Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy
The first clinician-prescribed psychedelic medicine to rely on the concept of utilizing your own inner healer to relieve emotional suffering.
What is Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy?
Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic that has been safely used in emergency and surgical procedures since the 1970s. In mental health, it’s used off-label to treat depression, anxiety, PTSD, chronic pain, and some addictions. It acts as an NMDA receptor antagonist which produces a dissociative effect in the body and increases neuroplasticity by enhancing Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). This is especially important because it has the capacity to heal unhealthy neuronal pathways and to develop new, nourishing patterns for healing. Additionally, ketamine blocks glutamate receptors which have an association with excitotoxicity and inflammation and depression. These modulators produce rapid antidepressant effects in the body and can target depression differently than all other medications. Ketamine allows the ego defense mechanisms to be softened. In ordinary conscious states, our ego defenses (the Default Mode Network) may prevent access to healing the psychology behind the actual symptoms.
What is Inner Healing Intelligence?
The term inner healing intelligence refers to the knowledge and power within oneself to move towards wholeness and wellbeing. It’s a deep knowing and an innate wisdom that’s present within each one of us and carries an intrinsic ability to heal and grow oneself. We call it our inner healer. A seed has an innate intelligence to develop into a blossoming tree when given the right water, sunlight, air, and rich soil to thrive in. Having the right environment to meet this inner healer is essential to our growth and wellness.
Why is Integration Important?
Ketamine has a narrow window to develop neuroplasticity in the brain and interrupt patterns of behavior that no longer serve you. Integration allows for you to experience your mind, spirit, and body as one, to meet your inner healing intelligence, and to connect the dots between your experience. This allows for you to remember yourself as who you were truly meant to be!
How do I know if I’m a candidate?
Please complete the ketamine eligibility form and our team will complete an interview and assessment to determine if you’re a candidate for ketamine. Some helpful inclusion/exclusion criteria are noted:
What is the process?
Once you complete the eligibility form, our ketamine patient specialist will be in touch to further discuss your needs and interests. You’ll then be scheduled for an initial evaluation with the team which includes your provider, therapist, and guide. A thorough treatment plan will be discussed and if eligible to proceed, you’ll begin scheduling sessions. An average of 6-9 sessions are recommended and a 2-week post ketamine treatment review session will be conducted to further explore needs and maintenance upon completion.
How many ketamine sessions are suggested?
Approximately 6-9 sessions are recommended as this is the most evidence-based form of results with ketamine. However, your individualized plan and maintenance recommendations will be discussed at the initial meeting and are subject to change based on your needs.
How do you give ketamine?
We offer ketamine injections into the muscle, sublingual lozenges, and IV infusions based on the need of the client. We do not offer intranasal esketamine/Spravato at this time.
Why do you prefer intramuscular (IM) injections?
Intramuscular injections are safe, predictable, and are the most likely route of administration to provide a psychedelic experience and is highly bioavailable. There are pros and cons to all forms of administration, and we are highly specialized in all routes of IM, IV, and sublingual to meet our client’s needs.
What if I don’t want a psychedelic experience?
That’s ok! Receiving ketamine in non-psychedelic states still has effectiveness in treating depression and anxiety. Some individuals may be hesitant to embark on a full journey and we welcome that; we work with where you’re at and understand that not everyone is comfortable with those states. We offer lozenges at lower doses which allow you to be more consciously present in session to help you feel safe in your body before exploring anything deeper.
Why is integration important?
Ketamine has a narrow window to develop neuroplasticity in the brain and interrupt patterns of behavior that no longer serve you. Integration allows for you to experience your mind, spirit, and body as one, to meet your inner healing intelligence, and to connect the dots between your experience. This allows you to remember yourself as who you were truly meant to be!
What is Inner Healing Intelligence?
The term inner healing intelligence refers to the knowledge and power within oneself to move towards wholeness and wellbeing. It’s a deep knowing and innate wisdom that’s present within each one of us and carries an intrinsic ability to heal and grow oneself. We call it our inner healer. A seed has an innate intelligence to develop into a blossoming tree when given the right water, sunlight, air, and rich soil to thrive in. Having the right environment to meet this inner healer is essential to our growth and wellness.
What is the cost?
