What is Ketamine?
Ketamine is a safe and legal available medicine with psychedelic properties. Ketamine is FDA approved and being researched to treat such diagnoses as depression, PTSD, anxiety, and addiction. Ketamine was first synthesized in 1962 and is classified as a dissociative anesthetic and is commonly used in hospitals and clinics worldwide. Dissociation is a mental process that involves disconnecting from one’s thoughts, feelings, or sense of identity. An anesthetic is a substance that induces insensitivity to pain. At a sub-anesthetic dose (meaning you are still “awake”), ketamine produces a non-ordinary state of consciousness and a psychedelic experience with the intention for healing (non-recreational use).
What is Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP)?
Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy combines the therapeutic effects of ketamine in a safe contained environment with a trained therapist. The psychedelic aspects induced by ketamine provide for more material to work with in therapy, especially in the context of a long-term therapeutic relationship. Ketamine has the potential to accelerate healing and the role of the therapist is to help support you throughout the entire process. Prior to becoming a ketamine therapy client, individuals must be properly evaluated and screened by one of our collaborating licensed medical professionals who can legally prescribe ketamine.
I’m in Recovery. Can I do Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy?
I believe that a person has the dignity to recover on their own terms. This means a one-size-fits-all approach does not work for everyone. Inclusion Recovery borrows the same definition of recovery as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): “Recovery is a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.” An interesting fact is that Bill Wilson (aka Bill W), the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous participated in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy during his recovery (the substance used was LSD which was legal in the 1950’s) to help alleviate depression.
Is Ketamine Addictive?
In the 1980’s ketamine arrived as a recreational party drug (special k, vitamin k, ket, etc.) and has definitely been abused in uncontrolled settings. In 1999, ketamine was classified as a Schedule III drug which means it has a potential for abuse and addiction.
That said, ketamine can also be a powerful transformative medicine for people in addiction recovery when used responsibly in a controlled setting with trained professionals. This is why we require an initial consultation (along with a psychological and medical evaluation) for anyone who is considering ketamine therapy. We cannot overstate the importance of intention setting, proper mind-set, and a safe environmental setting. It makes all the difference.
How is Ketamine administered?
There are two ways ketamine is administered. First, is orally with lozenges. Second is intramuscularly (IM) via injection. Each session is customized for the individual and modes of administration and dosages will vary. Our medical collaborator will determine the appropriate method for you.
How Long are Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy Sessions?
Ketamine therapy sessions are typically 2-3 hours. The actual direct ketamine experience felt by individuals is between 45-90 minutes. People also tend to feel drowsy and/or slightly altered immediately following the session. Therefore, clients are not allowed to drive after sessions and must arrange for safe transportation.
Is Ketamine for Me?
Ketamine therapy is an alternative healing modality for people in addiction recovery who are seeking relief from a variety of mental health conditions and for people who want to explore personal and/or spiritual growth. The first step to determine if you are a good candidate for ketamine therapy is to schedule a complimentary 20 minute phone consultation. This will help you make an informed decision if ketamine-assisted therapy is right for you.