ketamine psychotherapy

Ketamine for PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a potentially debilitating mental health condition characterized by frightening flashbacks and constant feelings of being on edge. People with PTSD may go to great lengths to avoid people, places and situations that remind them of the trauma they went through, rearranging their lives to escape unpredictable triggers. 

Though there is no cure for PTSD, ketamine-assisted psychotherapy has shown tremendous promise for minimizing the symptoms and helping people reclaim their wellness and quality of life. 

What Is Ketamine?

Ketamine was originally an approved anesthetic for humans and animals, but it soon started showing potential to treat issues like depression and suicidal ideation. 

This drug works by blocking brain receptors, which can cause dissociative experiences, temporary unrealistic beliefs and a euphoric feeling. The sensation of being on ketamine can make you feel like you are floating above your body.

While there are risks associated with casual, recreational ketamine use, doctors have developed a low-dose medical protocol for ketamine that may help people who don’t find relief from medications like antidepressants and benzodiazepines.

How Can Ketamine Improve Your Mental Health?

Though mental illnesses are complex conditions, some scientists believe differences in brain structure and chemistry are a leading cause. Medically supervised ketamine therapy can reactivate dormant connections and spark new ones. Because ketamine “reshapes” the brain, it can be beneficial for people struggling with issues like depression and PTSD.

In January 2021, researchers at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine conducted the first randomized, controlled trial of repeated ketamine administration for chronic PTSD. They found ketamine infusions significantly reduced symptom severity, with rapid improvement maintained for several weeks afterward. 

There are several ways to administer ketamine. For example, the FDA has approved a nasal spray called esketamine for treatment-resistant depression and mood disorders. However, many integrative medical practitioners prefer to provide ketamine via in-office IV infusion or injection. Since some people have profound thoughts, feelings and experiences while taking ketamine, combining the drug with talk therapy can help clients process these.

What Is Ketamine-Assisted Therapy Like? 

At Recovery Without Walls, we use intramuscular injection in our ketamine-assisted psychotherapy sessions. Depending on your needs, your in-office appointment will last approximately two to three hours. 

You will spend between 45 and 75 minutes under the influence of ketamine. Then, you will gradually shift into a self-reflective period where you return to the present. During this time, we encourage you to discuss your experiences to gain a new perspective. Most of our clients realize a maximum benefit after three to six treatments.

Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy in Mill Valley, CA

Integrative medicine practitioner Inna Zelikman has spent years exploring the psychological benefits of ketamine. Under her guidance, you can find relief from treatment-resistant PTSD, depression, anxiety, trauma, addiction, chronic pain and related conditions. To learn more about psychedelic-assisted treatment, please contact us at Recovery Without Walls.