Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy 101
I provide a therapeutic approach known as Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) through my partnership with Journey Clinical, an organization dedicated to this field.
KAP is a comprehensive modality that combines the use of ketamine with psychotherapy to enhance breakthroughs and long-term symptom improvement for eligible individuals.
While I focus on the psychotherapy aspect, Journey Clinical’s medical team oversees all medical aspects of the treatment. This includes evaluating eligibility, creating a personalized treatment plan, prescribing the medication, and monitoring progress.
For more details on KAP and to determine if it aligns with your needs, please find additional information below to help guide your decision-making process.
What is Ketamine?
Ketamine is a legally approved, safe, and effective medication utilized in the treatment of various mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD. It exhibits rapid-acting antidepressant and mood-enhancing properties, often manifesting within 1-2 hours after treatment and lasting up to 2 weeks.
The mechanism of ketamine involves blocking the brain’s NMDA receptors while stimulating AMPA receptors, which aids in the formation of new synaptic connections and strengthens neural circuits responsible for stress and mood regulation. Additionally, ketamine has demonstrated the ability to enhance overall neuroplasticity, leading to long-term improvements in symptoms.
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 we only use the sublingual lozenge form.
How Does Ketamine Feel?
The effects of ketamine, which most patients find pleasant, last for approximately 45 minutes. These effects can make you feel “far from” your body, and facilitate shifts in perception that can often feel expansive in nature.
Your motor and verbal abilities will be reduced, so you’ll be lying down in a comfortable position during the experience. Once these effects subsided, we’ll spend the remainder of our appointment giving you space to process and discuss your experience.
While it may feel hard to articulate what happened during the experience, clients feel like the insights gained are nonetheless clear.
Studies have shown that the benefits to mood and neurological growth can last up to two weeks after the ketamine experience.
How Does KAP Work?
Initial consultation with Journey Clinical
● You schedule an initial evaluation 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’s 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 the 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 session(s) will be scheduled just like regular therapy sessions prior to the KAP dosing session. The goal of a preparation session(s) is to align on the process and set intentions for our KAP sessions together.
KAP Dosing Session
● A typical ketamine dosing session lasts between 1-2 hours and can take place either in-person at my office, or remotely via telehealth.
● During a dosing session, you will self-administer your ketamine lozenge either in my office or in your home. 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 will meet for multiple 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.
Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy is an affordable, accessible modality. Although the medical intake and follow ups are not covered by insurance, they are eligible for out-of-network reimbursement.
Journey Clinical Medical Costs
■ Medical Intake: $250 (One time fee, reimbursable through out-of-network)
■ Follow-up Sessions: $150/Session (minimum of 1/quarter, reimbursable through out-of-network)
■ Cost of Ketamine Lozenges: $75 for approximately 4-6 lozenges (not covered by insurance)
- Yale scientists explain how ketamine vanquishes depression within hours
- An Introduction to Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy
- Why Ketamine-Assisted Therapy Has Gone Mainstream
- Ketamine’s Role in Spirituality: How One Synthetic Drug Catalyzes a Natural Experience
- Making “bad trips” good: How users of psychedelics narratively transform challenging trips into valuable experiences
- Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP): Patient Demographics, Clinical Data and Outcomes in Three Large Practices Administering Ketamine with Psychotherapy
- Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy: A Systematic Narrative Review of the Literature
- At-home, sublingual ketamine telehealth is a safe and effective treatment for moderate to severe anxiety and depression: Findings from a large, prospective, open-label effectiveness trial
- The effect of a single dose of intravenous ketamine on suicidal ideation: a systematic review and individual participant data meta-analysis
- Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy for trauma-exposed patients in an outpatient setting: A clinical chart review study
- Ketamine Psychedelic Therapy (KPT): A Review of the Results of Ten Years of Research
KAP Prep Guide
Your KAP session may include many elements, some to help you go inward, some to help you feel grounded and safe and many to help you answer the questions or explore the challenges that brought you here in the first place. In preparing for your session consider your answer to the following questions-
What are my reasons for doing KAP? Do I feel I understand my goals, and does my therapist understand them?
Do I feel like I understand the process and what to expect? Have I been clear with my therapist about my boundaries and needs?
What is my dosing plan? Do I feel comfortable and confident with how to handle the medication itself?
What are some questions I have for myself during this session?
What is something I would like to better understand or learn on a marrow deep level thanks to my session?
How flexible do I feel about my goals? Am I holding on tightly or am I willing to go where the session takes me?
What sort of mood, attitude or mindset am I hoping to cultivate before/during my session?
Are there mindful strategies that can help me get there? What sort of pre-session yoga, meditation, exercise or even favorite TV show may help prime me?
What sorts of things may help guide me during the session? Do I want to gather any totems or special objects, poems or paintings that inspire me or put together a playlist for my session?
Do I have everything I need to feel comfortable and safe? Should I put together a bag with blankets, eye mask, headphones or other items to feel comfortable?
What kinds of things help me to feel safe when I’m overwhelmed? Are there any grounding exercises or emotional distress skills I should practice?
Do I want to practice any meditation or hypnosis during my session? Am I practiced and prepared to work with these exercises?
Do I have a safe ride home, an unhurried afternoon or evening to look forward to and everything I need to recuperate and protect this sacred space after my session?
And, most importantly—
Do I need to go to the bathroom?
In case you prefer to/not to bring your own, some items I offer to my clients before/during a KAP session include;
An eye mask
A comfortable place to lay down
A speaker for music, meditation or hypnosis
Guided meditation and/or hypnosis
Tums and/or soda to settle your stomach/ rinse your mouth
A blood pressure cuff
Some items you may wish to bring include;
Personal totems; stuffed animals, family jewelry, old love letters… anything that might help you to feel safe or prime specific memories, states or experiences.
Reach Out About Ketamine Assisted Pyschotherapy in Austin
12741 Research Blvd, Suite 303, Austin, TX 78759