First CCT Suicide Therapy Centre in Ireland opens in Kenmare

The first CCT Suicide Therapy Centre in Ireland has opened its doors
in the Stone Arch Centre in Kenmare.
According to the WHO, worldwide about 800,000 people die by suicide every year, one person every 40 seconds, and there is evidence that for each death by suicide, more than 20 other people attempt suicide. The implications of the data indicate that it is very important to have the right support for people with suicidal ideation in place.
According to Gitti Maas (MIACP, M.Ed., Founder CCT-Ireland), counsellor in private practice in the Stone Arch Centre Kenmare, Contextual-Conceptual Therapy (CCT) can offer this support.
Gitti says, “CCT is an exciting approach to suicide therapy, developed by Seattle based suicidologist Fredric Matteson. In fact, it is the only therapy model specifically for suicide I am aware of. I am convinced that CCT is the missing link in our efforts to bring suicide numbers in Ireland down and support suicidal clients in their struggle to overcome their despair.”
CCT stresses that feeling suicidal is not an illness, but an identity crisis. “This insight changes how we meet the suicidal person,” Gitti explains. “Reasoning, traditional approaches and medication may help the suicidal person for a while but often cannot really reach the person deeply enough to end their suffering, as it does not touch the root of their suicidal thinking.”
Instead, traditional therapy addresses the ways the suicidal person expresses their pain – which is the equivalent of fighting smoke instead of fire. As a result, the suicidal person often spirals further into experiencing anxiety, shame, guilt, hate, suicidal despair – to finally attempt suicide.
Gitti points out that if we start looking at suicide as an identity crisis (which CCT does), as opposed to a sign of mental illness, we have to ask, What if suicide is not about what’s wrong with the suicidal person, but about what’s right with them? This opens the door to a new, unique and successful way of meeting the suicidal person and supporting them to engage in self-exploration, which results in resolving their identity crisis and ends their suicidal feelings.
With CCT, the suicidal person’s moment of crisis becomes their moment of transformation.
Gitti has been in close contact with Fredric Matteson, the founder of CCT Suicide Therapy in Seattle, since 2014. She has visited the Seattle CCT Centre several times and has studied CCT extensively.
She continues to see adults in the Stone Arch Centre who seek counselling for other reasons than feeling suicidal, such as abuse, anxiety, loss, life changes, relationship problems or trauma to name a few and can be contacted on 086 – 40 10 738.