Fredric Matteson




Contextual-Conceptual Therapy (CCT) is the creation of Fredric Matteson. He has distilled this innovative model through the lens of his dual skills as a poet and as a psychotherapist. In addition to his training in mental health, he completed a degree in Expressive Arts, followed by post-graduate work in an MFA program in Creative Writing. An award-winning poet, he brings metaphor into the work of healing suicidal persons, with great success. Early work in his 30 years in the mental health field included work in psychiatric institutions in California as well as in the mental health units of public hospitals in Washington State. For 25 years, Matteson worked as a therapist in individual and group therapy with over 16,000 suicidal patients in an inpatient program primarily for suicidal clients. From this experience, he has created an educational approach called: Contextual-Conceptual Therapy: Guiding the Suicidal Person. The approach draws upon his unique experience as a poet to use “Maps, Models, & Metaphors” to help the suicidal client bypass their logic and find a way to transform the pain that is causing them to be suicidal. Matteson currently is in private practice on Lake Union in Seattle, Washington. He offers CCT sessions for individuals (usually 8-10 sessions), couples and families. With his office partner, Dr. Sunida Bintasan (an adolescent/child psychiatrist, who also sees adults), he leads separate teen and adult weekly CCT Groups (6 sessions per group). Along with his private practice, his work also includes program development and trainings for organizations, consultations, as well as presentations before national and international conferences. He is presently in the process of completing a book on his CCT approach that details the development, the process, and the success of the CCT work.


Fredric Matteson's role as an educator in the field of suicide prevention is to help others:

  • To understand the context of suicide before the core problem can be addressed
  • To help teach others about the phenomena of suicide
  • To offer and help implement an educational program derived from the suicidal persons' own unique language and voices, their uncovered patterns (algorithms) and common themes
  • To view being suicidal as an opportunity to "awaken" to a new, life-changing perspective
  • To consider suicide as a spiritual crisis...a crisis of identity...a crisis of meaning



Matteson has presented this model at

  • The Aeschi Conference - a biennial gathering of international suicidologists, in Aeschi, Switzerland.
  • The American Association of Suicidology  (AAS) Conference in Seattle, Washington.
  • The biennial conference of the International Society for Theoretical Psychology (ISTP) at York University, Toronto, Canada.
  • Washington State Psychological Association (WASP)
  • Hollyhock Invitational Leadership Conference, Cortes Island, British Columbia, Canada
  • The 12th European Symposium on Suicide and Suicidal Behavior (ESSSB12) in Glasgow, Scotland
  • An all-day presentation of the CCT model in Essex, England sponsored by the National Health Service (NHS) Trust and the University of Essex (Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies).
  • Matteson gave the keynote address at the 2014 World Suicide Prevention Day Conference in Dublin, Ireland, hosted by The International Association for Suicide Prevention.
  • Matteson and his CCT Team gave the inaugural address for the Annual Speakers Series at the brand new NHS St. Aubyn Adolescent Treatment Center, just north of London.
  • In November 2015, Matteson and his CCTTeam gave a two 2-day Introductory CCT Training Workshops in Ireland in Cork.
  • In April 2016, Matteson and his CCT Team were invited back to Ireland & Scotland to give three more 2-day CCT Trainings: GLASGOW: 16th & 17th April - Level 1 CCT Training;  DUBLIN: 20th & 21st April - Level 1 CCT Training;  CORK: 23rd & 24th April - Level 2 CCT Training.


Matteson's poetry has been accepted by/published by numerous magazines throughout the U.S., Canada, and England. Some of these include:

  • Harper’s Magazine
  • Paris Review
  • Chicago Review
  • Partisan Review
  • Northwest Review
  • Poetry Northwest
  • Epoch (Cornell University)
  • College English
  • The Michigan Quarterly Review
  • Boston University Journal
  • Pacific Northwest (The Seattle Times)
  • The Malahat Review
  • The New York Quarterly
  • New Letters
  • The University of Windsor Review
  • The Florida Quarterly
  • Carolina Quarterly
  • The Little Magazine
  • Northwest Poets & Artists Calendar (accepted twice)



One of the first writing fellowships ever given by the National Endowment for the Arts. A prestigious award for literature (his winning genre, poetry) sponsored by the San Francisco Foundation: the judges were novelists Alice Adams andEvan Connell, and the historian Ferol Eagan.

First place in a literary award open nationally, sponsored by The Carolina Quarterly (University of North Carolina).  


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