Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy
What is ketamine? Broadly speaking, it is a novel antidepressant with dissociative anesthetic properties, and can induce psychedelic states that offer an opening to the psyche and mental landscape within one self. It is an old medicine with newly discovered tricks. It has been used for decades as an anesthesia medication, especially helpful in children, but was discovered to have significant mind altering and mood lifting effects. Ketamine is now being used as an anti depressant and has been shown to have robust anti depressant and anti suicidal effects in various medical studies. While there are various forms of medicine, I work with primarily oral lozenges, intramuscular, and nasal spray forms of ketamine. Like with any psychedelic medicine, set and setting matter, as well as dose. It is a complicated medicine to work with, and should not be taken impulsively or without proper preparation and intention. This is where working with a skilled provider who can discuss options and treatment modalities is very important.
What is ketamine like? It is different for each person, but it provides a very inward, reflective, mind expanding experience. It helps disconnect certain parts of the brain that might be stuck on repeat, break certain patterns of neural firing that are maladaptive, and helps the brain find new paths of thinking. Importantly, it increase neuroplasticity, or the ability of the brain to grow and learn. Taken together, this means it can help you let go of ruminating, unhelpful patterns of thinking and behaviors, and then in the aftermath of the medicine session, more easily create new more functional ways of experiencing yourself and the world, and helping healthier behaviors become imprinted more firmly in your brain as you practice and utilize that neuroplastic state. It helps tremendously with that sense of “I know I should do xyz but I just can’t,” become “I actually feel what I know and now it is easier to do!” For example, many people cite references to “knowing” they are a good person and worthy of self love, to actually “feeling” this deeply, and being able to embody and act like a person who understands this deeply and shows up for themself in a loving way with more ease and compassion.
The journey itself has been written about extensively in various literature, but everyone has a unique experience. I encourage people to not overly analyze or read or set up expectations for your journey, and just be open to what your mind will show you. After all, you only have a first experience once, and a beginner's mind is such a gift. Working with a skilled practitioner also ensures you will be adequately prepared with room for exploration and growth for as many sessions as is necessary. I provide you with the education and tools personalized to you, so that you can receive what you need from your medicine experience.