At Roots Behavioral Health, our approach is unique in several important ways:
We believe the therapeutic relationship is an essential component of the process. Our therapists are specifically trained in KAP as well as auxiliary modalities, and bring a wealth of experiences and compassion to their craft.
We are highly focused on preparation and integration. We view the healing process as extending well beyond the ketamine experience itself, and support our patients in continuing their therapeutic journey in their daily lives.
Our treatment team is deeply collaborative. Our therapists and medical providers consult regularly to improve our treatments and outcomes.
What is Ketamine?
Ketamine is a medication that has been used for decades as an anesthetic well-known for its safety and efficacy. Ketamine is often used with children because of its safety record.
At approximately 1/10th the standard anesthetic dose, Ketamine produces an unusual experience, noted for its dissociative, anti-anxiety, and anti-depressant qualities. There is mounting evidence that when provided in a safe, controlled environment, this type of medication may be a powerful tool for promoting mental health.
How Does Ketamine Work?
Research on the physiological mechanisms involved with Ketamine is still evolving. One important factor to note is that ketamine appears to be active in the glutamate neurotransmitter system, which distinguishes it entirely from more conventional depression treatments such as SSRIs and mood stabilizer, and may account for its rapid effect time.
While the neuroscience of this medicine is important, it is likely not the whole story.
The ketamine experience itself may play an important role in the healing process. The dissolution of our conventional sense of self, the unwinding of persistent self-defeating thoughts, and the sense of being connected to something larger than ourselves may in themselves be potent therapeutic factors.
What Issues Does KAP Address?
Research is ongoing in this field. At present, there is reason to believe that this approach may assist clients facing issues including:
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Eating Disorders
- Substance Use Disorders
- Existential Crises
One way to think about this approach is that it facilitates change. Psychological changes characterized by persistent and unhelpful patterns, whether they be conscious (such as self-critical thinking) or unconscious (such as a distorted sense of self) are likely to be addressed by KAP.
What Does The Process Look Like?
First, we complete an in-depth psychiatric evaluation to assess whether this approach is appropriate. We continue with a second appointment to provide a detailed overview of the intentions, format, costs , and possible risks of treatment. Then, patients meet with their KAP therapist for a one -hour preparation session, to establish goals and context for the treatment. KAP dosing session are then scheduled, which are two hours long, and include both a check-in with the medical provider and two full hours of time with the psychotherapist. Many patients are prescribed 6 – 8 sessions over 3 – 8 weeks, with follow-ups as needed. Individual treatment plans are always tailored to the needs of each patient.
What is the Ketamine Experience Like?
We typically administer ketamine via an intramuscular injection in the deltoid. Alterations in consciousness begin within 5 minutes, typically peak in 20 – 40 minutes, and return to baseline usually occurs within 2 hours.
Dosing sessions may include significant periods of introspective silence as well as deep processing with the KAP psychotherapist. Our patients are never left alone during their sessions and work with the same therapist throughout treatment to nourish safety, connection, and depth of transformation.
What are the Risks?
The effects of ketamine on pregnancy have not been studies and it is therefore advisable to avoid this treatment during pregnancy or when breastfeeding.
Ketamine is not recommended for individuals with schizophrenia or those currently experiencing a manic episode.
Those with untreated high blood pressure are not eligible for treatment as ketamine sometimes causes a temporary rise in blood pressure. Additionally, a history of heart disease or hyperthyroidism may disqualify you from treatment. Ketamine has an extensive safety record and has been used at much higher doses for surgical anesthesia without complications.
During KAP, we ask that patients remain reclined during the entire session, as balance and coordination are often compromised during the experience.
Other side-effects may include blurred vision, slurred speech, mental confusion, anxiety, nausea, elevation of heart rate, and loss of appetite. When present, these effects typically subside within 2 – 4 hours.
Repeated, high-dose, chronic use of ketamine has been linked with urinary tract symptoms and permanent bladder dysfunction. There is no evidence for addiction or dependence when taken as prescribed.
Ketamine should never be used except under the direct care of a licensed physician.
How much does KAP cost?
Costs will vary quite significantly according to your insurance, your deductible, and the prescribed treatment protocol.
For a tailored estimate of your actual costs, please complete the New Patient Contact Form and include your insurance information.