What Is Ketamine?

How Do I Use Ketamine In My Practice, KAP?

Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic promoting a hypnotic or dreamlike state. It’s one of the most widely used drugs in modern medicine. It’s used in many hospitals and medical offices because of its rapid onset, proven safety, and short duration of action.

Now Ketamine is an evidence based medication that can be used to accelerate psychotherapy.

The rate at which someone can reach a breakthrough and learn how to heal negative beliefs is far quicker in this hypnotic, dreamlike state.

 

Why I Use Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy, KAP

In the last two decades, ketamine has become a cutting edge tool for various mental health challenges. Things like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal ideation, post substance abuse, and OCD. Well documented evidence and my own client’s progress with KAP make it an important consideration in psychotherapy.

My clients and I find ketamine can accelerate the therapeutic process. Clients participating in KAP often report feeling more optimistic and hopeful after the first session. Individuals are able to access deeper, more difficult psychological information without stress and in less time than with traditional therapy. For many, KAP can address issues in 3-4 months that can otherwise take years to address.

 

 During normal, waking life, we have defense mechanisms in the mid brain that serve to keep us safe.  These defense mechanisms move  unpleasant or intolerable memories, emotions, and other negative feelings, to our unconscious where we can’t readily access them.  They can be the underlying cause of daily stress and unhelpful behaviors. Ketamine can break down those defense mechanisms and open up this unconscious information.

KAP utilizes the information from the unconscious, while maintaining conscious awareness. Working in this state tends to lead to a disruption of negative feelings and preoccupations. KAP clients are able to experience temporary relief from daily stress, concerns and the noise from the ordinary mind. This  interruption allows for the exploration of other possible states of consciousness and can lead to significant shifts in overall well-being with concurrent counseling.

How Ketamine Helps

Ketamine can interfere with the part of our brain that is creating the distress. When these dysfunctional neural pathways are shutdown we are free to experience what if feels like to be safe, comfortable, at ease, even hopeful. We are able to access our rational neocortex. With the help of ketamine, an environment is created in our brain that nourishes the creation of more helpful neural pathways. We can actually begin to “rewire” our brains towards wellness.

 

 

New neural pathways are very weak and must be strengthened by repeated use. They can fail to replace deeply entrenched dysfunctional patterns of thinking or behaving because the entrenched patterns are more like a giant neural cable, compared to a new pathway’s thread. By doing repeated sessions over a period of months, we give your brain the best chance to integrate, and strengthen the new insights for lasting, fundamental shifts toward health.  I believe my therapy is unique because I pair KAP with Somatic Psychotherapy which also works in the limbic system. These therapies, together, strengthen the possibility of durable, life changing, and healthy neural pathways.

 

What Does A KAP Session Look Like?

I facilitate the client’s ketamine “journey” in a specific set and setting in my office. It usually includes headphones with music from a specific playlist, eye mask, and a comfortable recliner.

Clients dissolve the prescribed ketamine tablet in their mouth at the beginning of our psychotherapy session. The client simply observes what comes up during the ketamine experience. We process insights and find ways to integrate what may have come up during the journey. Sessions are usually scheduled for two hours.

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