Guided Treatment With Medical Supervision

Psychedelic Medicine for Healing and Transformation

Integrative Psychiatry offers ketamine-assisted psychotherapy utilizing an approach that is complementary with our holistic treatment philosophy. Sublingual Ketamine is combined with Psychotherapy for optimal, individual results.

Since we use Ketamine in concert with Psychotherapy, we only use this treatment modality with people whom we know well. 

Our Approach

Based on our reading of literature and experience, we feel that Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy has a higher chance of efficacy with some populations and conditions than the IV treatment model. It is also more open to tailoring treatment to the unique characteristics of an individual. 

  • The first couple of sessions explore medical, psychological, social and spiritual history.
  • Treatment goals are identified. The MD is involved in formulating a treatment plan in tandem with the therapist. Because of the integrative approach of our clinic, sometimes treatment might also include nutrition, acupuncture and supplemental health education. 
  • After medical clearance, we plan for a treatment session with Sub-Lingual Ketamine  

Holistic and Medically Safe

As is well-documented, set and setting play a big role in the Ketamine therapy session. We have attempted to not “medicalize” this procedure and work holistically. We like to think of the Ketamine treatment as a journey, very similar to journeying that is undertaken with other psychedelics like Ayahuasca. However, at the same time we practice in a medically safe way.

A medical examination, physical examination, monitoring of vitals and psychological measures of assessment are also things that we use based on the needs of the patient. Keeping safety in mind, our MD is also certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and has available medical supplies and equipment for ensuring medical safety while administering this treatment. 

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is a substance that was first synthesized in Wayne State University in the early 1960s. It was being used as a medicine to induce anesthesia. Gradually it was discovered that at lower doses it had pain relieving attributes as well. It has recently been discovered to help with depression as well. Ketamine has also been studied for a number of mental health problems including Substance Dependencies, Depression, PTSD, Bipolar Depression and Chronic Pain. Noticing this effect, Esketamine (a form of Ketamine) was studied and then approved by FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for use in Treatment Resistant Depression. This has resulted in the efficacious use of this medicine to treat depression that has been resistant to various other traditional antidepressants.

The Molecule, Ketamine

Ketamine works in a way unlike any of the traditional antidepressants. Instead of working on Serotonin, Dopamine or Norepinephrine, it works on the NMDA and AMPA receptor. The molecule that caused the antidepressant effect of Ketamine was discovered at the University of Texas. NMDA receptor is a glutamate and ion-channel protein receptor that gets activated when glutamate and glycine bind to it. Another receptor called the AMPA also gets activated with Ketamine and is responsible for the antidepressant effect. Ketamine at low doses also interacts with the opiate receptor, hence its use in chronic pain. 

Safety studies with Ketamine

Ketamine’s high safety index was recognized early. It earned a name as the “buddy drug” in the Vietnam war. It was given to soldiers to administer to each other in case of injuries till they were transported to more intensive medical services. That fact however does not mean that Ketamine is free of side effects. Like any other medicines, it also has a list of side effects. That is why it is necessary for health care professionals to monitor its use. 

Ketamine has significantly more side effects when it is used at anesthetic doses. For mental health however Ketamine is used in sub-anesthetic doses. At these doses it can produce psychedelic effects which, without adequate preparation, can be scary. 

Ketamine can be used orally, sublingually, intravenously or intramuscularly. All of these routes of administration have their pros and cons, and different types of administration are suitable for different scenarios. 

Ketamine is being used as a mental health treatment by Anesthesiologists, Emergency room physicians and Psychiatrists. Anesthesiologists and Emergency Room physicians also use it for anesthesia and pain control during various procedures. 

The Ketamine Clinic: Pros and Cons

The Ketamine infusion clinic is becoming increasingly popular nowadays. Most of these clinics offer intravenous Ketamine, and most clinics are not run by psychiatrists. Some psychiatrists refer people to these clinics to receive a number of Ketamine treatments. The physicians or health care personnel running these clinics administer a prescribed number of Ketamine infusions in a controlled setting and then discharge the patient to the referring psychiatrist. Some Ketamine clinics also provide ongoing support through Ketamine and relational care. 

The treatment usually involves being hooked up to an IV for an hour while watching and hearing calming media. It is a medical setting that involves taking blood pressures and frequent check-ins with medical personnel. The dose is usually escalated based on tolerance with each treatment. Sometimes, but not often, a psychedelic effect is also reached in the latter. However, that is not the aim of the treatment. Typically, 6 treatments are recommended over a period of 3 weeks with each treatment running at around $500-$600. For some people a maintenance model of 1-2 treatments per week is recommended. 

Our practice believes that, although popular, Ketamine infusions treatment delivered in the absence of therapy is not preferable.

Who Can Benefit from Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy?

There are a number of people that Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy can benefit. Mutual fit between the two individuals–the person and the therapist–is a must-have for good therapeutic results.

  • Those who have experienced non-ordinary states of consciousness and as a result have had difficulty returning back to the previous defenses that they have outgrown. 
  • Those who are over relying on substances to adjust and cope with reality. 
  • Those who have unhealthy patterns of attachment to things. 
  • Those who have undergone trauma and are working on coming to terms with it.
  • Those who are thriving in life but feel the need to explore existential issues and are looking to take the next step in their development. 
  • Couples who are having difficulties with each other and want to do individual work on themselves before they can make their couple’s therapy yield better results. 
  • Those who feel stuck in traditional psychotherapy.

Services

Holistic Services Tailored For Each Person’s Individual Needs

  • Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy Consultation
    The Psychotherapy component of this treatment complements the biological effect of the medicine. The treatment frequency is decided by mutual agreement between the patient and the treatment team.
  • Integrating Session
  • 2-hour Ketamine Session

Learn more about how Holistic Medicine can help you. Call 512-766-7803 or Contact Us.

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