I offer a therapeutic modality called Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) in partnership with an organization called Journey Clinical.
Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) is a holistic modality in which Ketamine is used as a complement to psychotherapy to help eligible clients experience more frequent breakthroughs and sustained improvement in symptoms. I take on the psychotherapy portion of the experience, while Journey Clinical’s medical team supports you on all medical aspects. This includes determining eligibility, developing a custom treatment plan, prescribing the medicine and monitoring outcomes. Below is more information about KAP to help you navigate if it may be a good fit for you.
What is Ketamine?
Ketamine is a legal, safe, and effective medicine used to treat a variety of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety and PTSD. Ketamine has a rapidly-acting antidepressant and mood-enhancing effects, which can begin to take effect within 1-2 hours after treatment. It works by blocking the brain’s NMDA receptors as well as by stimulating AMPA receptors, which are thought to help form new synaptic connections and boost neural circuits that regulate stress and mood. Ketamine has also been shown to enhance overall neuroplasticity for lasting symptom improvement.
Ketamine can be administered in a variety of ways, including IV infusion, intramuscular injection, via nasal spray and using sublingual lozenges. In my work with Journey Clinical and for all current KAP sessions offered through Denver Colorado Counseling, we only use sublingual lozenge form.
What Does Ketamine Feel Like?
It is difficult to describe what any single person’s ketamine experience will be like, though many people report a feeling of disconnection with their body and/or ordinary mental processes. Individuals’ responses to these experiences may vary, but they are often reported to as “mystical”, “blissful”, or “peaceful”. During these experiences, individuals may also recall emotions or memories that have been long-neglected or been held unconsciously. Individuals often develop insight about themselves and the problems they are experiencing which allow for greater capacity to change their behavioral and emotional patterns.
Simply put, the union of ketamine and psychotherapy offer a unique combination of changing biology for better psychological functioning while simultaneously developing, integrating, and utilizing those changes.
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 available medication that may produce a psychedelic effect that can be used in psychotherapy.
How Does Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) Work?
Initial consultation with me:
- You schedule a session with me to explore what you’re hoping to work on, and we also explore whether we are a good match for each other. This is a standard psychotherapy intake session.
Initial consultation with Journey Clinical:
- You schedule an initial evaluation meeting with a clinician from the Journey Clinical Medical team via Zoom. They will go over your medical and psychiatric history with you, provide education on the treatment and determine if you are eligible for KAP.
- If Journey Clinical Medical team determines that you are eligible for KAP, they will develop a personalized Ketamine prescription and outcome monitoring plan for you.
- Journey Clinical’s medical staff will write a Ketamine prescription for you, and a small amount of oral Ketamine will be sent to your home, enough for your first 2 KAP sessions.
- You will be taught to take your vitals and self-administer the Ketamine Lozenges by Journey Clinical’s medical team in advance of our KAP sessions.
- Once you receive your Ketamine Lozenges, we will schedule time together for our KAP preparation, dosing, and integration sessions. Preparation sessions will be scheduled just like regular therapy sessions prior to the KAP dosing session. The goal of preparation sessions is to align on the process and set intentions for our KAP sessions together.
KAP Dosing Session:
- A typical Ketamine dosing session lasts between 2-3 hours and takes place at my office in the Highlands neighborhood of Denver.
- During a dosing session, you will self-administer you Ketamine lozenge in my office. You will be in a comfortable, reclining position wearing an eye mask and listening to calming music. Although a KAP dosing session may be largely an internal experience, I will be present with you the entire time to hold space and provide support as needed.
- After our KAP dosing session, we meet for several integration therapy sessions to review the memories, thoughts & insights that arose during your dosing session, and to prepare for the next dosing session.
Follow-up consultations with Journey Clinical:
- After our first KAP session, Journey Clinical’s medical team schedules regular follow ups with you to monitor outcomes and prescribe Ketamine lozenge refills, as appropriate. The frequency of follow ups depends on your unique treatment plan, at a minimum of once per quarter.