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  • Ketamine -Assisted Psychotherapy

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    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 rapidly-acting antidepressant and mood-enhancing effects, which can begin to take effect within 1-2 hrs. after treatment and last for up to 2 weeks. It works by blocking the brain’s NMDA receptors and 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 various ways, including IV infusion, intramuscular injection, nasal spray, and sublingual tablets. In my work with Journey Clinical, we only use the sublingual lozenge form. That means a small tablet is dissolved in your mouth. You switch it in your mouth for 10 to 12 minutes and spit it out.

    How Does Ketamine Feel?

    The effects of ketamine, which most clients find pleasant, last for approximately 1 hour. 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 lie comfortably with eye shades 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 the insights gained are clear.

    How Does Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy Work?

    1. Initial consultation with Journey Clinical

    ● You schedule an initial evaluation with a Journey Clinical medical team clinician via Zoom. They will review 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 you are eligible for KAP, they will develop a personalized Ketamine prescription and outcome monitoring plan.

    ● 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.

    2. Preparation sessions:

    ● Once you receive your ketamine lozenges, we will schedule time for our KAP preparation, dosing, and integration sessions. 

    Preparation session(s) will be scheduled just like regular therapy sessions before the KAP dosing session. Most clients need a minimum of 6 preparation sessions. This is essential for a safe, healing experience. 

    3. KAP Dosing Session:

    ● A typical ketamine dosing session lasts 3 hours and takes place remotely via telehealth. I love remote KAP sessions because there is usually no better setting for a journey than your home. In taking ketamine at home, you do not need to worry about driving home and can relax in your own space after the dosing session.

    ● During a dosing session, you will self-administer your ketamine lozenge in your home. You will be comfortable reclining, wearing an eye mask, and listening to calming music. Although a KAP dosing session may be largely an internal experience, I will be with you the entire time to hold space and provide support as needed. You will also have a chaperone (such as a friend, partner, or family member) present to ensure your safety. We will discuss all logistics together beforehand.

    4. Integration Sessions:

    ● After our KAP dosing session, we will meet for integration therapy sessions to review the memories, thoughts & insights that arose during your dosing session and to prepare for the next dosing session.

    5. 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, which is at least once per quarter.

    What is the Cost of Treatment?

    Medical intake,  follow-ups, and dosing sessions are not covered by insurance but are eligible for out-of-network reimbursement.

    Journey Clinical Medical Costs:

    First-time patients:

    ● Initial medical consultation with Journey Clinical: $250

    ● Cost of medication: $85 (enough for two sessions)

    Ongoing treatment:

    ● Follow-up medical consultation with Journey Clinical $150 (at least 1X per quarter)

    ● Cost of medication: $145 (enough for up to 6 sessions)

    Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy Costs:

    Preparations and integration sessions are 1 hour (Covered by insurance). 

    Dosing sessions are 3 hours ($540). 

    How Do I Sign Up for Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy?

    If you reside in Washington or New York and are interested in exploring the option of working with me through ketamine therapy, please arrange a complimentary consultation call to go over eligibility and the next steps.