“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again.”
Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy
Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) is a form of Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy, which is being studied within institutions such as Johns Hopkins , NYU, Stanford, Imperial College of London, Usona Institute, and the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. Some research universities, including Yale, have created specialized groups of clinicians and scholars who gather regularly to discuss psychedelic medicine. One such group, for which I am a member, resides at URMC, where the March 2021 Grand Rounds featured Roland Griffiths from Johns Hopkins presenting on the neuropsychopharmacology of psilocybin.
Ketamine has been used as an anesthetic since 1970. At lower doses, it can act as a dissociative psychedelic. Studies reveal ketamine’s antidepressant effects with FDA approval of eskatamine/Spravado (a nasal spray) for refractory (treatment resistant) depression in 2019.1,2,3
Currently, ketamine is being used off-label to treat an array of psychiatric diagnoses. 4 In recent years, ketamine infusion clinics have cropped up across the country. This IV (infusion) model differs from KAP and this distinction is described eloquently by Dr. Raquel Bennett, founder of KRIYA Institute. In short, KAP’s effectiveness derives mainly from psychological effects facilitated by an altered state of consciousness within a trusting therapeutic relationship. It is my belief that this inner transformation gets to the root of suffering (i.e., accesses our innate trove of healing intelligence).
KAP involves a long-term commitment of multiple sessions and at least two specially trained practitioners (therapist and medical prescriber). Initial therapy sessions with me are geared towards building a therapeutic alliance, making therapeutic progress, intention setting, preparation, and harm reduction. A one-hour intake with a medical prescriber addresses medical history and other factors to determine the appropriateness of taking this medicine. Individualized dosing and specific instructions for oral ketamine are provided by the prescriber, after which a three-hour psychotherapy session is scheduled with me, followed by “integration” therapy sessions in the days/weeks to follow.
For the ketamine session, I provide eyeshades, pillows, blankets, snacks post-session, and music curated specifically for the ketamine experience. Music is an important element of the session, as explained by Mendel Kaelen.
If you are interested, please thoroughly read/view the information/links on this page and contact me if you would like to be put on the waitlist for a consultation.
- 1. Gregor Hasler (2019). Toward specific ways to combine ketamine and psychotherapy in treating depression. Cambridge University Press, 25 (3), 445-447. doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1092852919001007
- 2. Dore et al. (2019). Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP): Patient demographics, clinical data and outcomes in three large practices administering ketamine with psychotherapy. Psychoactive Drugs, 51(2) 189-198. doi:10.1080/02791072.2019.1587556
3. Lee, E. et al. (2015). Ketamine as a novel treatment for major depressive disorder and bipolar depression: a systematic review and quantitative meta-analysis. General Hospital Psychiatry, 37(2), 178-184, doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2015.01.003
4. Jones, J. et all. (2018). Efficacy of Ketamine in the Treatment of Substance Use Disorders: A Systematic Review. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 9(277), doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00277
- Podcast with Dr. Sylver Quevedo: Psychedelic Assisted Therapies . Learn how different psychedelic medicines (ketamine, MDMA, psilocybin) work to alleviate mental health conditions/symptoms.
Podcast with Veronika Gold (KAP therapist) on Ketamine & The Healing Potential of Non-Ordinary States of Consciousness.