What Is Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy?
Ketamine is a safe, regulated anesthetic used in the treatment of a range of mental health issues. Its immediate and sedative qualities can be beneficial in the therapeutic process, as they help to calm the nervous system, slow down the stress response, and allow for a more objective understanding of obstacles.
For this reason, ketamine can be a useful intervention in treatment for anxiety, depression, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). And in fact, ketamine assisted psychotherapy has been shown to have an 89 percent success rate in treating these conditions. 
What Is The History Of Ketamine And Its Use In Therapy Settings?
Throughout the late 1950s and early 60s, scientists and physicians were looking for safer alternatives to the anesthetics that were on the market at the time. Ketamine was first synthesized in 1962 and quickly discovered to produce fewer adverse side effects than its predecessors. Over the years, researchers have collected data on the psychedelic effects of ketamine, demonstrating its effectiveness in reducing pain and promoting euphoric effects.
By 2019, world-renowned research institutions lauded ketamine’s potential in the mental health counseling space, suggesting that ketamine could bolster the treatment process in ways that simply cannot be accomplished through talk therapy and medication alone. One article found that “ketamine’s antidepressant qualities stood out from antidepressants, due to its reliability in producing dramatic changes within hours, rather than weeks or months.” 
How Does Ketamine Therapy Work?
At Tampa Bay Area Counseling, we are committed to ensuring a safe, effective therapeutic process for our clients. Before beginning ketamine treatment, we will do a thorough screening of your symptoms while providing you with skills and information to help you feel prepared for your journey.
At least one to two sessions will be entirely devoted to history taking and preparation as we identify treatment goals. From there, you will schedule a brief consultation with our in-house prescriber, who will determine the proper dosage of ketamine.
During the dosing session—which typically lasts about three hours—you will administer the ketamine yourself, at which point you are likely to immediately experience euphoric effects. Throughout this time, you and your therapist will work on predetermined goals as you explore emotions, process experiences, and develop new perspectives on your struggles. The effects of ketamine can last from one to two hours, so the dosing session will allow you plenty of time to engage in a deep, transformative experience.
Depending on your overall goals for therapy, multiple ketamine sessions may be required to work through objectives. However, clients can usually target core issues in one to three sessions. Furthermore, our therapists are available for counseling should you choose to reinforce ketamine treatment with ongoing traditional talk therapy.
Ketamine Therapy Through Tampa Bay Area Counseling
We are honored to have a staff of experienced, dedicated therapists who have been in the field for at least a decade or more. Every therapist on our team who offers ketamine treatment is specifically trained and certified to do so.
Our approach to ketamine assisted psychotherapy is unique in a few ways. Because we schedule preparation and dosing sessions separately, we are careful not to rush the therapeutic process and ensure that your goals and symptoms are thoroughly discussed before treatment.
Additionally, we are committed to gentle, non-traumatizing interventions. Though calming, ketamine is an altering substance, and it’s important for you to have proper coping skills in place as you progress in therapy. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, trauma-informed approaches like Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) may be incorporated to help calm the nervous system.
Relief Is Possible
Ketamine assisted psychotherapy is one of the very few interventions that can produce immediate relief from psychiatric symptoms while offering you life-changing insights. To find out more about how we can help or to schedule an appointment with one of our team members who is certified in ketamine therapy, contact us.