WHAT IS KETAMINE ASSISTED THERAPY? Ketamine assisted therapy (KAP) is a unique approach to traditional psychotherapy that can serve a variety of people suffering from treatment resistant depression, physical pain, PTSD and difficult life transitions. It also appropriate for people exploring new possibilities for their lives!
Ketamine is legally prescribed and can have a rapid acting pharmaceutical antidepressant effect with psychedelic properties when proper dosage is used. Ketamine is believed to have it's antidepressant effect by enhancing neuroplasticity and encouraging the ability of brain cells to form new connection to one another. The intended use of Ketamine in Psychotherapy is to promote an altered state of mind with lowered negative defenses that allow for more effective healing than traditional talk therapy. Ketamine may allow for the disruption of the negative feelings and familiar obsessive preoccupations, allowing for the new possibilities to emerge! Because ketamine has an anxiolytic effect (reducing anxiety) during a KAP session, there is a relaxation from ordinary concerns and familiar states of mind while remaining consciously aware. During a treatment session there can be a temporary experience of softening boundaries and dissolving of form and constructs, creating a novel effect on the mind. This unique state can support healing, developmental growth and relief from depression, particularly when done in a therapeutic relationship.
An important aspect of KAP, is the recommended preparation and integration sessions leading into and following the use of ketamine in a session. Low dose KAP sessions are generally used more for interactive talk therapy. Higher dose sessions include the use of Eye shades and guided music for longer periods of going inwards, due the the increase of psychedelic and dissociative effects. Dissociation is typically understood as a disconnection from one's ordinary reality, environment and self.Psychedelic and dissociative effects of ketamine are short lived and most people return to their ordinary level of awareness and state of mind within 45-90 minutes following administration of oral sublingual lozenges. KAP sessions are longer than traditional therapy and are conducted with medical support and psychological counseling to ensure you are cared for during your session. To begin KAP, a participant goes through a thorough physical and psychological evaluation with a recommended medical provider to ensure for safety and appropriateness of treatment. The medical action of ketamine is still being researched but currently understood to work on an NMDA antagonist in the glutamate neurotransmitter system in way that is quite different than other psychiatric drugs such as SSRI's and benzodiazepines, which is part of why ketamine's antidepressant effects are novel and unlike other forms of treatment. The U.S. Food and Drug administration is currently researching and evaluating thru clinical trials, ketamine's efficacy in treating post-traumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorder, treatment resistant depression, postpartum depression and other mental health disorders.