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Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP)

Ketamine is being used as an “off label” tool to help the treatment of depression, PTSD, addiction, and other psychiatric challenges. Ketamine assisted psychotherapy (KAP) merges the medicine of ketamine with psychotherapy in order to enhance the effects of treatment. The higher levels of efficacy when merging both ketamine and psychotherapy has been demonstrated in the research.


Ketamine is different than other methods of psychotropic/antidepressant medication treatment as it works on different pathways in the brain. Ketamine is a NMDA antagonist working through the glutamate neurotransmitter.


Ketamine is a dissociative and can cause psychedelic or non-ordinary states of consciousness. These experiences can be challenging, but may also hold the greatest therapeutic effect. If you experience treatment resistant depression (two unsuccessful attempts with antidepressant medications), PTSD, or addiction/dependency, KAP may be useful for you.

I deliver KAP in my practice in partnership with an organization called Journey Clinical, which has a specialized medical team that determines eligibility for KAP, prescribes the ketamine, & supports us in monitoring outcomes.

Overview

Step by Step

Ketamine Assisted Pyschotherapy - Mental Health Assessment
Ketamine Assisted Pyschotherapy - Medical Assessment
Ketamine Assisted Pyschotherapy - Preparation
Ketamine Assisted Pyschotherapy - Dosing and Administration Session
Ketamine Assisted Pyschotherapy - Integration
Ketamine Assisted Pyschotherapy - Follow-up Sessions
Ketamine Assisted Pyschotherapy - Continued Support
1 / Mental Health Assessment

An initial assessment is used to determine if ketamine-assisted psychotherapy is suitable for their condition and needs.

2 / Medical Assessment

The individual is referred to a medication provider who can assess whether ketamine is suitable based on medical history and conditions.

3 / Preparation

The individual receives information about what to expect during the ketamine-assisted sessions, potential benefits, risks, and the therapeutic process. A therapeutic relationship is also established during this time in order to build trust and safety for the individual. Goals and intentions will be set for the ketamine sessions.

4 / Dosing & Administration Session

Ketamine will be taken sublingually by the individual in a controlled and supervised environment. The individual will not be left alone and will continue to be monitored/supported throughout the session.

5 / Integration

Integration begins during the dosing session but will also continue within 72 hours after the dosing session, as well as the following week. These discussions are meant to help the individual make sense of their experience, including the insights and emotions that arose during the session. The individual will explore how these insights can be applied to their daily life, will learn coping strategies, and explore personal growth.

6 / Follow-up Sessions

Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy often involves a series of sessions spaced out over time. Each session builds upon the previous ones and allows for further exploration and integration. These follow-up sessions provide an opportunity to track progress, address challenges, and refine therapeutic goals. Each individual is unique with regard to the quantity of follow-up sessions needed.

7 / Continued Support

The therapeutic relationship and support continues beyond the dosing sessions where the individual may choose to engage in traditional psychotherapy if needed.

FAQ

What is ketamine-assisted psychotherapy?

Ketamine-assisted
psychotherapy is a therapeutic approach that combines the administration of the
medication ketamine with psychotherapeutic techniques to address conditions like
depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

How long does a ketamine-assisted session last?

The duration of a session can vary, but it typically lasts around 2 to 3 hours, including the administration of ketamine and the subsequent psychotherapy.

Is ketamine-assisted psychotherapy effective?

Research suggests that ketamine-assisted psychotherapy can be effective in treating certain mental health conditions. However, individual responses vary, and it's important to continue follow-up treatment as recommended.

Can ketamine-assisted psychotherapy replace traditional therapy?

Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy can be a valuable addition to traditional therapy, but it's not intended to replace it. It offers a unique approach that complements other therapeutic modalities.

How does ketamine work in psychotherapy?

Ketamine is believed to have
rapid antidepressant effects by influencing certain neurotransmitters in the brain. It can create a unique state of mind that enhances the effectiveness of psychotherapy.

How many sessions are usually needed?

The number of sessions needed varies based on the individual's condition and response to treatment. Some individuals may benefit from a few sessions, while others might require more.

What does the integration process involve?

Integration involves discussing
and making sense of the insights and experiences that occurred during the ketamine session. It aims to apply  these insights to daily life, personal growth, and coping strategies.

Is ketamine safe?

When administered by trained medical professionals in a controlled environment, ketamine is generally considered safe. However, like any medication, it can have side effects. These are monitored closely during the session.

What should I expect during a ketamine-assisted session?

You will receive ketamine in a controlled setting and will experience its effects, which might include altered perceptions and changes in mood. A therapist will guide you through introspection and processing.

Can I continue my current medications during ketamine-assisted psychotherapy?

It's important to inform your healthcare provider about any medications you're taking. Some medications might interact with ketamine, so adjustments might be necessary.

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