If you are looking for a different way to work with conditions such as depression or feelings of being lost…
...if you are searching for a new approach to navigate your process of self-discovery and healing...
...if you are ready to rethink old patterns and step into who you are becoming...
Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy might be right for you.
What is Ketamine?
Ketamine is a psychoactive drug with a history of safe use since the 1970s as an anesthetic in medical settings, and the World Health Organization considers ketamine to be among the safest medicines. Ketamine can also serve as a tool in the treatment of various mental health conditions, including depression, and to support psycho-spiritual exploration. Ketamine has been used for more than 20 years in the off-label treatment of depression, chronic pain, and other mental health challenges.
How Does a Ketamine Experience Feel?
Some people describe the ketamine experience as tapping into a 30,000 foot view of their life. At moderate doses ketamine can induce psychedelic experiences, which can feel as light as a gentle, trance-like state to a deeper sensory experience or mystical journey, and can increase a person’s feelings of openness. Ketamine can soften our normal psychological defenses and entrenched patterns of reacting.
A ketamine therapy session lasts for approximately 2 hours. During the therapy, clients recline in a comfortable therapy room, with the therapist / coach sitting by their side. An Enduring Love provides everything needed to create a comfortable space, including pillows, blankets, eye shades, and music for the session. Clients can also bring any of their own items from home. During the therapy session, clients lie on a couch and listen to music designed to support their inner journey. The therapist or coach remains with the client for their entire session to ensure their safety and offer support when needed. Generally clients begin to feel the initial effects of the ketamine within 15-20 minutes, with the full experience lasting approximately 45-60 minutes thereafter. The lingering effects of ketamine will dissipate over the next 1-2 hours. At the end of a ketamine experience, while clients will no longer experience the predominant effects of the medicine, An Enduring Love requires that patients arrange a ride home after their sessions.
An Enduring Love trusts deeply in this therapy process and that it allows for clients to discover their own inner wisdom towards healing.
How is Ketamine Taken?
At An Enduring Love, we work with low dose ketamine lozenges (similar to hard candies) or a moderate dose intramuscular injection.
Which Conditions Can Ketamine Treat?
Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy can treat people experiencing depression, bipolar depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other forms of emotional pain and distress. Studies show that multiple ketamine treatments over a period of time can alleviate symptoms of treatment-resistant depression for 30-60% of individuals.
Ketamine can also be used to address other forms of psychological distress due to physical or life-threatening illnesses, problematic substance use, anxiety, and existential dread. Ketamine may help those suffering from emotional distress related to questions of purpose, meaning, disconnection, or spirituality.
How Does Ketamine Benefit Psychotherapy?
Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy combines traditional talk therapy with the use of ketamine in a safe and supportive setting. Ketamine is presently the only legally available psychedelic medicine (other than cannabis) for clinical use.
The psychedelic effects of ketamine enhance talk therapy by allowing for greater exploration of the unconscious mind, which can lead to deeper insights and opportunities for healing within oneself. Ketamine experiences can also lead to a deepening of a spiritual dimension in one’s life.
Many people experience difficulty in traditional therapy sessions revisiting past painful emotions or events in their lives. Our bodies tense up, fear increases, and our fight-or-flight response kicks in. We might even go into panic mode. Ketamine can have the effect of softening those typical responses so that we can stay with a difficult memory longer and with greater ease, new perspective, and fresh insight. For individuals with persistent stuck patterns of negative thinking, ketamine can offer a moment of relief from the ordinary mind.
At An Enduring Love, we believe that each of us has the answers we are seeking for our lives. We all have access to an inner intelligence that wants to move towards discovery and healing. Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy can be a powerful tool for accessing the answers, awareness, and insights that already exist within you.
Our Approach To Ketamine-Assisted Therapy
At An Enduring Love, getting started with ketamine therapy begins with a free 25-minute phone consultation. This consultation gives potential new clients an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about how we practice ketamine-assisted therapy.
Next, potential clients schedule an appointment with one of our prescribing partners to determine if ketamine is a safe and appropriate treatment. During that medical appointment they will determine if ketamine-assisted therapy is indicated for your particular life situation. The prescribing partner will also recommend the dose, frequency, and route of administration.
Clients also meet with Dr. Rob (registered psychotherapist) or Dr. Shannon (spirituality / life coach) who will prepare clients for the ketamine therapy experience. The therapy process begins with several preparatory sessions that are meant to build a sense of trust and safety between the client and therapist / coach. They also aim to explore clients’ intentions and purpose for seeking ketamine-assisted therapy, and to discuss strategies for engaging in a deep inner-directed journey. An Enduring Love recommends a minimum of 2 to 3 preparation sessions.
