wendy Lader to offer the first structured inpatient program for deliberate self-harm behavior. She is a trained alcohol and addictions counselor and a certified group facilitator.
Wendy Lader, Ph.D., is the clinical director of SAFE Alternatives. An expert on women‘s mental health issues, she has treated more self-injurers than anyone else in the country. She also serves as a consultant to the Women‘s Services at the Loop YWCA in Chicago. Previously, Dr. Lader was the Director of the Girls‘ Program at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago. She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Nova University in Florida.