We have been following the emerging field of psychedelic assisted psychotherapy since we first started our Project Trauma Support initiative in 2016. We have seen the benefits of ketamine infusions in quickly helping individuals suffering from significant depression and even suicidal ideation.
We know that ketamine, the molecule itself, can be a powerful antidepressant, although the effects may be short lived. We have also seen the benefit of specialized psychotherapy in assisting our military members, veterans and first responders with PTSD and Moral Injury which is often accompanied with depression, anxiety, and substance misuse. We have developed our own novel curriculum which helps our participants to explore the concepts, philosophies, and perspectives that we have found can lead to a healing path forward.
We have been quite excited to discover that our unique methods dovetail quite effectively into ketamine assisted psychotherapy.
Since November 2021, we have been offering individual and group ketamine assisted psychotherapy programs, specifically targeted to our military/first responder and front-line medical professionals. Our group therapy program is a three-day program that includes two doses of ketamine, a lesser “relational dose” and a higher psychedelic dose on the second day. All food and accommodation is included as it is not safe to drive after receiving ketamine.
Ketamine for depression and PTSD is still considered an “off label” medication as there are not yet standards and policies from governing bodies regulating its use. However, there is an emerging body of evidence provided by increasing numbers of clinics and physicians that is demonstrating benefit for carefully screened members of the general public. Ketamine is a powerful drug which is a dissociative anesthetic and should only be administered by physicians experienced in its use. It should also only be considered as a treatment for severe depression with or without suicidal ideation and/or PTSD. As our clinicians are medical doctors with emergency medicine experience, we provide solid emotional support and a medically safe program. While there can never be guarantees that every medication or program will benefit every individual, our ketamine program offers hope for many who have been seeking treatment for their mental and emotional distress.
Contraindications to using ketamine for psychiatric intervention include a history of psychosis or mania, and acute intoxication. As ketamine is a drug which can be potentially addictive, we must use the medication with caution in those with a history of addictions, however there is evidence that providing the ketamine along with targeted forms of psychotherapy can help individuals abstain from addictive substances. Individuals must be screened for suitability for the group process before they can be admitted into the group programs.
Medical Contraindications include uncontrolled hypertension, recent myocardial infarction or arrhythmia, a history of hemorrhagic stroke or arterio-venous malformation such as aneurysm, severe liver or kidney disease, or uncontrolled hyperthyroidism. There are some relative contraindications which can be managed with careful dosing and additional monitoring. Our physicians can administer medications as needed for safety or for the treatment of side effects.
Some medications may interfere with the effects of the drug, either making it more powerful, or less effective.
The cost of ketamine treatments is not currently covered by provincial health programs or most insurance companies. We have done our best to keep the cost to a minimum for individuals who are good candidates and who can benefit from our programs and services.
It is advisable to have a psychiatrist or medical practitioner who can make a referral and who can continue to provide psychotherapy and follow up after the ketamine treatments.
Physicians or psychologists who wish to learn more about our program can contact us through our website, or email us at [email protected]
Referrals can be faxed to our secure fax: 613-267-8791