What is ketamine assisted therapy and how can it help?
Psychedelic assisted therapy emerged as a treatment for depression, anxiety, PTSD and other mental health problems in the last few years. I learned about it years ago when I read Michael Pollan’s book, How to Change Your Mind (highly recommended) about his own journeys with psychedelics. The theory: psychedelics can help free you from feeling stuck in negative mind loops that characterize depression and anxiety. Research has supported this. Hundreds of studies indicate the potential of psychedelic assisted therapy to help people with problems ranging from anxiety about death to PTSD from childhood trauma.
Ketamine Assisted Therapy
One psychedelic assisted therapy that’s currently safe and legal in NY is ketamine assisted therapy. In the past, a friend of mine struggled with severe, treatment resistant depression as a result of a long battle with cancer. This friend had severe suicidality, despite years of talk therapy and medications as prescribed by his psychiatrist. But then he tried ketamine assisted therapy. He told me that this was the only treatment that lifted his depression. It was like a miracle, and I felt so happy for him that he had found it.
Thanks to my friend’s experience, I decided to pursue additional training in psychedelic assisted therapy through Fluence and Journey Clinical. I’m now offering ketamine assisted therapy in my practice through a partnership with Journey Clinical.
If you’re interested in ketamine assisted therapy and working with me, I can refer you to Journey, where a licensed medical professional will evaluate you and prescribe the ketamine if it’s appropriate. Then we can then schedule a time for you to take the ketamine in my office, with processing the experience before and after (usually about 3 hours).
Preparation and integration remains an important part of this process. We meet for several sessions before your ketamine dose, and several sessions after in order to help you make the most of the experience.
Taking ketamine in conjunction with therapy makes its effects more lasting. You can overcome blocks to living a creative and fulfilling life. If you feel stuck or have tried other therapies without much success, this could help. Although plenty of people have experiences with ketamine recreationally, the therapeutic context offers a more long-lasting change.
What’s next in the psychedelic assisted therapy world?
Hopefully in the future, MDMA and psilocybin (mushroom) assisted therapy will become available to clients as well, as a lot of research now supports those as treatments for depression, anxiety and PTSD. For more on that, check out the work of MAPS – the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies.
Feel free to reach out for a free consultation if you’re interested in individual, couples or ketamine assisted therapy.