I employ a mixture of therapy techniques in order to meet clients where they are at. These include talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, Imago, play therapy, and recently developed treatments. These tools help clients discover their own story at various life stages, in order to address the issues and needs of their emotional, work, and private lives.
Introduction to Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy
Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) is a new but promising psychotherapeutic process. Studies suggest KAP can produce rapid improvement for people experiencing intractable depression, anxiety, addiction, and suicidal ideation. Ketamine is a Schedule III controlled substance used primarily as an anesthetic, but evidence suggests it is also a more direct pharmacological method of treating depression than traditional SSRIs. For more information, I recommend this article by Wired. Also, Michael Pollan’s critically acclaimed new book How to Change Your Mind is a comprehensive overview of the psychotherapeutic and holistic uses of psychedelics.
I was trained by The Ketamine Training Center in San Anselmo, CA under the direction of Dr. Phil Wolfson and Julane Andries. Both Dr. Wolfson and Ms. Andries work as researchers for MAPS (the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies). Dr. Wolfson is the Principal Investigator for the MAPS-directed, FDA-approved study into MDMA Assisted Psychotherapy, and Ms. Andries is the principal co-therapist. They are both pioneers in the general study of psychedelics in psychotherapy and are leading experts on Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy in particular. Since my initial training, I have assisted them in subsequent trainings.
I began to integrate Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy into my practice in 2018. Following an initial consultation, a KAP session is conducted in my office and is scheduled for three hours. Typically this includes preparation beforehand to focus the client on the purpose of the session, 30-90 minutes during which the medicine induces a trance-like state, and finally a period of an hour or more to integrate the experience. Ongoing psychotherapy before and after these treatments is recommended. Working alongside a psychiatrist, the medication is administered either sublingually or by inter-muscular injection. The setting for this experience is crucial to its efficacy. I provide a safe and meditative environment to promote insightful, focused treatments. During a ketamine session, one typically experiences a dissociation or a respite from everyday experience, as well as a heightened ability to focus internally. One can also experience phases of wonder, brief periods of agitation, and feelings of profound inner-peace.