Ketamine therapy is being used in conjunction with psychotherapy to help clients struggling with treatment-resistant mood disorders and has been found especially effective in treating depressive disorders. Ketamine is also used to treat several other issues, including PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), anxiety, trauma, pain, substance use, and other addictive disorders. Ketamine can be particularly helpful for people who are “stuck” or have tried many different medications or treatments without significant or long-term benefits or relief from their mental health disorder(s).
I work with Stefany Wolfsohn, MD (board-certified anesthesiologist, see www.ketaminemed.com ). She will manage the Ketamine medication and medical process of the infusion or other processes of ingestion. As a licensed psychologist providing Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy (KAP), I collaborate with and support clients in the therapeutic process. I provide KAP before, during, and after the Ketamine treatment to ensure the client’s best chances of success. This occurs by establishing safety and trust, a clear informed consent process, discussing intentions and goals, as well as taking time for the process of integration after the Ketamine session.
Clients are informed of risks and benefits and are also screened by myself and Dr. Wolfsohn to ensure their safety. Ketamine treatment is safe and FDA-approved. KAP may result in a variety of experiences including feeling a wide range of feelings and emotions. This can range from sadness, confusion, joy, fear, euphoria, elation, acceptance, and/or deep connection to others, the “Self,” and the universe to name a few. We may discuss core or traumatic issues during KAP, based on your interest and comfort level. Before the start of each KAP session, we will discuss your intention and we will also process the experience afterward to more fully integrate different insights and meanings of the experience.
Ketamine works by modulating the glutamate receptors in the brain. It binds to the NMDA receptors in the brain and floods your system with glutamate. Ketamine helps to open up different areas of the brain to help improve mood. Ketamine is a pattern disruptor. It helps to slow down thinking and shift perspective. It can be like a reset or reboot of ourselves.
KAP, like all psychotherapy, should be related to as a process. The issues that most clients have been working on have likely been developing for some time and there is not necessarily a miracle cure. There are benefits and potential risks to any type of psychotherapy, including KAP. Benefits may include a decrease in symptoms associated with mental and emotional disorders, enhanced mood and functioning, acquisition and increase in coping skills, improved communication skills and affect regulation, deeper insight into unconscious drives and defenses, and processing of trauma and grief, to name a few of the possible benefits. Possible risks include an increase in symptoms and maladaptive functioning associated with psychological, emotional, and behavioral disorders, usually temporary, and in response to accessing and exploring repressed or uncomfortable emotions, thoughts, or experiences for processing, integrating, and ultimately reducing their negative impact.
With Ketamine treatment, most people experience feeling calmer, more at one with others, and more peaceful. Some people feel this way for days. It is possible to feel like you are in a dream state and you can take a more expansive view of life or your consciousness.
You may experience a sense of timelessness and may feel more connected to your “Self,” others, the world, and the universe. You may feel a sense of purpose and can learn to be open to the process of life and the experience of your life unfolding before you.
If this sounds like something that may be helpful to you, please don’t hesitate to contact me today for a no-obligation, free consultation. I look forward to speaking with you.