Learning from the past; updating your future
After decades of neglect and relegation to illicit partying, psychedelics are, once again, being researched for their enormous potential to heal anxiety, depression, distress and addictions. Ketamine assisted psychotherapy is finding its rightful place in scientific thinking. Psych Garden has kept at the leading tip of this wave, and is poised to use MDMA, psilocybin, ibogaine and other medications as they become licensed.
For now, we use ketamine, which has extensive evidence for safe and effective treatment. We leverage ketamine within an intense psychotherapy to relax prior habitual ways of thinking and update the nervous system with new motivation, capacity to feel joy and outlook.
What is psychedelic assisted therapy?
KAP is, above all, an intensive psychotherapy that gets to core feelings and rewires emotional memories. We are not an infusion clinic. Ketamine lowers anxiety and helps us bypass defenses, giving us access to deep feelings. At one time we needed the protection of defenses and anxiety, but today they are activated automatically, underneath our awareness, and keep us stuck. Once they are soothed, a natural healing orientation is released.
Researchers have called this ‘inner healing intelligence’, but we think of it as a human’s innate orientation to healing, connection, empowerment and curiosity, so clear in childhood but stifled in difficult or traumatic development. KAP certainly also has a psychedelic component, that releases us from those stuck pathways, probably through temporary modulation of a specific serotonergic gate; and it also enhances new learning through glutamine mechanisms, so that we can quickly learn new habits.
Who can benefit from KAP?
Psych Garden’s treatment model can help individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, addiction, and other rigid psychological patterns to heal. Our team of psychopharmacologists and psychotherapists will work collaboratively to identify and reach your goals. There are now several robust studies showing effectiveness in the treatment of alcohol dependence, trauma and depression. This is not an FDA approved treatment. There are no studies comparing intravenous clinics with KAP. We believe this is more effective, alongside many of our patients and many other patients across the world who have benefited from this approach.
With focused work, together with a highly-trained therapist, KAP opens up pathways to significant and rapid change.
The journeying part of a ketamine session lasts 40-60 mins but the development of clear intentions, a sense of security requires preparation. And the – sometimes startling – revelations are integrated in subsequent sessions. An effective treatment may require 4-12 sessions, depending on the issues, embedded in prep and integration work. We typically use lozenges, which are easier to administer. Sometimes we use intramuscular administration.
Use in psychiatry & addictions treatment
Most psychological interventions and addiction treatments, whether they are medication-assisted or not, have the following four goals:
- To stop use,
- eliminate withdrawal,
- eliminate cravings,
- and, if people do use opioids, to block the ability to get high.
A KAP session generally lasts three hours and includes:
- The participant and therapist discussing goals, intentions, concerns, and any leftover material from previous sessions. These may include specific drug and alcohol cues in the treatment of addictions.
- The ketamine medicine experience (by oral lozenge or intramuscular injection)
- The participant and therapist processing the material and emotions which have arisen during the experience as the participants emerges from the ketamine experience.