Takeaway: Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy, also known as KAP, is a cutting-edge treatment that has been shown to be highly effective for mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
At our California ketamine therapy clinic, we offer a safe and supportive environment for people to engage in this innovative treatment. With our unique approach, you can find lasting relief from your symptoms. Get started today.
What is ketamine?
Ketamine is known as a dissociative anesthetic, and psychedelic drug. In other words, at certain doses, ketamine can alter your consciousness, or how you think, feel, and perceive yourself and the world around you.
Used for decades as a surgical drug, ketamine is now being used off-label in other settings, like chronic pain management and mental health treatment. In fact, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has designated an intranasal form of ketamine as a breakthrough treatment for depression that hasn’t responded well to other therapies.
While more research is needed to understand exactly how ketamine works, current studies suggest that ketamine promotes neural plasticity. This means that it can help your brain create new connections and repair neural pathways that have been damaged by chronic stress, depression, or trauma. Read more about how and why ketamine works here.
Since ketamine can provide a pleasant out-of-body experience, patients are able to tap into a deeper level of healing than with psychotherapy alone. Instead of feeling triggered by thoughts, feelings, and memories that would typically be distressing, patients find that they can process these more calmly and effectively during ketamine treatment.
This innovative form of treatment is particularly exciting because of how fast it can provide relief. In fact, research suggests that many people can benefit from even a single IV ketamine infusion. Since many psychiatric medications, like typical antidepressants, often take weeks to feel effective, this is an important breakthrough.
Types of ketamine treatments
Currently, there are three different ways that ketamine treatments are administered. Patients in our treatment center typically use sublingual lozenges, but we also partner with a local ketamine clinic when ketamine infusions are recommended.
Ketamine infusion therapy
In ketamine infusion therapy, the prescribed medication is delivered through an IV drip. This treatment is provided in ketamine clinics under the supervision of a medical provider. Your vital signs will be closely monitored throughout the entire process.
Sublingual ketamine treatment
Unlike ketamine infusion therapy, sublingual ketamine treatment can be offered outside of medical ketamine clinics. Instead, you’ll self-administer the prescribed lozenge in the therapy room with one of our trained mental health professionals.
Nasal ketamine treatment
As the name suggests, nasal ketamine treatment comes in the form of a self-administered nasal spray. After meeting with one of our experienced therapists, you’ll be referred to a medical doctor who can explain which treatment option is best for you.
Mental health disorders that can benefit from ketamine treatments
There are a significant amount of existing and emerging research studies showing that ketamine-assisted therapy can be beneficial in treating mental health disorders. Here are some of the conditions that we commonly treat in our practice.
Much of the current research focuses on ketamine-assisted therapy for major depressive disorder. Studies show that people, especially those who have not responded well to traditional depression treatment, experience significant improvement in symptoms. More research is needed to determine whether people with bipolar depression, also known as bipolar disorder, can benefit.
Many people even experience relief from depression in as little as one ketamine infusion therapy session. With that being said, you’ll work directly with your medical and mental health providers to create a treatment plan that’s right for your needs.
Post-traumatic stress disorder
The symptoms that come along with PTSD can be debilitating. This can make it difficult to process the traumatic memories that keep you stuck with severe anxiety, panic attacks, numbness, isolation, nightmares, and flashbacks.
As with treatment-resistant depression, ketamine infusions and other forms of ketamine treatment can soften the effects of PTSD. Combined with effective psychotherapy methods, your symptoms may even be entirely eliminated.
Acute stress disorder
Like PTSD, acute stress disorder occurs following a traumatic event. However, people who’ve experienced recent trauma are often missed in trauma treatment since their symptoms don’t fit the diagnostic criteria for PTSD. Yet, the physical, mental, and emotional suffering can still be intense.
You shouldn’t have to wait until your symptoms get worse before you get support. Our clinicians have witnessed the powerful healing that ketamine treatment can have on acute stress disorder when combined with therapies like brainspotting.
Complex post-traumatic stress disorder
Complex PTSD, also known as C-PTSD, is a specific form of PTSD that results from chronic traumatic events. While PTSD can develop from a single instance of trauma, such as a car accident or natural disaster, C-PTSD is usually the result of ongoing childhood trauma.
Thankfully, chronic trauma survivors can find significant relief from ketamine therapy. You’ll be able to heal the parts of your brain that trauma injured and emerge with greater insight, self-compassion, and mental flexibility.
Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, including ketamine-assisted therapy, may also be an effective treatment for anxiety disorders like generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.
In fact, studies suggest that psychedelic-assisted therapy may be helpful for people experiencing existential anxiety. This is especially helpful for people with terminal illnesses such as cancer.
OCD is a mental health condition in which people experience distressing, intrusive thoughts and engage in repetitive behaviors to cope with those thoughts. People with OCD can benefit from ketamine treatment, perhaps because of the ability ketamine has to foster more flexible thinking.
