KETAMINE ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY
What You Need to Know about Ketamine and KAP
Ketamine is a Schedule III medication that was released in 1979 by the FDA with an indication for anesthesia. Its use in treating depression was based on an awareness of its psychedelic properties and as a legally available medicine has been used for many different reasons ever since its inception. The use of Ketamine in assisted psychotherapy is the result of a long and deep awareness of its properties for growth and liberation from suffering and being stuck. Whenever a medicine is used in a manner different than the FDA indication—anesthesia in ketamine’s case—its use is known as ‘off-label’. Countless medicines are administered off label as learning from experience of their various effects becomes known. With respect to ketamine and its exploration, there is an increasing variety of successful applications that include suicidality, agitation, depression both as the first line intervention and for treatment resistant depression, for PTSD, OCD, substance dependencies, PMS and PMDD, somatization, dissociation, pain, relationship issues, spiritual crises, existential despair, for insight and expanded awareness—ketamine’s applications keep growing as we work with it.
How Ketamine Works
Neuroscience remains in its early development and theories about ketamine’s mechanism of action remain unproven.
The best hypothesis is based on ketamine’s action on the glutamate neurotransmitter and more specifically on its block to specific N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. Ketamine’s effects take place even when some other psychiatric medications are being used—such as antidepressants and mood stabilizers. This is because the glutamate neurotransmitter system is differentiated from the dopamine and serotonin neurotransmitter systems. Successful KAP treatment may well result in the discontinuation of these other medicines.
Ketamine is rapidly metabolized and its principle effect with a single administration–and depending on dose, the sensitivity of the person, and the route of administration–ranges from 30 minutes to 75 minutes enabling for most recipients a profound experience with a relatively rapid return to functionality.
Immediate positive effects from ketamine often occur but in general there is a need for multiple sessions with KAP. Positive changes in cognition, mood, self and other awareness, reduction of stress and a broadening of consciousness often occur quickly and in the weeks that follow. Multiple sessions over months, in some cases supported by at-home sessions, tend to be the rule and a typical course of treatment extends intermittently over six months. Each person is different and there is no formula. A treatment plan will be developed with you–after getting to know you. It needs be said that KAP is a remarkably rapid treatment–as is attested to by most people who come to us and comment that they have achieved breakthroughs and improvement in their lives after years of struggle and therapy.
Ketamine’s side effects are minimal, with the most frequent being nausea and vomiting (the latter occurring in about 5% of our people). Both are treatable. Few people cannot tolerate ketamine and in those cases treatment is stopped. There is also transient hypertension. You will be evaluated by a medical doctor and receive medical clearance prior to beginning your Ketamine treatment. You will receive an extensive Informed Consent which we shall review with you and answer all your questions and concerns.