What is Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy?
Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy (KAP) is an innovative approach to mental health treatment that differs from traditional therapy. At Three Rivers Wellness, we use KAP to address a number of treatment-resistant conditions like depression, PTSD, OCD, anxiety, and more.
The differentiating factor in KAP is the use of ketamine infusions to accentuate and enhance the therapeutic session. Likewise, therapy can enhance the positive effects of ketamine infusion.
Though effective on their own, ketamine infusions may be bolstered with a therapist guiding you through the experience. Our therapists will help you work through your thoughts, emotions, and thought processes to maximize the amount of good this treatment can do for your health.
During a ketamine infusion session, many patients report imagery and sensations that are hallucinogenic in nature. While these effects are mild in most cases, it can be helpful to have our therapist act as a guide for you during your infusions to make sure you remain in the right frame of mind.
How Does Ketamine Work?
The medical community is still researching ketamine, but the current understanding is that ketamine binds to receptors in the brain. This increases the amount of glutamate, a vital neurotransmitter. Releasing more glutamate sets off a chain of reactions in the brain that affects thinking and emotional regulation.
In simpler terms, the human brain reacts to ketamine in a way that triggers hormones that help create “feel-good” emotions. Though this effect can occur rapidly after a person receives their first infusion, a series of infusions is usually necessary to optimize the amount of good this treatment can do.
What are KAP Sessions Like?
Your first KAP session is designed to determine if this treatment is right for you, and to identify what the end goals of your treatments are.
The next sessions can last anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours in overall length but vary greatly depending upon the dosage, response, recovery time, and other factors.
Like ketamine infusions or traditional psychotherapy, KAP is most effective when you commit to an individualized treatment plan. It may take a period of weeks or months to get the full benefit of KAP.