Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP)
Ketamine is a prescription medication primarily used to treat psychiatric problems, namely treatment-resistant depression, addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As an anesthetic, the smaller doses of ketamine used in psychotherapy can induce a dreamlike state that makes it easier to process information trapped in your unconscious. By processing unconscious memories and their emotional imprints, you can heal from long-term trauma and begin to find greater freedom from painful symptoms.
What Is Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy?
You may notice ketamine mentioned alongside other types of psychedelic psychotherapies. However, there are important differences. Ketamine relaxes parts of your brain while psychedelics override them. The result is a more relaxed, trance-like state that allows you to tap into a greater awareness within yourself.
During KAP, your therapist will walk you through topics you have agreed to talk about. You are not ever forced to explore subjects you are not comfortable with. Rather than focusing on the effects of the drug, this type of therapy harnesses the power of expanded awareness to help disrupt https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/tripping-20/202108/should-you-try-ketamine-therapy ruminative patterns, correct negative thinking and release stored trauma.
What Is Ketamine-Assisted Therapy Used For?
The most common mental health issues ketamine therapy assists with are treatment-resistant depression, addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder. Ryan Hicks, LPC, LMFT, is the only therapist at Foundations Family Counseling who offers ketamine-assisted psychotherapy. Before treatment ever begins, you will meet with Ryan to discuss whether ketamine is a good fit for you. After a video consultation, you will be referred to a medical prescriber who will review your medical history and health records to assure that taking ketamine won’t cause any negative effects or interact with medications you already take.
What Happens During Ketamine Therapy?
Patients meet with Ryan twice per week. One session will happen under ketamine while the second, called an “Integration Session”, focuses on discussing, integrating, and processing insights that arose during the first session. The first session of the week lasts longer than typical talk therapy in order to let the medicine take effect and allow you to safely come down before leaving. People have a broad range of experiences while taking ketamine. While some people experience what we think of as a typical psychedelic experience, others experience a more “psycholytic” effect; which is often described as a trance-like state in which barriers to doing therapeutic work seem to go away.
During KAP, Ryan also has contact with your doctor and regular therapist to make sure your treatment is being integrated throughout your life. Contact between sessions helps you keep implementing positive changes without feeling the need to restart all over again each week.
Is Ketamine-Assisted Therapy Right for You?
If you would like to learn more about ketamine therapy, please contact Ryan Hicks at Foundations Family Counseling today. Even if you discover ketamine is not the best match for your problems, we offer a variety of alternative psychotherapies that can help. We will always do our best to suggest the right form of treatment for whatever you’re coping with.
Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy Resources
- Resetting the Brain and Mind with Ketamine
- How Ketamine Helps Me to Chase the Muse and Transcend the Blues
- Reviewing the Potential of Psychedelics for the Treatment of PTSD
- A Proof-of-Concept Study of Subanesthetic Intravenous Ketamine Combined With Prolonged Exposure Therapy Among Veterans With Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
- Why the Clinical Use of Psychedelics May Heal Sexual Trauma
- Forgetting Can be Healthy: Dissociation Is Not Always a Mental Illness
- Attitudes and Beliefs about the Therapeutic Use of Psychedelic Drugs among Psychologists in the United States
- Ketamine Psychedelic Psychotherapy: Focus on its Pharmacology, Phenomenology, and Clinical Applications
- Peak experiences and the afterglow phenomenon: When and how do therapeutic effects of hallucinogens depend on psychedelic experiences?