A forerunner for Suicide Prevention / Intervention / Postvention
The prefix "PERI" means to "look around" or "beyond." Contextual-Conceptual Therapy focuses on suicide perivention, looking beyond suicide as the problem - and into the (metaphoric) language of the suicidal person to discover and understand what they are truly struggling to end.
Suicide is not the problem - it is a symptom of a context-bound problem that is not an "illness" but an identity crisis.
The identity crisis is based not upon "mental illness" - but "missing information" due to the context (or "big picture" of what is happening) not being factored in by either the clinicians and family or by the suicidal person themselves.
The unrecognized context is that the suicidal person is struggling in a "bifurcated state" – struggling between their two ‘selves’ – who they are trying not to be (who think they are, as in the ‘bad’ person) and who they are trying to be (the ‘perfect’ or ‘good’ person). But the reality is that neither is the truth – they are both part of the false self. At some point, the person finds this struggle impossible to live with. It is this that drives the person to want to kill their ‘self’, or what they believe to be their self.
What the suicidal person, and likewise, the family and clinicians, at this point are unable to see is that this “struggle” is with the split, or bifurcated, self and that the TRUE self is hidden beneath this struggle out of view. So when suicidal persons talk of feeling ‘lost’, ‘trapped’, ‘stuck’, or ‘being on another planet’ – they actually do experience this TRUTH but they are initially unaware of the context that they are operating in. That is why suicide is seen as the only solution – ‘the only way out.' The suicidal person needs to understand the context they are operating in before they can understand the actual problem.
Contextual-Conceptual Therapy (CCT) is not in competition with other theories - but functions as a "forerunner" and is complimentary in a hierarchical manner. CCT gives the client a new context and new meaning from which to understand their suicidal state. Creating this context first is essential, as anything "cognitive" cannot truly succeed without context.
Thus the need for “SUICIDE PERIVENTION” – an ”upstream” (forerunner) approach to complement and provide context for the necessary “downstream” approaches – Suicide Prevention/ Suicide Intervention/ Suicide Postvention.