Psychedelic assisted psychotherapy is an emerging mental health treatment option that researchers, media, mental health professions, and pharmaceutical companies are paying close attention to - and for good reason. Studies have been showing promising evidence that medicines such as ketamine, MDMA, and psilocybin have potential to be effective treatments for trauma, anxiety, and depression.
While MDMA and psilocybin aren't legal at this point, ketamine is a safe and legal medicine that has multiple mental health benefits. Ketamine is not for everyone and it is not a stand-alone treatment for mental health. Through neurobiological ways that we don't quite understand yet, ketamine can alter one's state of consciousness, which helps people to heal and gain new understanding about themselves.
In ketamine assisted psychotherapy, there are known to be two separate states of consciousness. Both states are supported by and later integrated into daily life with the help of a skilled therapist. Lower doses (lozenge) bring a trance-like state and higher doses (through intramuscular form) lead to a transformative state.
In the trance-like state, people can experience:
ability to access challenging states of mind with less fear
relief from obsessive and depressive states
a sense of newness and healing afterwards
In the transformative state, people can experience:
decrease in body and sensory awareness, leading to temporary ego loss
full out of body experience
In both states, inner growth and an increase in creativity often result. In an article by Dore, et al. (2018), anxiety and depression scores decreased and a sense of wellbeing increased with both forms of ketamine (lozenge and intramuscular) used in therapy.
Join the waitlist for ketamine assisted psychotherapy at Driftless Integrative Psychiatry here.