• Isha Team

Why Do I Need A Therapist For Ketamine Treatment

Ketamine, a medication that originated in Belgium in 1960 as an anesthetic and was later used on battlefields for injured soldiers in the Vietnam War, has been used with psychotherapy over the past two decades. As the Ketamine therapy has shown promising effects in people with major depressive disorder, treatment-resistant depression, PTSD, and anxiety, the medical community has been discussing who can administer Ketamine and where?

In 2017, Samuel T. Wilkinson, MD, and Gerard Anancora, MD, Ph.D. presented a paper on "Considerations on the Off-Label Use of Ketamine as a Treatment for Mood Disorders” that depicts the use of Ketamine is increasing to relieve depression that is resistant to traditional antidepressants. In the same paper published in 2021, they described the baseline standards, associated risk, and guidelines on who can administer Ketamine?

This blog will help you understand why you need a therapist for Ketamine treatment. Following are the basic health guidelines that must be fulfilled to start Ketamine treatment.


A licensed therapist is providing ketamine assisted therapy


Evaluation of the Patient Before Ketamine Therapy


Ketamine-assisted Therapy is not for everyone. The need for treatment is determined by licensed clinicians only. Your clinical team at the clinic evaluates your mental health as well as physical health problems before the administration of Ketamine. For IV treatment, Adult patients who are American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) PS 1 or 2 are ideal candidates for Ketamine therapy. ASA PS 3 and 4 can have Ketamine therapy but additional precautions are required for them. Only an authorized medical professional can grade patients.

Ketamine therapy has been mainly prescribed to those patients who have failed to respond to at least 2 treatment trials of antidepressants or those who have a comorbid depressive condition but can not take oral antidepressants due to medical problems that affect peroral intake.

Contraindications to Ketamine therapy include manic disorder, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, ongoing alcohol or Ketamine addiction, hypersensitivity to Ketamine, and pregnancy.

All steps of evaluation can not be done by yourself, so you need a clinical team for that.


Baseline Standards For Ketamine Therapy (Before and After Administration)


Patients are assessed before administration of Ketamine therapy. Yale Authors recommend following protocols for the administration of Ketamine IV infusion. Other administration methods have different protocols.


Monitoring of vitals (B.P, temperature, Pulse rate, rate of respiration)

Consent before procedure

Development of criteria for vitals before initiation of treatment

Criteria for premature stoppage of infusion.

Patients with high blood pressure (hypertension), a history of valvular heart disease, aneurysm, and stroke should not get Ketamine therapy. Equipment for cardiopulmonary resuscitation should be at hand to handle emergencies.

Ketamine therapy raises blood pressure transiently ( for 1-2 hours) and induces a state of altered consciousness. Your healthcare professional will monitor blood pressure every 40 minutes.


Your clinical team will follow all necessary protocols for ketamine assisted therapy.





Role of Therapist In Ketamine Assisted Therapy:


A therapist guides you through the process of Ketamine assisted therapy. They provide a safety anchor for those patients who have anxiety issues and negative feelings during infusion of Ketamine.

Ketamine is a dissociative medication. It sometimes dissociates you from your hard-to-break beliefs, thoughts, and memories. During dissociation, some patients need empathy and a therapist provides it. Especially when a patient begins deep psychological work and uncovers the core elements that are responsible for their current mental health problem. A therapist helps a patient in the process of healing, especially in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorders, and anxiety disorder.

During Ketamine assisted therapy, your therapist provides you with a sense of reassurance. This sense of security helps you let go of thoughts and memories more easily, your mind easily gives you the authority to take more risks and see what happens to you. A therapist helps you imagine sensations, images, and memories during this session. Their role as an interpreter leads to more cathartic moments. Having a therapist with you helps you interpret your signs of psyche more clearly.


Integration in Ketamine Assisted Therapy

The most important step in ketamine assisted therapy(KAT) is the integration that solidifies your experience into lasting changes. You may discuss a lot of things with your therapist and they help you integrate your experience and learning to your daily life. They incorporate new thoughts into your behavior and alter your insight until they become your permanent habits. Without integration, you may not able to get the full therapeutic benefits of KAT.


Get In Contact With Us!

Isha health provides online ketamine-assisted therapy guided by licensed clinicinas and therapists. Licensed therapists will be with you throughout the KAT process to help you navigate your care journey.


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