"There has never been a therapy specifically for suicide, until today."
David Olive, Ph.D.
Lead Psychologist, National Health Service of England
“I have been involved in learning, practicing and teaching psychotherapy for forty-five years. In that time I have been fortunate to have observed many masters of the craft in action, including Carl Rogers, Michael Balint, Carl Whitaker, Fritz Perls, Victor Frankl, and Albert Ellis. However, Fredric Matteson is unique in his background and approach. He neither belongs nor owes allegiance to any established school of therapy. An established poet, he mines his genius for metaphor and finds a way to apply himself to reach to the very core of those in extremis — those hospitalized because of severe suicidal impulses, plans and who frequently have made actual attempts. Aided by his gifts, including an intensity of spirit that resonates with those who are desperate, he finds ways to convert the instability of crisis into a loving, healing process. It’s wonderful to see that his creativity, talents, compassion, and vast experience have begun to be recognized internationally."
Tom Rusk, MD,
Senior Psychiatrist Penobscot Community Health Care
Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and NeurologyDistinguished Life Fellow, American Psychiatric Association
Author of the Bestselling Books: "The Power of Ethical Persuasion"; "Get Out Of Your Own Way"; "I Want To Change But I Don't Know How"
"The truly remarkable discovery that Fredric Matteson has made is that the suicidal person is struggling in what he terms a “bifurcated state.” In my mythological work on the experience of “otherness” I have called this bifurcation a disjunction between one’s inter-personal identity and one’s intra-personal identity. The importance of Matteson’s discovery for gaining a deeper insight into the lived experience of suicidality cannot be overstated. The duality, the either-or sense, of the bifurcation triggers an over-literalizing rigidity, a one-sidedness which, in Matteson’s revolutionary view, must be “destabilized.” From the mythic perspective this is the oldest medicine in the world—the ritual elder takes the initiand into a sacred uncertainty, the liminal condition, where identity disintegrates, expands, and is renewed. Because the suicidal person is on the front lines of the modern dilemma, I believe this work is of the greatest importance for us all."
Author of The Other Within: The Genius of Deformity in Myth, Culture, & Psyche
Founder of the Mythsinger Foundation & The Mythsinger Consortium
"I have followed the development of Contextual-Conceptual Therapy (CCT) for 14 years and brought all of my experience and expertise to answer the following questions: Would I recommend this approach to a friend or family member at risk for suicide? Would I have this therapy myself? These questions are quite serious matters given the risk of death. I did not come to my answers lightly or quickly. My conclusions have also been informed by my background which includes 10 years of teaching and research in academic psychiatry at the University of Colorado, another 12 years as chief of a major urban outpatient psychiatry setting, and three years overseeing quality improvement for a major national healthcare organization.
My answer to both questions is a very enthusiastic "Yes!". In fact, recently I had the opportunity to refer a friend who was in crisis who had been undergoing electro-convulsive therapy for more than a year and was worsening, becoming suicidal. After several sessions of Contextual-Conceptual Therapy, the results were remarkable. What is most impressive is that this therapy has been developed as the result of Fredric Matteson's tremendous sensitivity, skill and wisdom as he has listened to thousands of suicidal patients over many years. This therapy is developed from their experiences and perspectives. I have never seen such a large volume of highly positive letters and ratings from patients who have experienced this approach. In addition, this is not an entangling, high cost therapy. It is designed to empower patients to live their own lives more authentically which I think is key to suicide prevention.
There are a plethora of different psychotherapies out there and all consumers are wise to be suspect of what they have to offer. But I come back to the following observation: in an urban, inpatient psychiatry setting dealing with managed care, which is very selective about who treats their clients, the hospital setting which offers this approach has continued to receive a large volume of referrals. This therapy fits in with traditional psychiatry and psychotherapeutic approaches. But it adds something that I think is hard to come by: helping the patient be in touch with his or her own heart and authenticity. I cannot recommend this approach highly enough."
Neil Baker, M.D.
Healthcare Improvement Consultant
Neil Baker Consulting
(former) Chief of Central Mental Health Services, Clinical Improvement and Education,
Group Health Coopertive(GHC) of Puget Sound
"Fredric Matteson provided invaluable guidance to a good friend and his family during a period when my friend was suicidal. Fredric educated my friend's family about the internal state of a person contemplating suicide, giving them insights into my friend that no other health professional had offered. His belief that the suicidal state has within it the potential for greater health and wholeness, his view of the suicidal individual as healthy rather than sick, gave the family a perspective that led them to find a treatment center which addressed the whole person and not just his symptoms. With the support of Fredric and the treatment center staff, my friend is coming into a new and healthier relationship with himself. We all feel enormously grateful to have experienced, first hand, the important work Fredric is doing."
Author of Sorrow Mountain
“I have known Fredric Matteson for close to forty years. Over these many years I have watched and experienced the genesis and materialization of Contextual-Conceptual Therapy (CCT). Matteson’s work presents us with a new pedagogical shift in how we retrieve and restore the soul and/or well being of the suicidal patient. His premise is that as humans we already possess all the answers we need, regardless of our circumstances. Through CCT’s methodologies and practices he has found a way to compassionately guide and redirect people back to what they already know. Matteson’s work has far reaching implications for the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual well being of not only the suicidal patient, but for many of us who have suffered from the dark night of the soul.”
Mark Collin, MA, M.F.T.
Director/Author of The Toolbox Project; Tools for Living, Tools for Life
“The CCT group is on the cutting edge of suicide work. Mental health professionals and many others will certainly benefit from their education. Their work needs to be widely disseminated as soon as possible.”
Brian C. Riedesel, Ph.D., B.C.E.T.S.
University of Utah Counseling Center
Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress
Diplomate, American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress
Adjunct Assosiate Professor
Medical Staff, University of Utah Hospital & Clinics
“This work, having ultimately saved the lives of untold numbers of individuals, has given a unique perspective on this very demanding area of clinical practice and has earned the interest and respect of a world-wide professional audience.”
J. David Millar
Honorary Senior Lecturer
Centre for Psychoanalytical Studies, University of Essex
Consultant Child, Adult and Forensic Psychotherapist
Universities Psychotherapy and Counseling Assosiation
United Kingdom Counsel for Psychotherapy
British Psychoanalytic Council
National Health Service (UK)
"I am a Chaplain in an Acute Care Hospital. I work with people in grief everyday and Fredric Matteson's Contextual-Conceptual Therapy has given me a new way to approach the on-going grief in peoples lives."
“Fredric Matteson has worked ceaselessly to understand, engage, and encourage those challenged by severe mental health issues.”
Sally Carman, OTR/L,
“Fredric is not just a suicide therapist. Rather, he is the marvelous integration of artist, therapist and scientist. He reminds of us that humanness is rooted in the soil and is of earth and flesh and bones and breath."
Second Year Master StudentTheory & History of Psychology Program
Cognitive Neuroscience Program
Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
"I have spent years, and thousands of dollars to understand, and find freedom from the fear, pain and chaos I often live in. Most therapy focuses on identifying who out in the world is to blame. Indeed, I have found that there are many who I could blame for the pain they inflicted, yet even in doing so I remained locked in my chaos.The Contextual-Conceptual Therapy concepts have gone to the core of my life. This work invites reconciliation and harmony with our most authentic, genuine selves, and others.
Wendy Taylor, M.Div