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Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP)

A Transformational Approach to Psychotherapy

What is Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy? Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) is a unique approach to traditional psychotherapy. KAP applies the medicine ketamine within a 2 hour psychotherapy session. This combination may accelerate the process of growth and change. Sessions last longer than traditional therapy, and are conducted with medical support and psychological counseling to ensure you are well cared for throughout your experience.

Why administer Ketamine within a therapy session? Ketamine was dubbed a “dissociative anesthesic” due to its tendency to produce a disconnection from our usual way of feeling and experiencing. At low doses given during a therapy session, this influence produces shifts in consciousness such as expanded states of awareness, novel ways of viewing life concerns, and freedom from the worries and anxieties of our ordinary mind-states. Psychotherapy offers real-time reflection on this experience to enhance growth and change.

Ketamine may, at times, facilitate psychedelic experiences such as expanded consciousness, and spiritual connection. These characteristics are similar to other psychedelic drugs that have been used successfully in psychotherapy sessions to reduce pain and distress. However, ketamine is currently the only available medication that may produce a psychedelic effect that can be used in psychotherapy. 

Issues that may respond to KAP include but are not limited to:

PTSD / Trauma; Depression; Anxiety; Unresolved issues from childhood; Rejoining life after a major illness; Grief & Loss; and End of Life distress related to dying.

How does ketamine work in the brain? Ketamine enhances healing in the brain through multiple pathways. A main action path for Ketamine is on the NDMA receptor site in the brain, increasing activity of the neurotransmitter glutamate. This may enhance mood, decrease anxiety, and decrease the cravings found in addiction. Neurogenesis or growth of neuronal connections within the brain can occur, along with a decrease in the inflammatory response in the brain and body. Ketamine may ultimately allow for novel connections to be made across areas of the brain that allow for change and healing to take place. This may translate in to enhanced enjoyment of life, renewed sense of connections in relationships, and elevation of positive mood.

Does ketamine have any side effects? Side effects are generally limited to the timespan directly after session and usually resolve quickly. These include mild nausea, dizziness, derealization, and drowsiness. Our medical staff will help ease any side effects that occur.

How long do treatments last? A course of KAP typically begins with an Intake session to determine if KAP is a good fit for you, and to identify treatment goals. The actual sessions may be 90 minutes to 3 hours in length. The varying length of time depends upon dose, response to the medicine, recovery time, and other factors that are discussed during the Intake session. While some patients may request a single KAP session, we recommend committing to an individualized course of treatment that may occur over several weeks. Traditional therapy focused on support, integrating insights, and identifying and reinforcing change may also be a part of the treatment process.

Why choose The Neuroscience Center for my KAP treatment?

Run by a sub-specialty trained Neuropsychiatrist for over 25 years, TNC is a local, national, and international resource for treating complex neuropsychiatric concerns. Over the past 9 years, TNC has provided innovative ketamine-based treatment for Treatment-Resistant Depression, Chronic Pain, and many other concerns. KAP is a natural extension of this expertise. TNC has full medical coverage including anesthesiology- trained nursing staff, so you are safe and cared for during your time with us.

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If you or someone you love is interested in our clinic, give us a call at 847-236-9310 or fill out the form and a member of our team will reach out.

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