A ketamine therapy appointment is a 2-hour session, where the therapist / coach remains with the client for the entire session to ensure their safety and offer support when needed. The client reclines on a couch in a comfortable room during their ketamine experience; listening to music that supports their journey. An Enduring Love deeply trusts this therapeutic process of non-guided, inner-journeying and believes that a client’s core issues will come up during their sessions. At An Enduring Love, we provide a space of comfort, compassion, safety, and presence, which allows clients to feel supported while exploring the dimensions of their self and being the experts of their own inner healing.
In between ketamine therapy sessions, integration sessions are held to help clients anchor the insights gained from their ketamine session into their regular waking life. An Enduring Love recommends at least one integration session between ketamine therapy sessions. An Enduring Love believes that integration is an essential piece of ketamine-assisted psychotherapy and that it aids in creating longer-lasting, positive effects and more meaningful changes in clients’ lives.
For most clients, prescribers recommend completing at least 3 ketamine therapy sessions, in addition to the introductory preparation sessions and post-ketamine treatment integration sessions. Research indicates that the benefits of ketamine-assisted therapy tend to accumulate over multiple sessions, where the therapy process goes on for several months.
How Much Does Ketamine-assisted Therapy Cost?
A standard ketamine-assisted therapy regimen (consisting of 2 introductory sessions followed by three groups of ketamine and integration sessions -- 8 total sessions) costs $1,540. Clients also need a medical evaluation to determine if ketamine is indicated for them, which can range from $150-$375.
We aim to offer ketamine-assisted therapy in an accessible and affordable way for any person who might benefit from it. If finances are a significant barrier for you, schedule a complimentary consultation to explore how we might be able to work within your financial means.
Do Patients Have Difficult Experiences Or “Bad Trips” In Ketamine Therapy?
The idea of having a psychedelic experience that feels difficult and out of control is enough to make some fearful of consuming psychedelic compounds. While it is not possible to predict the experience that people will have on ketamine, in therapeutic settings it is not common for clients to have overall lasting negative experiences due to the supporting and structured environment. Bad experiences with ketamine and other psychedelic medicines are more prevalent when people consume high doses of ketamine without proper preparation, support, or guidance. For most people doing ketamine-assisted therapy with a supportive therapist / coach, even a difficult experience during a ketamine therapy session is not usually viewed later to be a bad experience.
Ketamine is admired for its ability to help people have new experiences and insights. When clients explore their emotions and psyche in ketamine-assisted therapy sessions, painful or intense memories can come up. If difficult experiences arise in ketamine sessions it is important for clients to consider that the difficult sensations and feelings are the body’s way of alerting that an experience needs to be processed and worked through, and that difficult experiences often lead to healing and growth. Uncomfortable feelings generally pass, and the therapist / coach is always there to provide support and guidance to the journeyer. Integration sessions provide an opportunity for clients to process their experiences and learn strategies to relax more deeply into the insights that come up during ketamine sessions.
Our office in Old Town, Fort Collins provides a comfortable, supportive environment for clients to feel safe to explore whatever comes up for them during a ketamine therapy session.
Can Difficult Experiences During Ketamine Sessions Cause Long-Term Harm To Patients?
While difficult experiences during ketamine therapy sessions can feel uncomfortable in the moment, typically they are temporary and can be processed with the support of the therapist / coach. Some other ketamine therapy providers operate under a model that includes little to no preparation and integration sessions and little contact with a supportive therapist throughout the whole process. It is possible that clients who are ill-supported before, during, and after ketamine sessions may find themselves feeling unstable or with increased anxiety in the days and weeks following ketamine sessions. At An Enduring Love, we are committed to partnering with clients and providing support to them every step of the way to maximize the potential for their durable long-term growth and healing.
Does Ketamine Treatment Work For Most People That It Is Indicated For?
Ketamine therapy can be a useful tool for people who are stuck in depression or other stubborn mental health conditions. Studies show that multiple ketamine treatments over a period of time can alleviate symptoms of treatment-resistant depression for 30-60% of individuals -- that is, 30-60% of people who were unable to be helped by traditional treatments for depression had their symptoms alleviated using ketamine therapy. The effects of ketamine and its long-term effectiveness depends on many factors, including dose, route of administration, frequency of sessions, set and setting, proper preparation and integration, and the quality of the relationship with the therapist.
Clients should also keep in mind that ketamine-assisted therapy is not a cure-all. Ketamine therapy is a tool that should be used in conjunction with a comprehensive lifestyle and therapy plan that includes diet, sleep, exercise, and other nourishing practices. At An Enduring Love we help clients to understand and create a plan to address healing in the bigger picture of their lives.