There are a lot of misconceptions about how ketamine therapy works. Many times people imagine a person simply getting high. It’s a scenario that’s far from reality.
In actuality, ketamine treatments, even oral ketamine that can be taken at home, involve a guide. The guide is a trained professional that plays a critical role in integration.
The Role of the Guide in Ketamine Therapy
Ketamine has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of mental illnesses that have something in common. Cyclical thinking where the person gets caught in a loop is common in all of them. Researchers have discovered that ketamine is effective because it helps to break the cycle. Once the cycle is broken the brain is able to rewire itself to keep the loop from coming back.
All this is possible because a new treatment model for psychotherapy is being used. The ketamine is doing the biological work of rewiring the brain, but it’s the guide that helps the person design the new circuitry. These guides are there to ensure positive connections are made as the brain is rewired, which is absolutely essential.
There are three primary goals for a ketamine therapy guide:
The guide is there for the whole duration of the ketamine therapy session. Their primary purpose is to make sure the patient takes the medication properly and is monitored. This is the case whether the ketamine treatment happens in-office or at home.
At Choose Ketamine we go a few steps further to ensure safety. At the beginning of each session, our guides make sure a peer is present with the patient, and they also have the peer’s contact information on hand. They’ll also help the patient accurately take their blood pressure before taking the medication.
Prepare the Patient
The guide’s job actually begins before the session. It’s their responsibility to make sure the patient knows what to expect and answer any questions they may have. This step is extremely important because it minimizes the chance that the patient will have a negative experience and will get the most out of the treatment session. Choose Ketamine guides will also make sure patients have received and reviewed the preparation materials.
Allow the Patient to Gain Insights
Ketamine treatments aren’t just about the medication. What’s most important is that the patient draws meaning out of the experience that can be applied to build positive connections in the brain. Gaining these insights is an extremely important part of the process that separates ketamine from other treatments.
There are a few things the guide can do to help the patient get the deep insights that are needed to make positive changes. Before the medication is administered our guides go over intentions with the patient. This is called Intentional Dialogue. It helps the patient mindfully communicate and creates emotional safety.
One of the things that the guide usually has to assist with is getting the patient to surrender to what is happening in their mind so that they can delve into what’s going on mentally rather than fighting it. Surrendering to the experience helps patients avoid a “bad trip” and gain deeper insights that can help the patient make improvements. A way the guide does this is by providing the patient with a calming mantra to help them relinquish control during their experience.
Once the patient takes the medication, it’s important that they are free to take the journey without being directed by the guide. However, the guide should answer questions the patient has during the experience, and they should take notes so that the patient can reflect back on the observations and help with insights.
Trusting Your Guide to Get the Most Out of the Experience
Being so vulnerable with another person can be difficult. The guide is part of an intimate process where the patient’s innermost thoughts are revealed. But it’s important to understand that ketamine therapy guides are there to keep people safe and improve the outcomes of the treatment. They serve an essential role, and ketamine treatments wouldn’t be as effective without them.
Choose Ketamine practices safe, effective ketamine therapy that’s facilitated by highly-trained, ethical guides. The guides create bonds with patients, which helps to build trust and make treatments a positive experience.
If you think guided ketamine treatments could help you find relief from treatment-resistant depression, PTSD, OCD, substance abuse or anxiety take the first step by completing the online assessment.