The average cost of ketamine varies from clinic to clinic. Please contact our office for a breakdown of services and fees.
How does this fit into my sobriety if I’m treating addiction?
Ketamine is used to treat the root causes of addictions. This can be trauma, unresolved experiences, narratives and belief systems, spiritual bankruptcy, etc. Sobriety and recovery require a healthy mindset and attitude. We are careful to not introduce ketamine too early into recovery as sobriety from the substance and development of personal and psychological safety is recommended before doing a deeper dive into the roots of addictions. When used with the right timing and attitude, ketamine has the potential to break old patterns of behavior that lock us into painful addictions. Having a recovery-oriented mindset is key to establishing that neuroplasticity.
How is our Ketamine Therapy different?
Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy for long-lasting results
At Balanced Mental Wellness, we combine integration therapy within each ketamine session, in addition to stand-alone integration/therapy sessions each week. This maximizes the opportunities for neuroplasticity and provides an in-depth understanding and healing of the root cause of your symptoms. Integration skills to connect with yourself, your healing, and to integrate your progress at home without medication are provided in-between visits. Group integration experiences are also offered when enough participants are interested. This goes above and beyond what most ketamine infusion centers provide. Furthermore, Balanced Mental Wellness offers more integration opportunities and 1:1 attention than even most Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy practices.
Your provider is on-site and administers the ketamine. Providers and therapists are present for each session from start to finish. Many ketamine clinics do not have a provider on-site or you may only see them once throughout your services. Here at BMW your provider meets with you each session and collaborates with the therapist for integration.
You’ll have the same provider, therapist, and guide throughout the experience. We get to know your story intimately and act as your comprehensive team with 1:1 attention each session. Many ketamine clinics have rooms with multiple patients receiving ketamine at once. This can be detrimental if not given the 1:1 attention and safe environment for self-exploration. Patients are given individual rooms in a home-like environment to provide comfort and safety. Your provider, therapist and guide are present throughout the medicine sessions as well as integration.
All treatment plans are developed from a multi-disciplinary approach, and we center you in the process. We are specialized in difficult-to-treat cases and use the lens of integrative psychiatry to identify and treat the root causes of your symptoms. This ensures that you are given a variety of treatment options outside of ketamine if appropriate to treat your symptoms. Although 6-9 sessions is evidence-based and recommended, we tailor the dose, the route of administration, and the type of experience needed to break through difficult to treat symptoms. We offer lower doses in ketamine lozenges to enhance a therapy session, as well as higher doses in the form of injections into the muscle to specifically achieve a psychedelic state for deeper self-discovery journeys.
We understand that ketamine is a significant financial investment, and we make every effort to make treatment affordable, understanding that you are financially investing in your long-term mental wellness. This is an off-label treatment and is often not covered by insurance. Our team provides out-of-network claim forms and utilizes our electronic health record, Osmind, to assist with the process of reclaiming some funds from your insurance company. We realize this investment can be costly and requires a time commitment throughout your length of treatment. We hold this sacred time and space for you and recognize the deep impact this work can do. We equally invest in your wellbeing and consider this self-development work analogous to an intensive outpatient program.
Chelsie Monroe, founder of Balanced Mental Wellness, and Char Huber, integration specialist, have been trained in a variety of psychedelic-assisted therapies. Chelsie will be sitting for the first cohort of board certification in ketamine therapy in fall 2021 and is actively involved in networks for expanding psychedelic research safely within the community. We are dedicated to advancing community knowledge and understanding of psychedelics in a safe and therapeutic setting. We do not provide or support the illicit use of substances, but we offer integration therapy to those who have experienced psychedelics and don’t have the emotional support to integrate their experience. We act on the belief that each of us possesses our own internal healer that can be accessed through this type of therapy. Our job as a psychedelic guide is to allow space for that inner healer to surface and for you to remember yourself as the whole being you are.
“I’ve worked with Chelsie for four years and she is kind, compassionate and incredibly insightful. I trust her and her recommendations implicitly. She is remarkable, and is at the forefront of mental health. I went through the ketamine program with her, and it helped me so much. Char is also a great therapist. She’s very gentle and extremely intuitive. It seems like she just knows what you need. If I could give them 10 stars, I would.”
Balanced Mental Wellness Patient