What is Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy?
Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy, often abbreviated as KAP, is an innovative new approach that differs from traditional therapy. KAP can be used to address a number of treatment-resistant conditions like depression, PTSD, OCD, anxiety disorders, and chronic pain conditions.
A key part of Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy, unsurprisingly, is the use of ketamine administered via an intramuscular injection to accentuate and enhance the therapeutic session. Likewise, therapy can enhance the positive effects of ketamine.
Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy can be incredibly effective on its own, but having a therapist guide you through the experience and work through your feelings and thought processes can strengthen the amount of good this treatment can do for your mental health.
During a KAP session, many patients report imagery and sensations that are hallucinogenic or delusional in nature, if not outright psychedelic. While these side effects are mild in many cases, it can be extremely helpful to have a therapist act as a guide for you during your infusions to make sure you remain in the right frame of mind.
Ketamine, even at the low doses, can induce dreamlike states which allow your psychotherapist to move past the barriers and various defense mechanisms that your psyche puts up in response to trauma or emotional stress. This can lead to shifts in conscious or a new sense of awareness, and at times, even profound spiritual connections.
Ketamine Side Effects
How Does Ketamine Work?
Ketamine is still being heavily researched, but the medical community’s current understanding is that ketamine binds to receptors in the brain that increase the amount of the neurotransmitter called glutamate. Releasing more glutamate sets off a chain of reactions within the brain that affects thinking and emotional regulation.
To put this in simpler terms, the human brain reacts to ketamine in a way that triggers hormones that directly help create feel-good emotions. This effect can occur very quickly after a person receives their treatment, but a series of treatments is usually necessary to optimize the amount of good this treatment can do.
What Are KAP Sessions Like?
The first session is designed to determine if KAP is the right treatment for you and to identify what the end goals of your treatments are.
The next sessions may last anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours in overall length, but the length of the session greatly varies depending upon dose, response, recovery time, and other factors.
Much like ketamine infusions or traditional therapy, KAP is most effective when you commit to an individualized treatment plan that stretches out over a period of several weeks.
It is important to remember that KAP, like ketamine itself, is not a “cure” for your condition – rather it is a novel new treatment designed to strengthen and empower you to take on the root causes of your condition.
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