Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy KAP
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
— Albert Einstein
As part of my practice, I provide a type of psychotherapy called Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP), which occurs via video-based telea-health, in my office or in the comfort of your own home.
The frequency of KAP sessions is determined through individualized treatment planning via collaborative conversation between the therapist and client with consideration for diagnosis, process of integration of insights from previous sessions, and level of symptom severity.
WHAT IS KETAMINE?
- Ketamine is a Schedule III substance. It disrupts ones ‘normalized’ and habitual ways of thinking and responding to the world. It creates a sort of brain reset and allows one to objectively examine:
- Negative thought processes
- Obsessive dysfunction
- Ketamine acts on the neurotransmitter known as Glutamate rather than Serotonin.
- Ketamine increases synaptic plasticity in the prefrontal cortex, which means more expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). This is believed to support Ketamine’s antidepressant action.
Who Can Benefit from Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy?
Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy can benefit a number of people, including:
- Those who have unhealthy patterns of attachment
- Those who have undergone trauma
- Those who are thriving in life but feel the need to explore existential issues
- Couples who are having difficulties and want to do individual work before their couples psychotherapy can yield better results
- Those who feel stuck in traditional psychotherapy
How does ketamine psychotherapy help with depression?
Ketamine psychotherapy is essentially a time-out from one’s usual consciousness. The process is characterized by the relaxation of our ordinary concerns mindset which can lead to a disruption of negative feelings and obsessional preoccupations.
Over time and through proper integration, this interruption can produce significant shifts in overall well-being. A ketamine treatment session also has the potential to create a non-ordinary state of consciousness, which may also facilitate a profound transpersonal or mystical experience. These peak experiences have been shown to expand one’s sense of self and understanding of existence.
Getting to the root of the problem.
Often the focus of treatment in medicine is on symptoms and not the root causes of the dis-ease. While this is important it can also present a challenge of not offering long lasting transformative change. Ketamine assisted psychotherapy is different. The intentions behind this modality helps you gain awareness and clarity of what the root sources of your mental health issues are and how they impact you. KAP sessions offer the potential for a unique window to open up in order to allow for deep transformational psychotherapy to be more effective. Acting as a catalyst, this unique combination of psychotherapy and medicine can help you change the core of what may be keeping these symptoms in place. The end result can be a new found freedom and aliveness.
What Ketamine and soon to be approved other psychedelics has demonstrated:
- Normalization in the connectivity pattern
- Expansion and of new pathways
- Increased plasticity of former restrictive brain patterns
- The degree of connectivity is also proportional to the clinical response to the treatment
- The first couple of sessions explore medical, psychological, social and spiritual history
- Treatment goals are identified sublingual Ketamine
Screening: Once you have contacted my office and space becomes available, client will complete an intake and sign a release of medical records to determine your eligibility for treatment. Upon confirmation of eligibility, we plan for a treatment session with sublingual Ketamine.
Preparation/Pre-Treatment: Pre-treatment preparation psychotherapy is designed to help prepare you mentally, physically, and emotionally for healing or transformational work with Ketamine.
Topics typically covered during pre-treatment psychotherapy sessions include:
- Assessing risk
- Intention setting
- Grounding practices before the treatment
- Processing fears or doubts before the treatment
- Strategies for managing the emotional material that arises during treatment
- Pre-treatment regimen for cleansing and preparing your mind and body for the work
- Educational resources
- Creating adequate time in your schedule for treatment sessions and integration, and setting up your aftercare environment
Treatment Session: Every session begins with meditation, music, and breath work to help you enter a receptive state. The ketamine session typically lasts 2-3 hours. I will be with you throughout the ketamine session (via tele-psychotherapy , in office or your home). While there are many possible routes of administration, I primarily work with sublingual lozenges. The effects begin to appear after about 15- 20 minutes, peak for about 40-45 minutes, and dissipate over the following 1-2 hours. It’s important to keep in mind that ketamine can sometimes encourage a positive shift in mood, while other times bring subconscious material to the surface to be processed.
Integration Psychotherapy : Integration is a collaborative process. The most crucial part of Ketamine medicine is how to use the innate personal wisdom you accessed during our sessions to find your unique path to personal growth and healing. You will be encouraged to explore metaphors, feelings, sensations, ideas, and symbols that arose during the session These sessions will help you reflect, absorb, and channel what you have learned, and integrate this new wisdom into your daily life.
Topics typically covered during integration psychotherapy sessions include:
- Helping to understand the powerful treatment experience.
- Taking the knowledge and insights gleaned and putting them into practice in your life.
- Processing the potentially difficult or traumatic material that may have come up on your treatment.
- Helping to create a daily practice of balancing and grounding.
- Developing practices to continue one’s expansion, growth, and healing path after treatment.
- Maintaining spiritual connection and wisdom without relying solely on psychedelics.
- Help with how to share your experience with loved ones.
The role of an integration therapist: This medicine has the ability to touch the emotional and spiritual aspects of our healing, helping to bridge the gap between the mind, body, and spirit. It allows one to become more united and connected. By shining a light into the dark corners of our mind-body consciousness, we are able to acknowledge and release the suffering attached to these old emotional wounds.
IS KETAMINE LEGAL?
When prescribed by a medical doctor or psychiatrist, Ketamine is a legal off-label treatment for Depression, Anxiety, PSTD and other mental health disorders. Many other psychedelics are becoming decriminalized, but Ketamine is legal when prescribed.
Before contacting me, please know that I:
- Do not administer/provide/distribute any illegal psychedelic/psychoactive substances to anyone
- Do not provide “sitter“ services for those using illegal psychedelic substances
- Will not work you while you are under the influence of psychedelic substances (with the exception of legally prescribed Ketamine) or work with those who self-administer illegal substances prior to or during psychotherapy for “psychedelic psychotherapy or drug-assisted therapies“
- Will not refer you to any underground services, anyone who provides “sitter“ services, or anyone who administers/sells any illegal substance
- Do not engage in behaviors that are unethical for those in my profession
- Ask for the utmost respect surrounding my legal/ethical boundaries related to this work
Please be aware that I hold your safety and well-being as my utmost priority. In my role, I do not provide any legal or medical advice but I support you in finding a deeper understanding about your experiences. I do not encourage/suggest/recommend the use (or purchase/sale) of illegal substances. I do recommend you educate yourself via multiple reputable resources about psychedelic use and can point you toward harm reduction resources.
WHAT IS DISSOCIATION?
Ketamine is a dissociative medicine. It may cause mental alteration that involves a sense of disconnecting from one’s perception of environment, feelings, thoughts, memories, or sense of identity. A sense of calm and relaxation related to disconnection from day-to-day anxieties often occur.
*Ketamine treatment is not appropriate for those who have vascular disorders, who are currently pregnant, have experienced psychosis or schizophrenia, are currently experiencing mania, or are currently taking benzodiazepines, stimulants, or MAOI’s.
When you are eligible and participate in Ketamine psychotherapy, you can be at ease knowing that your records are kept confidential, secure and protected as per HIPPA compliant requirements. A signed release form is required if you want to allow others, such as medical professionals, to access your files.
“The Wound is the Place Where the Light Enters”
Current Research on KAP
Pioneers of ketamine research recent FDA approval.
John Hopkins University School of Medicine article
Dr. Raquel Bennett