S.A.F.E. ALTERNATIVES® Adolescent Intensive®

S.A.F.E. ALTERNATIVES® Adolescent Intensive® Residential Program is a comprehensive treatment program for patients 12 to 20 who engage in repeated self-injurious behavior.  It is a specialized unit in a residential facility.  The multidisciplinary treatment team uses individual, group, and family therapies, to support and empower individuals to make healthy choices in dealing with emotional distress.

For screening email: info@selfinjury.com

Residential Program overview:

  • The program operates seven days per week for approximately four weeks.
  • Intake screening at no charge
  • Individual, group, milieu, and family therapy
  • Impulse control management
  • Education and support
  • Medication management
  • Case management
  • Collaboration with referring professionals
  • Aftercare planning

Treatment Team:

  • Psychiatrist
  • Clinical Therapist
  • Registered Nurse
  • Behavioral Health Support staff
  • Expressive Therapists

The treatment program is approximately 30 days long.  It is a voluntary program so prospective patients are assessed for motivation.  Clients learn to distinguish thoughts from feelings and how to verbalize those feelings.  They will also learn to use various logs to manage their impulses.

Group topics include communication, role play, relationships, trauma, and body image.  Clients will have S.A.F.E. ALTERNATIVES® trained therapists for individual, family, and group therapy sessions.

Typically the program meets 7 days per week for approximately 4 weeks.  Parents are not required to be in the area as this is a residential program.  When there is a family session with a client, these can be conducted via telephone.

Client Responsibilities

  • Actively participate in all groups
  • Sign the S.A.F.E. Safety Contract
  • Complete required writing assignments
  • Complete required role plays
  • Actively participate in individual and family sessions
  • Address all forms of self-injury, including food and nutrition issues
  • Identify alternatives to self-injury
  • Find an outpatient therapist for ongoing treatment
  • Follow their individualized treatment plans
  • Abide by all terms specified in the Safety Contract and hospital policies


  1. Please  email info@selfinjury.com to schedule an appointment for an assessment.
  2. Current inpatients may be referred by their treatment team.
  3. The screening will take place over the phone and is approximately one hour long.  We will work with you to schedule it at a time that is convenient for you.  The following information will be asked of you:
    • Brief history of self injury and previous treatment
      1. Clinical symptoms
      2. Medication list
      3. Outpatient therapist and psychiatrist name, phone number, and fax number
      4. Insurance data
      5. Motivation for treatment assessment
      6. Discharge plan
  4. We will contact your outpatient therapist by phone or mail to make sure he/she:
    1.    Is in agreement regarding placement within the S.A.F.E. ALTERNATIVES® Program
    2.    Intends to consult with the treatment team and provide follow up after your discharge

You or your therapist may download the Therapist Consult form and send it back to us when it is completed or the therapist may call (800.366.8288) and give us the information verbally.

  1. Insurance benefits will be verified by the financial department.  A financial counselor will call to discuss your benefits and let you know if there will be a co-payment due. The insurance company will not have given its approval at this point.
  2. Pre-certification will, in most cases, be completed prior to admission.  The screening you complete will enable our team to work to obtain pre-certification.  We will call the insurance company to get approval for your admission.  Most insurance companies will work with us but it is important to think about what you will do in the slight chance there is a denial.  We will talk with you about this before you come to the program.

Items to have ready on the day of screening:

  • Name, phone, and fax numbers for your outpatient therapist and psychiatrist.
  • A list of your medications along with the dosage and times you take them.
  • Your insurance information. If you have the card with you, you can read us the information.  You will be asked to fax a copy of both sides to the financial office.  If the insurance is in a name other than your own (e.g., a spouse or parent), then we will need the insured’s birth date, social security number and employment information.
  • Your e-mail address or a fax number where we can send you information.

Admission for those who are currently in another hospital:

We can begin the admission process while you are in another hospital.  We will need to gather the same information stated above.  The case manager at the hospital you are currently at can help to facilitate the process.  We will fax a portion of the screening form to your case manager and when it is returned, along with your current records, we will review all the information with you and get a history of your self-injury.  The remainder of the admission process is the same.


There are times when life brings changes or you change and you find it necessary to seek readmission to the S.A.F.E. ALTERNATIVES® Program.  This process is a little different.  We will want to know what changes have occurred, how you followed your discharge plan, and what you need to work on during this admission.  You may download the attached Readmission Form, answer all questions thoroughly and mail or fax it back to us.  We will then contact you to review your answers and assess your individual situation.  The remainder of the admission process is the same.

What to bring when you are ready to come to the program:

This list may not be exhaustive, so please direct any questions you may have to the treatment team.  During the admission process a member of the treatment team will inventory your personal items.  Contraband items will be placed in storage until you discharge (e.g., hair dryer, curling iron, make-up, electric razors for shaving, etc…).  Avoid bringing valuable items, however in the event that you do, they will be secured according to facility procedures.

You will need:


  • Birth certificate and immunization records
  • 4-5 days of medication in original bottles
  • If applicable, school books, assignments and name of contact person at school.
  • Insurance cards, social security card
  • If you have had a medical exam or TB test in the past 30 days, bring the reports.  If not, one will be done at admission.
  • If parents are divorced, bring a copy of the custody agreement.
  • 5-6 changes of comfortable, casual clothes.  Note that the temperature on the unit varies seasonally so layers are recommended.  (Laundry facilities are available).
  • NO bare midriff or spaghetti strap shirts, No tank tops and NO short shorts.
  •  Everything should fit into one suitcase because storage is limited.
  • Personal toiletries, including lip balm.
  • Folders or 3 ring binder, paper, pens, etc. to organize group worksheets and assignments.
  • Spending money for weekly outings ($25 suggested)


  • Stationery and stamps
  • iPods or MP3 players (none with internet access or cameras)
  • Favorite music (nothing graphic about sex, death or violence; nothing you have ever injured to)
  • Favorite “G” or “PG” videos to share. PG 13 videos must be approved by staff. (Note:  Please put your name on all items including electronics, CDs and DVD’s for identification purposes.)
  • Your copy of Bodily Harm (Optional).  Many clients have peers sign their books before they leave. Copies can be purchased on the unit.


  • Cameras
  • Cell phones
  • Computers
  • “R” rated videos
  • Stuffed animals (while you are here, we want you to learn to sit with uncomfortable feelings and verbalize them instead of “stuffing” them away).
  • T-shirts that are sexually or verbally explicit, or deemed inappropriate by staff.
  • No short shorts, shirts with spaghetti straps or tank tops.
  • Aerosol cans or products