Early studies support this. One review confirms that ketamine can help people manage their OCD symptoms, though more research is needed to determine how to maximize results.
Everyone experiences loss in life. While grief is part of the human experience, you don’t need to keep suffering.Research shows that ketamine treatment can offer rapid relief from the intense pain that comes after loss.
This may be especially true for people experiencing complicated grief. This specific form of grief involves prolonged suffering that makes it hard to cope with daily life, even months after the loss has occurred. If this sounds like you, consider ketamine-assisted psychotherapy.
Meet our founder, Dr. Nicolette Bautista | Ketamine-assisted therapy provider in California
If you’re feeling lost, vulnerable, and uncertain, know that you’re not alone. I’ve been in your shoes before. As a survivor of childhood trauma myself, I understand the courage it takes to reach out for support.
While taking that first step toward recovery is hard, it’s worth it. I’ve seen firsthand how effective therapy can be, both in my own healing journey and with the clients I’ve helped in my years of experience as a clinical psychologist.
I was in traditional talk therapy for eight years before I discovered the approach that would change my life:brainspotting. During a brainspotting training, a long-forgotten traumatic memory resurfaced after I thought my trauma was healed. After only 25 minutes of this new technique, all my symptoms were completely resolved.
I knew I wanted to combine brainspotting with ketamine treatment once I learned how effective psychedelics are in lowering our defenses. Sure enough, after I worked with a physician to use these treatments together, I saw my clients find relief fast. From here, KAPspotting™️ was born.
What to expect from the ketamine-assisted therapy process
While we work with each client to create an individualized treatment plan, the process is generally the same for everyone. Here’s what you can expect when you choose to start therapy with us.
1. Intake appointment
At your initial appointment, you’ll meet with one of our therapists. We’ll review your history, discuss your needs and goals for treatment, and discuss what our work together could look like. Your therapist will then send a referral to the medical provider we partner with.
2. Medical clearance
After meeting with your therapist, you’ll schedule an appointment with the medical provider. They will determine whether or not you’re eligible to engage in ketamine-assisted therapy, taking your medical history into account.
3. Ketamine prescription
If your doctor decides that you’re eligible for treatment, you’ll discuss a treatment plan and receive a prescription for ketamine. The prescription will be sent to a pharmacy. Then, the medication itself will be mailed to you or you may need to pick it up.
4. Preparation session
Before starting ketamine treatment, you’ll have a preparation session with your therapist. In this session, you’ll get an introduction to brainspotting. This will help us get a jump-start on the healing work that will take place during your KAP session.
5. KAP session
Next, you’ll have a session with ketamine. The medication will be in the form of a lozenge, and you’ll self-administer it at the beginning of our session. The lozenge will dissolve under your tongue.
6. Follow-up consultations
After your first ketamine prescription is gone, you’ll follow up with your medical provider. This will allow them to monitor your response to the treatment and see if any adjustments are necessary.
FAQs about ketamine-assisted therapy in California
KAPSpotting™️ is an entirely new form of treatment, so questions are expected. Here, we’ve answered some of the most common questions we receive from new patients. There are more questions and answers on our FAQ page. However, if you don’t see yours listed, we encourage you to reach out to us directly.
Is ketamine-assisted therapy the same as psychedelic-assisted therapy?
Psychedelic-assisted therapy is an umbrella term for all forms of psychotherapy that involve the use of psychedelics. Ketamine is a psychedelic, so KAP (including KAPSpotting™️) is a form of psychedelic-assisted therapy.
Currently, psychedelic-assisted therapy in California uses ketamine. However, there are clinical trials underway to determine whether other psychedelics can be effectively used in therapeutic settings. Other psychedelics will have to go through an FDA approval process before they are legally available.
How many ketamine treatments do I need for depression?
Everyone responds differently to treatment, so there’s no singular way to determine how many treatments you need. You’ll work directly with your therapist and medical provider to create a plan that’s best suited to your situation.
With that being said, research on IV Ketamine shows that some people find relief from depression in a single ketamine treatment. Others receive treatment over the course of a few weeks, and others find that maintenance treatments help them feel best. You and your clinicians will find what works for you.
Is ketamine therapy right for me?
Ultimately, all health and wellness decisions are personal. Only you can know which treatments best align with your values, needs, and goals.
However, if you’ve been suffering from the lingering effects of trauma, grief, or mental health issues, I encourage you to consider ketamine-assisted psychotherapy—especially KAPSpotting™️. The results are remarkable, and you shouldn’t have to keep suffering when there are effective treatment options available.
Get relief with groundbreaking ketamine therapy in California
When traditional treatments have failed, or when you simply want to feel better as quickly as possible, consider ketamine-assisted therapy in California. KAPSpotting™️ fast-tracks your recovery in a way that other treatments can’t.
If you’re ready to make a change and find real, lasting relief, we encourage you to reach out. We’re eager to partner with you in your healing and help you discover what’s possible. Get in touch to request more information or schedule your initial intake appointment. We look forward to connecting with you.