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Why music matters for ketamine assisted psychotherapy


Music has a profound impact on psychedelic journeys. It both complements and enhances the psychedelic experience. Separately, music and psychedelics alter consciousness so its no surprise that they blend so well together. While the type of psychotherapy approach used with psychedelic medicine varies widely, the music component is pretty universal no matter the type of therapy utilized alongside psychedelic medicine.


The Benefits of Music for Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy

Many patients notice that music serves as an anchor and brings them to new scenes and experiences while journeying with psychedelic medicine. Music by itself elicits emotion but when in combination with psychedelic therapy, it is even more enhanced.


Even more interesting, the quality of the music has an effect on the actual therapy outcomes and this seems to be dependent on if the music playlist resonates for that particular person. Music that doesn't have lyrics has been found to be an important contributor to a beneficial music experience during psychedelic therapy.


Music has likely been an important aspect of psychedelic medicine in indigenous cultures to facilitate spiritual and physical healing


Clinic Considerations for Music during Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy

We will often ask patients if they have any particular preferences in styles of music - or if there are any types of music they don't like. Our playlists are often inspired by or come from various psychedelic organizations on Spotify, such as Prati Music or Johns Hopkins. We particularly enjoy musicians such as Jon Hopkins, Garth Stevenson, and Loscil. Music that has complexity is often preferred. We sampled AI-driven Wavepaths but gravitate towards the variation in different songs and artists on Spotify playlists picked by fellow humans.


After a ketamine session, we are happy to share the playlist used during the session upon request. It can be helpful and bring you back into the same headspace as the journey by simply re-listening to the playlist.



Sources

Barrett, F.S., Preller, K.H., Kaelen, M. (2018). Psychedelics and music: neuroscience and therapeutic implications, International Review of Psychiatry. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09540261.2018.1484342