Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) is a unique approach to traditional psychotherapy. KAP applies the medicine ketamine within a psychotherapy session. This combination may accelerate the process of growth and change. Sessions last longer than traditional therapy, and are conducted with medical support and psychological counseling to ensure you are well cared for throughout your experience.
Ketamine was dubbed a “dissociative anesthetic” due to its tendency to produce a disconnection from our usual way of feeling and experiencing. At low doses given during a therapy session, this influence produces shifts in consciousness such as expanded states of awareness, novel ways of viewing life concerns, and freedom from the worries and anxieties of our ordinary mind-states. Psychotherapy offers real-time reflection on this experience to enhance growth and change.
Ketamine may, at times, facilitate psychedelic experiences such as expanded consciousness, and spiritual connection. These characteristics are similar to other psychedelic drugs that have been used successfully in psychotherapy sessions to reduce pain and distress. However, ketamine is currently the only FDA approved available medication that may produce a psychedelic effect that can be used in psychotherapy.
Ketamine was FDA approved for civilian use in 1970 as an anesthetic and since then, has been safely used around the world during surgical procedures and to manage peri- operative pain. As time progressed, doctors documented cases of significant reduction in psychological distress post- exposure (its first everyday use was on the battlefield), and the medical community began to use ketamine as a successful treatment for issues such as depression, bipolar disorder, addictions, suicidal thoughts, pain, and other concerns. Psychiatric symptoms tend to respond quite quickly to ketamine compared with more traditional psychiatric medications, making it an important breakthrough in the treatment of mental health issues. The Neuroscience Center (TNC) has been using ketamine-based treatment to successfully treat complex neuropsychiatric conditions for over 9 years.
Ketamine enhances healing in the brain through multiple pathways. A main action path for Ketamine is on the NDMA receptor site in the brain, increasing activity of the neurotransmitter glutamate. This may enhance mood, decrease anxiety, and decrease the cravings found in addiction. Neurogenesis or growth of neuronal connections within the brain can occur, along with a decrease in the inflammatory response in the brain and body. Ketamine may ultimately allow for novel connections to be made across areas of the brain that allow for change and healing to take place. This may translate in to enhanced enjoyment of life, renewed sense of connections in relationships, and elevation of positive mood.
Side effects are generally limited to the timespan directly after session and usually resolve quickly. These include mild nausea, dizziness, derealization, and drowsiness. Our medical staff will help ease any side effects that occur.
A course of KAP typically begins with an Intake session to determine if KAP is a good fit for you, and to identify treatment goals. The actual sessions may be 90 minutes to 3 hours in length. The varying length of time depends upon dose, response to the medicine, recovery time, and other factors that are discussed during the Intake session. While some patients may request a single KAP session, we recommend committing to an individualized course of treatment that may occur over several weeks. Traditional therapy focused on support, integrating insights, and identifying and reinforcing change may also be a part of the treatment process.
Run by a sub-specialty trained Neuropsychiatrist for over 25 years, The Neuroscience Center is a local, national, and international resource for treating complex neuropsychiatric concerns. Over the past 9 years, TNC has provided innovative ketamine-based treatment for Treatment-Resistant Depression, Chronic Pain, and many other concerns. KAP is a natural extension of this expertise.
The Neuroscience Center has full medical coverage including anesthesiology-trained nursing staff, so you are safe and cared for during your time with us. And we have additional state-of-the-art evaluation and treatment modalities you may decide to pursue including.
If other treatments haven’t worked for you, give us a call at 847-236-9310 or fill out the form and a member of our team will reach out. Ketamine Therapy may help you find the lifestyle you’ve wanted.