If you are like most of my first-time clients, this is new to you. Maybe you have tried ketamine before, but not in a therapeutically supported clinical environment.
I began this practice because this is life-changing work. I’m honored you’re here and as your guide, it’s my job to help you understand everything about assisted ketamine therapy as you begin to look into whether this counseling modality fits your lifestyle and goals.
Ketamine is a generic dissociative medication that has many years of safe use as an anesthetic in medical procedures. Ketamine was first synthesized in 1956, and used in the Vietnam War for surgical procedures. In 1970 the FDA approved Ketamine for medical use. In the last decade, ketamine has proven to have great promise as an off-label treatment for Treatment Resistant Depression, PTSD, OCD, drug and alcohol addiction, and other psychiatric diagnoses.
Studies show that ketamine can be effective in treating many mental health conditions. It has been used in the reduction of anxiety and depressive symptoms. It is also helpful for people who are dealing with PTSD.
Ketamine has been used for many years and has an incredible safety record. Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy is considered an off label use of this drug. However, the amounts given to clients during KAP is much lower than what is given by medical professionals when Ketamine is used as an anesthetic.
With low dosages and a continual monitoring of your symptoms it is highly unlikely that a client will experience addictive responses to Ketamine. It is more likely to become addicted to Ketamine if self-treated. With the help of an experienced guide/counselor the client has a limited chance of becoming addicted.
Ketamine impacts people’s symptoms very quickly and clients often experience relief within hours or days. These initial changes don’t last unless there is further follow up with continued psychotherapy sessions and more KAP sessions. After 6 to 8 sessions the symptoms may be reduced long-term.
All clients interested in Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy will need to schedule an initial session to talk through the client’s history and determine if this is the right therapy for the client. If this is the appropriate therapy for the client it is necessary to schedule a visit with a medical provider to insure that there are no medical concerns in doing KAP. The medical professional will also be the one that provides the prescription from the pharmacy. Once the client has the Ketamine available a KAP session will be scheduled.
KAP sessions are two and a half hours. You will need to show up with pillows and other personal items that can help you create a safe and intentional space. You will also need someone to pick you up after the session. It is recommended that the client does not work the day of the session.
Ketamine is taken with oral lozenges that are prescribed to you. These lozenges are sucked on for a period of about 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes you swallow the ketamine in your mouth and lay down for the journey.
A big part of using ketamine is the meaning you make out of the experience you had during KAP. This will happen right after the client comes out of the ketamine journey. It is also necessary to take advantage of the open state of the mind that can then integrate new insights. Integration sessions are useful in processing the meaning from the KAP session.