Ketamine is a powerful, accessible, and broadly effective psychedelic medicine. Used for decades in emergency medicine and by anesthesiologists for safe sedation of patients, Ketamine’s antidepressant properties were first observed in emergency rooms after sedation and then demonstrated in research trials in the early 2000’s.
What were once considered unwanted side effects and strange subjective states became the focus of therapists and mental health treatment providers who saw the potential for Ketamine to be used in the framework of psychedelic-assisted therapy already developed with medicines like MDMA and LSD.
Fast-forward twenty years. Generic ketamine is a widely available, inexpensive, Schedule 3 drug which can be administered in a doctor’s office or prescribed for use at home. It is generally accepted that Ketamine is a rapid-acting antidepressant which creates a neuroplastic window that patients can use to form new mental and behavioral habits. When using generic Ketamine, providers can combine a wide range of dosing strategies and routes of administration, and therapeutic modalities to create unique treatment protocols for a variety of diagnoses, or follow an FDA approved protocol of Ketamine for major depressive disorder. Unlike typical antidepressants, and in keeping with the way most psychedelics function, one or a few ketamine sessions can have a lasting impact on mental health long after the drug is gone from the body. With proper training in the basics of psychedelic-assisted therapy, the specifics of ketamine’s effects, and an ethical and theoretically informed therapeutic approach, the potential clinical applications are numerous.
General Principles of KAP:
- is grounded in the therapist’s existing clinical training, experience, and practice;
- assumes all the clinical, ethical, legal covenants that are attendant to the therapist’s scope of practice;
- sees the patient in a comprehensive clinical way, including the medical, psychiatric, psychological, and social conditions in which the ketamine work is situated;
- is patient-centered, respecting the patient’s autonomy, rights, and personal liberty with regards to their decisions regarding ketamine treatment;
- is respectful of wisdom traditions and other care modalities that may lie outside the therapist’s experience or practice;
- is collaborative with medical and mental health providers, somatic health practitioners, alternative healing practitioners, and spiritually oriented healers;
- is offered in alignment with the provider’s professional ethics and in a spirit of inclusion, non-violence, affordability, non-discrimination, and transparency;
- is fully compliant with the MAPS Code of Ethics for MDMA-Assisted Therapy, published in Spring, 2019 and the Guidelines for Therapeutic Ketamine Clinicians published by Kriya Institute.