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KETAMINE ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY
What is Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP)? 
hand with ketamine troche in palm

Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) is a unique approach to traditional talk therapy. KAP utilizes the medicine ketamine within the psychotherapy session in order to facilitate growth and change. These sessions usually last 2-3 hours and are conducted with a trained therapist and medical support to ensure you are well cared for throughout your experience.

Ketamine is considered a “dissociative anesthetic” due to its tendency to produce a disconnection from our usual way of feeling and experiencing.  At low doses given during a therapy session, you will experience a shift in consciousness such as an expanded state of awareness, access to novel ways of viewing life concerns, and freedom from the worries and anxieties of your ordinary mind-states. Pairing psychotherapy with ketamine offers real-time reflection on this experience to enhance growth and change.

Ketamine may, at times, facilitate psychedelic experiences such as expanded consciousness, and spiritual connection. These characteristics are similar to other psychedelic drugs that have been used successfully in psychotherapy sessions to reduce pain and distress. However, ketamine is currently the only available medication that may produce a psychedelic effect that can be used in psychotherapy. 

How will Ketamine be administered?

In my practice, ketamine is administered by sublingual (oral) dissolving tablets or intranasal spray, a strategy which may allow for psychotherapy during the treatment, and an easier experience for those who are hesitant about injections. I work collaboratively with your prescriber to use a range of dosing strategies to create a personalized approach for each client, adjusting the dose, frequency, and time in between sessions based on each individual’s needs. 

Issues that may respond to KAP include but are not limited to:

PTSD / Trauma; Depression; Anxiety; Unresolved issues from childhood; Rejoining life after a major illness; Grief & Loss; and End of Life distress related to dying.

How does ketamine work in the brain? 

 

Ketamine enhances healing in the brain through multiple pathways. A main action path for Ketamine is on the NDMA receptor site in the brain, increasing activity of the neurotransmitter glutamate. This may enhance mood, decrease anxiety, and decrease the cravings found in addiction. Neurogenesis or growth of neuronal connections within the brain can occur, along with a decrease in the inflammatory response in the brain and body. Ketamine may ultimately allow for novel connections to be made across areas of the brain that allow for change and healing to take place. This may translate in to enhanced enjoyment of life, renewed sense of connections in relationships, and elevation of positive mood.

Check out this 2 minute video that briefly describes the neuroscience of Ketamine:  https://youtu.be/kRtNsaMildw

Does ketamine have any side effects? 

Side effects are generally limited to the timespan directly after session and usually resolve quickly. These include mild nausea, dizziness, derealization, and drowsiness.

Group KAP

Group KAP is an intimate (3-4 people) experience that blends the power of group therapy and integration with ketamine. 

 

Groups include:

  • an individual assessment with me

  • medical evaluation with the prescriber

  • 1 group preparation meeting

  • 6 group ketamine sessions

  • a group closing integration session

 

During the ketamine sessions, each member self-administers the medicine at the same time, engaging in more of an internally directed experience.  We then take time afterwards for self-reflection and group integration.  The KAP Group offers a cost-effective way to engage in this work and provides a deeply supportive relational element.

 

*DEADLINE TO SIGN UP FOR FALL GROUPS IN SEPTEMBER 1, 2023

AFTER THIS DATE, PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR REFERRAL FORM TO BE CONSIDERED FOR THE NEXT GROUP SESSION 

What's the Process for KAP

1. Submit a referral form and return to me at KAPforms@protonmail.com.  

2. Once the referral form is received, I will provide an approximate timeline for service availability and schedule an initial meeting to determine suitability.  

3. If suitability for KAP services is determined, I will refer you to a collaborating professional for the medical evaluation and prescription.

 

4.  At least two (2) preparation sessions will be scheduled with me before your first session with the medicine.  Each preparation session is generally 45-60 minutes long.  I can offer some flexibility in the date/time for these appointments. 

5.  KAP sessions will be scheduled 1x/week for a period of 6-8 weeks.  Depending upon availability, these occur either Mon, Wed, or Thurs from 9am-12pm.  It will be important for you to commit to this day/time for the length of the KAP treatment.  You will need to make appropriate accommodations at work/school/home to allow for this. 

6.  Integration sessions between each KAP experience may be scheduled on an additional day.  This will depend a number of factors we will discuss prior to, and throughout, treatment.  Each integration session is generally 45-60 minutes long.  I can offer some flexibility in the date/time for these appointments. 

Additional Information

Look over the KAP Information and Informed Consent packet There's a lot here and it's all important!

Ketamine Research Round-Up

Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy: A Systematic Narrative Review of the Literature

A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of Ketamine in Borderline Personality Disorder

Ketamine and Esketamine in Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors: A Systematic Review

Adjunctive Ketamine With Relapse Prevention–Based Psychological Therapy in the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder

Combining Ketamine and Psychotherapy for the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Real-world effectiveness of ketamine in treatment-resistant depression: A systematic review & meta-analysis

Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy provides lasting and effective results in the treatment of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder at 3 and 6 months: Findings from a large single-arm retrospective effectiveness trial

Dose-related effects of ketamine for antidepressant-resistant symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder in veterans and active duty military: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled multi-center clinical trial

Evaluation of Early Ketamine Effects on Belief-Updating Biases in Patients with Treatment-Resistant Depression

overview of group kap
overview of group kap
overview of group kap
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