What You Should Know About the Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) Process:
What happens during a ketamine therapy session?
You start with a series of therapy sessions to determine your readiness for Ketamine therapy and set your goals. During the actual 3 hour Ketamine treatment session you will take a prescribed dosage of sublingual Ketamine. At the start of this session I will make sure you are grounded and ready for the medicine journey,. You will self administer the ketamine and the effects last from 45 minutes to 2 hours. At the tail end of your journey we will do some integration work. The neural plasticity effects of the Ketamine on your brain and integration continues for several days after treatment.
Ketamine has a dissociative effect. This means that it creates a separation of mind and body, also commonly referred to as an out of body experience. Ketamine has psychedelic properties and creates an altered state of consciousness, allowing the mind to be outside of its normal waking status. In this state, the mind can access subconscious information. Coupled with therapy this facilitates a speedier and deeper access to the unconscious material that once processed can help you get unstuck and flourish.
Ketamine is a powerful disruptor of limiting beliefs around ourselves and our world, allowing one to see themselves truly without all the labels and limitations. It often creates a euphoric feeling for people and many people report having a sense of oneness and connectedness to others and to something bigger than themselves. Ketamine can also allow people to revisit times or memories of trauma and reconsolidate the memories around those events in a less painful, fearful or traumatic way
Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) helps treat depression, PTSD, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. Over time, mental and physical illnesses put stress on the body, which leads to damaged synapses in the brain. Ketamine helps regenerate these neural pathways, creating the conditions for therapeutic growth and change.
Ketamine, a Schedule III medication used in assisted psychotherapy, is an off-label treatment for various chronic treatment-resistant mental health conditions. Medical professionals have used this medication as an analgesic and anesthetic agent. Today, it helps treat alcohol addiction, depression, PTSD, substance dependencies, and other psychiatric diagnoses. Additionally, it aids in the treatment of spiritual, psychological, and existential crises.
What my KAPs sessions look like:
When patients come to my office for a ketamine session, I provide somatic psychotherapy, including trauma informed skills (Somatic Experiencing Therapy). I am a trained depth therapist (Jungian) with intuitive abilities . As a Biodynamic Cranial Sacral therapist I have training in tracking internal physical states and different levels of consciousness. I understand the language of symbols and archetypes which is largely how the unconscious communicates, this can be difficult for lay persons to understand .
Your dreams are an example of communication from the unconscious. I view depth psychotherapy as a crucial part of our overall process.
Each Ketamine session lasts three hours. . During a ketamine psychotherapy session, clients will take the lozenge which activates within 15 minutes and the effects last for 40-60 minutes. The remaining time is for processing the clients experience and insights, followed by the therapeutic work of integrating the experience into the clients conscious awareness to create change in their life.
For new clients, I feel it is important and essential that we get to know each other, develop trust and a forge a therapeutic alliance. This facilitates safety for you and allows your unconscious to more readily provide the material during the Ketamine session . Prior to doing our first Ketamine session there will be 2-3 initial therapy sessions. Once we have established the necessary trust the Ketamine session protocol is 6 sessions. The exact frequency will depend on the individual.
In-Depth Psychiatric/Medical Assessment, Initial Evaluation, and Screening Intake $600
This is provided by and paid to my affiliate Psychiatric Medical team at Skylight Psychedelics. They provide 6 lozenges for use in the KAP sessions we will do in the office together. They provide medical support if needed as a result of any complications in the KAPs sesssions.
My fee for In-Office Sub-Lingual Lozenge Sessions – $800 per session ; 6 sessions are recommended for treatment. These sessions generally last between 2.5 and 3 hours.
KAP and Insurance
Please be informed that insurance, as of this time, will not explicitly cover ketamine psychotherapy fees. What we’re able to do, however, is to partially compensate our sessions according to psychotherapy coding. You may receive some form of insurance reimbursement provided that your insurance takes out of network assignment. You will file with your insurance, I do not interface with your insurance provider.
How Ketamine Works
Ketamine, when taken in a psychotherapy session, can be beneficial. The medication can stabilize patients with severe depression swiftly. Scientists from the University of Texas (UT) have identified the key protein that helps activate the rapid antidepressant effects of ketamine in the brain. Their study, published in the journal Nature, revealed that ketamine inhibits a protein responsible for an array of normal brain functions. The medication blocks the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor, an ion channel protein and glutamate receptor found in nerve cells. Inhibiting NMDA produces an initial antidepressant reaction. A metabolite found in ketamine is responsible for prolonging the effect’s duration.
People undergoing ketamine therapy can take the drug in various ways. A medical professional can inject the medication into their muscle or have the patient ingest it. My psychiatric team (Skylight Psychedelics) provides ketamine to patients in the form of a low-dose, sublingual lozenge. The dose can be adjusted after the first session.
Eligibility for Ketamine Treatment
Before you undergo ketamine therapy my psychiatric team will do an internet intake session:
• Assessment of Your Medical and Psychiatric History
You may not undergo the treatment if you belong in one (or more) of these categories:
• Nursing Mothers and Pregnant Women – Ketamine may have potentially unwanted effects on the nursing child or the fetus. Data from the study published in Nature suggests that prenatal exposure to ketamine impairs the neuronal development of the prefrontal cortex.
• Untreated Cardiovascular Problem–Hypertension, especially if it’s untreated, is a contraindication to the use of ketamine. The drug causes a rise in blood pressure. Individuals with a history of heart problem, therefore, may not be eligible to take this treatment.
• Untreated Hyperthyroidism – People with this condition should not take ketamine. The drug increases the risk of tachycardia and hypertension.
* Persons with Schizophrenia, a history of Psychosis, or Personality Disorders
I Value Your Privacy
If you are eligible and will be undergoing ketamine therapy, your records will be kept confidential. A signed release form is required if you want to allow others, such as medical professionals, to access your files.
A Disclaimer on Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy
We want to remind you that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t established the use of ketamine as “off-label” and has not certified the appropriateness of the ketamine-assisted psychotherapy. Your awareness of this information is vital to understanding any liability related to your use of the medication. Your signed, informed consent signifies your knowledge of this situation.
Your decision to go through ketamine therapy, therefore, is 100 percent voluntary. We encourage you to ask us questions before saying yes to the treatment.
My integration has felt really soft, sweet, and beautiful in so many ways... more awareness of myself, of others, of my surroundings… less emotional reactivity, less triggering responses, more empathy, more patience, more love, more of a heart-centered approach to my day-to-day existence, and in general more of an opening to life.
Melanie Murray Somatic Psychotherapy
Currently doing only Tele-therapy online for WI and TX clients
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