Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy
What is ketamine-assisted psychotherapy?
Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy (KAP) is an exciting new approach to therapy that differs from traditional methods. KAP combines ketamine with talk therapy in order to enhance the effectiveness of both. Ketamine is best given within the context of a safe, supportive, and healing therapeutic relationship. The therapist can help you address underlying emotional or mental blocks that hinder your long-term growth. With your therapist, you can identify your entrenched behavioral patterns, get to the root of the problem, and design a path to move forward. KAP is a treatment that can be used to address treatment-resistant conditions like depression, childhood trauma, PTSD, OCD, anxiety, addiction, or chronic pain conditions.
Ketamine is effective, but when paired with therapy sessions it can allow your therapist to guide you through the experience. Most patients carry relational trauma from their pasts, and being supported and guided by a therapist can create a corrective relational experience, ultimately strengthening the amount of positive effect that ketamine can have on your mental health. Ketamine, even at the lower doses, can induce a trance-like state. This allows your psychotherapist to help you move past the barriers and defense mechanisms that your psyche has put up in response to trauma or stress. This can significantly augment the effects of therapy sessions.
During a higher dose KAP session, many patients report seeing images and accessing memories or subconscious emotions. It can be very helpful to have a therapist there to guide and support you during your session to ensure you remain in the right frame of mind. Oftentimes patients will have a profound transformational experience and your therapist can help you integrate this experience into your everyday life.
How does KAP work?
In most cases, symptoms of trauma and depression that plague a person start very early in life. People can be injured relationally and this can leave us prone to depression, addiction, or maladaptive thought patterns.
KAP is about making sure patients feel healed or held in a therapeutic relationship. The ketamine used in KAP allows for an accelerated bonding, which helps our patients improve their relationships out in the world and grow less isolated.
What are KAP sessions like?
We start the process with a medical intake to ensure that KAP is the right treatment for your condition. This will be followed by a prep session to address all of your concerns about this medicine. We also help you identify what your goals are for your therapy. We then proceed to the medicine sessions which can last typically from 2 to 3 hours, but the length of the session varies depending upon the dose, response, and recovery time, as well as other factors.
KAP is at its most effective when you commit to an individualized treatment plan that stretches out over a period of several weeks.
It is vital to note that KAP, like ketamine itself, is not viable as a “cure” for your condition. It is a novel new treatment designed to empower you through your therapy session, allowing you to reach greater breakthroughs and deeper levels of introspection.
During these sessions, you will have close supervision and you will have a therapist or a doctor with you in the room for the entire experience. We aim for a very comfortable and relaxing setting. We often use meditation, breathwork, and music as adjunct therapies. We strive for a supportive but non-directive approach. Each person is unique and has an internal compass or inner healing intelligence that is striving to heal you and we respect that to the utmost. We are trauma-sensitive and we will be supportive but will take direction from you. Our policy is to always have a same-gender provider in the room during sessions.
We will plan your tailored ketamine sessions as a team and they may include low-dose sessions using sublingual lozenges or higher dose intramuscular sessions. Throughout each session, your comfort, privacy, and safety will be our highest priority. Each session includes a preparatory phase and integration phase to be as important as the medication phase. Therefore, in-office sessions can last 2 to 3 hours. Our fees are in accordance with this extended time frame. We also offer additional integration for the weeks following your session. For those requiring additional sessions we look forward to supporting you in an ongoing, fruitful, and therapeutic relationship.
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