The world of psychology is an ever-changing landscape of modalities. One nontraditional treatment that has recently been getting a lot of buzz for its efficacy is psychedelics. One psychedelic, Ketamine, in particular, can be an effective option in healing treatment-resistant depression or PTSD. Ketamine has been used as an FDA-approved anesthetic since the 1970s. It is a medication that doctors can prescribe off-label for mental health treatments. At lower doses, Ketamine can move you beyond superficial layers of your mind and help make unhealthy neural pathways healthy.
There are centers around the country that administer ketamine treatment and have an integration specialist as part of their team. This specialist helps you with your mindset and creating intentions going into the treatment. The integration specialist also creates a setting that soothes all the senses – essential oils, a comfortable place to lie down, a mask to block out the light, and music of your choice. If you wish, this integration specialist is even willing to hold your hand while you are in your experience. The effect of Ketamine lasts about 45 minutes to an hour.
You and this specialist will set boundaries before you go in so you can make it the most impactful experience possible. They will be a safe person for you while you are undergoing the treatment, and then when you come to, they will share their insights of what they noticed and listen to your insights. They will help you integrate your experience. Sometimes you will require therapy sessions between ketamine treatments to take advantage of all that Ketamine offers.
Some say that an ego-death happens when you utilize Ketamine. The ego is where you hold your sense of self and world views. This is where your core beliefs are and how you make sense of things. When the ego dissipates, a whole universe opens. Some Ketamine patients say that during this state, they feel “at one with the universe.”
For some trauma survivors, repressed memories present themselves because the brain’s gatekeepers have been let down and allow this information to come in if you are ready. Once you obtain this information, the integration specialist can guide you through processing and integrating it.
Due to ego death and gatekeepers at ease, some people who’ve gone through this experience report a newfound open-heartedness and vulnerability. They suddenly feel more connected to everything and more appreciative of all the little things. It is as though they have tasted a type of death, and life has become much sweeter. Mortality is more apparent; the fragility of life and the beauty of life is at the forefront.
If you or your partner are struggling and have tried to get traditional help, but to no avail, you may decide to research ketamine treatments in your community. Make sure the facility has trained integration specialists who will assist you in making this the safest and best experience possible.