What is Ketamine?
Ketamine is the only psychedelic medicine that is currently legal to prescribe in Massachusetts. In low doses, it has been safely used to alleviate suffering in a wide variety of conditions including depression and anxiety, post-traumatic stress syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder, addiction, eating disorders, pain syndromes, ruminative suicidality, anxiety related to the end of life, and very fruitfully for personal exploration and spiritual growth.
It can potentially contribute to the healing of the psychospiritual component of chronic complex medical conditions such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, as well as discontinuation syndromes related to psychiatric medication withdrawal. All of these conditions frequently involve activation of the limbic and autonomic nervous systems and are thus accompanied by prominent psychiatric symptoms. Ketamine soothes the limbic system and acts like a nervous system tonic.
What is Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP)?
The expanded states of consciousness induced by ketamine can amplify the healing power of psychotherapy. Ketamine stimulates neuroplasticity and acts like a sort of Miracle-Gro for the brain, particularly in the 7-10 days following a session. A typical ketamine session is 3 hours long, and a course of treatment is usually administered every seven to ten days for 4-6 weeks. This schedule and duration of treatment seem to provide the most benefit. It is not essential, however, to commit to this number of sessions before trying it yourself and seeing how it is for you.
What to Expect?
If you are not already an existing patient of mine, we would have a brief phone conversation to determine if you are eligible for this type of treatment and if it seems like this modality could be helpful to you. Then I will send you some preliminary paperwork to complete, and we would schedule a sixty-minute detailed medical and psychiatric assessment, and review the informed consent.
In a subsequent meeting in order to prepare you for the experience, we would discuss the process, your intentions, hopes and fears, and answer any questions.
We will then schedule a three-hour experiential ketamine session. I may invite my assistant to join us. The setting will be peaceful and comfortable. It can be helpful to bring along objects that hold special meaning for you or photos of beloved people, pets or places. You will lie down, and put on eye shades and headphones which will play music selected to facilitate your journey. The ketamine will be administered via a lozenge. Some patients can experience nausea from the medicine, though it is not common. After two hours the most powerful effects of the medicine will have worn off but we will continue to talk and explore, making use of your more open expanded state. You will need to have someone pick you up after the session as you may not drive home by yourself.
A follow-up meeting will be scheduled in 1-3 days in order to integrate the experience of the ketamine journey unless you already have your own therapist with whom you would prefer to meet. The integration session is essential in order to maximize the benefit of the psychedelic experience.
Subsequent to a ketamine session, I recommend cultivating those experiences and states of mind that you would like to have more of in your life. It can be helpful to engage in activities that support the integration of the psychedelic journey such as meditation, spending time in nature, creative pursuits, movement, journaling, physically decluttering your space and just daydreaming.
Reclaiming Your True Nature or Authentic Self
Ketamine can help reclaim what Internal Family Systems Therapy refers to as the “Core Self”, who we truly are when all of our sub-personalities, or parts, are integrated. When a person is healed, they have increased access to their Core Self. The Core Self is characterized by the 8 C’s: confidence, calmness, creativity, clarity, curiosity, courage, compassion, and connectedness, as well as the 5 P’s: presence, patience, perspective, persistence, and playfulness. During these times of accelerated change when people feel so vulnerable, helpless, and fearful, connection with the Core Self fosters resilience, empowerment, and joy.
KAP offers the possibility to support a fuller embodiment and expression of who one truly is.
Initial 90-minute evaluation: $ 800
Preparatory 60 minute session: $350
Three-Hour Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy Session: $800
Subsequent 60-minute Integration Session: $350