Ketamine and Psychotherapy Can be a Helpful Combination for Some Patients
KAP (Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy) is a targeted form of talk therapy used in specific situations when a patient is being administered Ketamine infusions. When a patient receives Ketamine treatment, psychotherapy can be highly effective but only when it is used in the right circumstances.
At NYC Psychiatry, Dr. Amanda Itzkoff MD advocates that all patients being treated with ketamine be engaged in meaningful psychotherapy. There are two primary approaches to delivering psychotherapy to patients being treated with ketamine:
- Patients receiving higher dose, IV infusions, which has been the standard approach to arise from medical research, pairs psychotherapy conducted approximately 24 hours after infusions, or within two weeks of infusions, and finds demonstrably better effects than treatment with either modality alone.
- When psychotherapy is delivered during treatment with ketamine, patients typically receive ketamine via a route other than IV, or the dose is administered at a slower rate, or a lower dose is given. This is primarily to allow the patient to participate in psychotherapy. Standard IV dosing is typically too altering to permit patients to participate in KAP during infusion.
At NYC Psychiatry, KAP is only provided in instances in which:
- Low doses of Ketamine are administered
- Patients are suffering from symptoms related to anxiety, depression or PTSD
- It is determined that combining IV Ketamine and psychotherapy will create a better patient outcome versus one of the two options administered separately
Patient Well-being is Our Number One Concerned when Providing Any Form of Ketamine Treatment
Due to the powerful effect of Ketamine, Dr. Amanda Itzkoff’s approach to KAP is focused on patient safety. IV Ketamine treatment induces a deep state of consciousness that must be carefully managed in the event psychotherapy is used. Our practice has a KAP trained therapist and a nurse present at all times during treatment to safeguard patient safety and ensure that patients receive personalized care and attention during their treatment.
Individually, both Ketamine and psychotherapy are very powerful therapeutic tools. The success for KAP is dependent on a nuanced approach that layers it in only when it is deemed necessary by the therapist and only when patients are screened for the three noted symptoms.
Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy Can Be Beneficial for Patients with Anxiety, OCD and PTSD
Dr. Amanda Itzkoff’s nuanced approach to KAP allows patients to process and integrate insights stimulated by the Ketamine infusions. The combined effect of the two therapies can sustain long-term relief from overwhelming symptoms such as those induced by PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). KAP has been shown to be able in certain situations to alleviate trauma that has been stored in the body.
For patients with treatment resistant depression, KAP can have highly beneficial effects. Since Ketamine modulates glutamate, a neurotransmitter, psychotherapy can have a more powerful effect versus when it is used in conjunction with traditional antidepressant medications.