Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy
Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy combines traditional talk therapy with the use of ketamine in a safe and supportive setting. Ketamine is presently the only legally available psychedelic medicine for clinical use.
Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy (KAP) is a unique therapeutic method used to address a variety of mental health conditions, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain, addiction, and some forms of anxiety. It involves the use of ketamine to enhance and deepen the therapeutic process, and the use of psychotherapy and other integrative forms of treatment to amplify and prolong the curative effects of ketamine.
In low doses, ketamine can serve as a supportive adjunct to psychotherapy, as it provides an opportunity for the temporary softening of the psychological defenses, allowing for deeper self-reflection and psychotherapeutic processing.
In moderate to high doses, ketamine has psychedelic effects, which have been shown to facilitate profound transpersonal experiences. These types of experiences can help people in a variety of ways, offering important clarity and insight into one’s struggles, adding a spiritual dimension to ongoing therapeutic work, and facilitating a sense of meaning and interconnectedness.
What is Ketamine?
Ketamine is a psychoactive drug that was first synthesized in 1962 and has been used in the United States as an anesthetic in medical settings since 1970. It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines.
Ketamine has been used off-label in sub-anesthetic doses for the past 20 years to treat chronic pain, depression, and a variety of other mental health concerns, thanks to its rapid onset antidepressant effects, sometimes providing nearly immediate relief from emotional and physical pain. While the antidepressant effects tend to be temporary after a single ketamine treatment, multiple treatments have proven to have a cumulative effect, successfully alleviating symptoms in approximately 30-60% of individuals with treatment-resistant depression.
Who qualifies for KAP treatment?
Ketamine is used off-label for a variety of mental health disorders, including depression, chronic pain, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and addiction.
Some medical and psychiatric conditions need to be treated before you can safely work with ketamine. These conditions include symptoms untreated mania, cardiovascular disease, uncontrolled hyperthyroidism, increased intracranial pressure, cystitis, or evidence of liver disease.
What should I expect?
I believe that each of us has the answers we are seeking for our lives. We all have access to an inner intelligence that wants to move towards discovery and healing. Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy can be a powerful tool for accessing the answers, awareness, and insights that already exist within you.
I integrate ketamine treatments with psychotherapy. Psychotherapy with ketamine is the most effective treatment. The ketamine allows us to dive deeper, speeding up the process in ways talk therapy on its own simply cannot. Each type of treatment on its own can have a positive impact. But it’s only the integration of the two that creates lasting, life changing results.
We will start with an intake session where you will describe your symptoms and determine whether ketamine-assisted psychotherapy (KAP) might be of benefit for you. If so, you will meet with a prescribing physician for an initial consultation and psychiatric assessment. If you qualify you will continue to work with me to prepare for the KAP session. There will be a minimum of three preparatory sessions with me before your first KAP session. In some cases, more than three sessions may be necessary.
I work in partnership with medical professionals who provide medical monitoring and supervision. I consult regularly with client’s primary medical and mental health care providers (if applicable) and when appropriate, I provide referrals for other treatment options.
The KAP session itself typically lasts 2-3 hours and I will be with you throughout the session. While there are different ways to administer ketamine, I primarily work with sublingual lozenges. The effects begin after about 15-20 minutes, peak for about 40 minutes and dissipate over the following 1-2 hours. Positive impacts on mood have been shown to last over the following days and sometimes weeks.
After the KAP session, you will have at least 2 integration sessions in which I will help you integrate your experience during the ketamine session, discuss how you responded to the medicine, and determine an individualized course of treatment moving forward. It is recommend to commit to at least 3 ketamine sessions, as this medicine tends to have a cumulative effect and is most beneficial after multiple treatments. Please contact me directly for more detailed information and to answer any questions that your might have.
What is psychedelic integration?
The process of integration includes is focused on taking the insights gained during your KAP sessions and weaving them into your everyday life. Integration can include individual and/or group therapy. Each integration plan is unique to the person served.
How much does KAP cost?
Fees are discussed during the intake session.
The benefits of KAP treatment include:
• A beneficial “time out” from ordinary mind and reality (and habitual patterns of thinking and perceptions)
• Profound shifts to more positive perspectives on the self, relationships, and one’s place in the larger world
• More positive outlooks on challenging life situations and relationships
• A decrease in negative or obsessive thoughts and negative self-talk
• An increase in self-esteem and self-compassion
• An enhancement of creative problem-solving abilities
• Greater motivation for lifestyle and/or behavioral changes
• Relief of existential anxieties and a potential for greater spiritual curiosity
Ketamine Integration Support Group
This group provides a is a good fit for individuals receiving KAP and/or those who might have had experiences with other psychedelic substance who need and want added therapeutic support. Many people find that these medications produce powerful experiences which require focused attention in order to support lasting change. Additionally, these psychedelic experiences have the potential to present confusing information. This group is focused on supporting the members make sense of their experience and optimize the benefits of ketamine