Ketamine is a powerful medication that can help people with depression, PTSD, and other mental health conditions. But the integration part of ketamine therapy is just as important as the medicine itself. That's why we're going to walk you through the different parts of the ketamine therapy experience so that you get the most out of your treatment sessions.
What to do before ketamine therapy
As you prepare for your ketamine therapy experience, there are several things you can do to help prepare your mind and body.
- Clear your mind: Spend time thinking about what you hope to get out of the session and let go of any other thoughts that may be distracting you from this intention.
- Set intentions: Think about what type of experience you want to have during ketamine therapy and what results would be meaningful for you. For example, if there are specific issues in your life that need healing or improvement (such as depression or anxiety), consider how those could change with this treatment. It is also helpful to consider how much time has passed since last having an opportunity like this one--and whether or not it's worth taking advantage now! What are some things you'd like to work on or achieve? You may have an idea about what's going on in your life that needs healing or transformation, so write down those thoughts and bring them into the room with you.
- You can even set intentions regarding the session itself-if you struggle with trusting the process, yourself, or letting go, make this one of your intentions!
- Clear your mind before coming into the room by meditating on breathwork techniques such as counting breaths (inhale 1-2-3; exhale 4-5-6) or "breathing colors" (think blue sky), which helps prepare one's mind for deep relaxation states similar those induced by ketamine therapy sessions.
- Meditate. One of the best things you can do during ketamine therapy is to meditate, either before or after your session. Meditation helps you stay calm and focused, which will help you get the most out of your experience.
What to do during ketamine therapy
- Breathe deeply and visualize your intentions. You should also practice deep breathing techniques, as this can help bring about relaxation and reduce anxiety before the session begins. As you begin your session, let go of these intentions and simply let the music and breathwork guide you.
- Listen to music that resonates with your feelings at that moment. We have a number of different playlists that are curated for whatever you may be working on-healing, growing, loving, or transcending. Find the playlist that feels right for you and let that guide you.
What to do after ketamine therapy
Once you've had a session, it's important to integrate your experience into your life. Here are some tips:
- After your ketamine treatment, take time to reflect on what happened during the session and how it made you feel.
- You may want to write down any insights or revelations that came up during or after your treatment in the journal that is sent to you. If you don't feel up for writing, recording your voice or talking with someone else about your session may be helpful for you.
- Use the membership portal as much as you can. There is a wealth of information in the portal including helpful journal prompts and activities that can help integrate what has come up in the sessions into your daily life.
- Keep doing whatever activities helped before coming into ketamine therapy--meditation, yoga classes and so forth--and continue working on any issues identified during therapy sessions with other methods such as psychotherapy or EMDR therapy if necessary.
Ketamine therapy integration
- Ask questions. If you have a question, ask it! Don't be afraid to ask for help or clarification if you're confused about something your integration guide says, or something that has come up in a session. In fact, I encourage people who are interested in ketamine therapy to do their research beforehand and come prepared with questions about the process, what to expect during the experience and how they can best prepare themselves mentally and physically for their treatment session. -Be open. The most important thing you can do is be open to the experience, both physically and mentally. Physically, this means being willing to let your body go into a state of deep relaxation while sitting in a comfortable position with your eyes closed. Mentally, it means being open to whatever comes up during the session—whether that means thoughts about past trauma or the future.
- The more questions you have, the easier it will be for you to get what you need out of your session. Ask for support. If there's anything in particular that you feel like you need extra support with after your ketamine therapy integration, talk to your guide about how they can help you. For example, if having a psychedelic experience triggers some old trauma and makes you feel unsafe in any way, having someone nearby who can help ground you and keep you safe is extremely helpful. If you're worried about what will happen after your session, ask your guide how they can help support you with that.
You'll feel better after you know how to integrate your experience with ketamine into your life.
Integration is the act of taking what you've learned in a therapeutic setting and applying it to your life. It can be difficult to do this on your own, but there are some things you can do that will help improve your chances of integrating successfully.
- One thing to keep in mind during integration is that ketamine is not a cure-all drug and is not yet FDA approved--the integration you do is a pivotal part of your healing and means you must learn how to incorporate what you learn from ketamine therapy into your daily routine so it becomes a lasting habit or way of being.
The best way to make the most of your ketamine therapy experience is by preparing for it. This includes setting intentions, clearing your mind and choosing music that will help you relax. You can also meditate or do breathwork before your session so that you're more relaxed when it starts. Afterward, try to integrate what happened into your daily life so that it feels like part of who you are rather than just a fleeting experience. This can be done by writing in your journal, practicing self-care and paying attention to how the therapy affects you physically and emotionally.
This blog is not medical advice or therapeutic advice but general knowledge to help you get the most out of your experiences with psychedelic therapy. At-home psychedelic therapy sessions with generic ketamine may be prescribed "off-label" for suitable candidates as an alternative pathway. Over the last two decades, research suggests that ketamine may be able to safely and effectively improve many treatment-resistant conditions. A form of ketamine, Esketamine (Spravato), is an FDA-approved medication for depression. Spravato treatments are only available in-person in our office. Our at-home programs include therapeutic guidance, safety protocols, breathwork, virtual treatment preparation and 1-on-1 integration coaching to get the most out of your sessions.