Ketamine Services

Depression
Anxiety
Eating Disorders
PTSD (including religious and sexual trauma)
Bipolar Disorder
OCD
Substance Use Disorders 
Chronic Pain

At our practice, we offer Ketamine services as part of a comprehensive and personalized approach to mental health care, aiming to provide individuals with effective and transformative treatment options to improve their well-being and quality of life.

What Are Ketamine Services?

Ketamine has shown promising results in alleviating acute symptoms like suicidal thoughts and acute anxiety, particularly in individuals who have not responded to traditional treatments such as ECT (Electroconvulsive therapy), TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation), or medications.

While ketamine is not FDA-approved for long-term mental health treatment, it is considered an “off-label” treatment. Its use in a medically supervised environment is legal, safe, and effective. Our trained professionals ensure that ketamine is prescribed and administered appropriately, taking into account its effects, side effects, and safety considerations. Ketamine’s psychedelic and antidepressant properties make it a unique and potent treatment option, and research indicates that when combined with psychotherapy or guided-intention services, the benefits of treatment are enhanced and lead to more lasting results.

How Does Ketamine Work?

Ketamine is a powerful treatment that impacts various receptors and pathways in the brain and body, offering a range of benefits that may not be immediately apparent. One key mechanism of action is its ability to stimulate the growth of new neural connections and enhance neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity, the brain’s capacity to reorganize itself and form new connections, plays a crucial role in adaptation, learning, and recovery throughout life. By promoting robust neural activity, ketamine enables individuals to access normal brain function more effectively.

Ketamine also facilitates the disruption of unhealthy, repetitive neural patterns in patients, leading to positive outcomes in various mental health conditions. For instance, it can help individuals with depression break free from negative thought cycles, support those with OCD in aversion therapy, aid individuals struggling with substance abuse in establishing healthier routines, and assist pain patients in escaping pain feedback loops.

Additionally, Ketamine can induce psychedelic effects, offering a profound journey-like experience for many individuals. While this experience may hold significant meaning for some, it is essential to understand that the psychedelic component does not necessarily align with expectations and does not indicate the ineffectiveness of the treatment.

Following the prescribed protocol enhances the likelihood of long-term nerve cell growth, repair, and symptom improvement. The duration of treatment varies based on individual cases and is determined collaboratively by the patient and their medical provider.

A single Ketamine treatment can have effects that last from two weeks to several months. Some individuals experience symptom relief for an extended period after treatments. Continuous communication with medical and mental health providers is crucial to assess the need for further treatments. Working closely with healthcare professionals ensures personalized care and optimal outcomes in the treatment journey.

What Can Ketamine Guided Services Be Used For?

Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy & Guided Services offer a versatile approach to addressing a wide range of mental health concerns and personal growth needs. These services can be beneficial for various disorders supported by existing literature, including:

  • Depression
  • PTSD (including religious and sexual trauma)
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Anxiety
  • OCD
  • Eating Disorders
  • Substance Use Disorders
  • Chronic Pain

Although we don’t have current research outside of mental health conditions, we do have anecdotal evidence that Ketamine Assisted Services are also beneficial for people who are:

  • Engaged in Couples & Relationship Counseling (Including Sex Therapy)
  • Wanting to improve relationships with themselves and others
  • Struggling to cope with specific events or situations
  • Healing past traumas
  • Feeling stuck in life
  • Experiencing a significant life transition such as a new career, divorce, faith, loss/grief, spirituality
  • Ready to cultivate better life habits & behaviors
  • Shifting negative mindsets & self-limiting beliefs

These services can also support individuals in shifting negative mindsets and overcoming self-limiting beliefs, offering a holistic approach to personal development and emotional well-being.

Whether addressing mental health challenges or seeking personal growth and transformation, Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy & Guided Services provide a comprehensive and tailored approach to promoting healing, resilience, and positive life changes.

What do Ketamine Guided Services look like at Symmetry Counseling?

Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy and Guided Services offered at Symmetry Counseling provide innovative treatment options that blend the benefits of ketamine with therapeutic guidance for holistic healing. These services encompass two main components:

  1. Patients receive a ketamine dose through sublingual, nasal, intravenous, or intramuscular administration while engaging in therapy, coaching, or guidance with a trained professional.* This collaborative approach allows individuals to navigate the unique imagery and sensations induced by ketamine under the direction of a therapist or guide.
    With this supportive presence leading the journey, patients can navigate cathartic moments and enhance their healing process. Integrated treatments last approximately two hours and aim to facilitate profound insights and promote emotional growth.
  2. Alongside ketamine administration, therapy and coaching sessions are offered before and after the treatment sessions to foster lasting positive changes. These sessions provide an opportunity to delve deeper into mental health and relational concerns, establish meaningful intentions, and process the symbolic imagery experienced during the ketamine journey. By working collaboratively with providers, individuals can interpret and explore the deeper meanings of their experiences, paving the way for practical and sustainable actions based on newfound insights. This comprehensive support system empowers individuals to integrate their ketamine experiences into their growth journey and implement transformative changes for long-term well-being.

*At this time we are only offering sublingual doses

What Costs are Involved?

At Symmetry Counseling we are committed to providing a safe and comfortable environment during Ketamine Sessions. We do not want anyone going through this vulnerable experience alone. All sessions at Symmetry will be supervised by one or more of our trained professionals.

We understand that every individual’s needs are unique, which is why we offer a variety of Ketamine Session options. Click the Ketamine Fees button for more information on our different price options.

How To Prepare for Ketamine Treatments…

To optimize the positive outcomes of Ketamine Assisted Services please follow these specific steps before, during, and after each treatment:

  • Days and hours before the Ketamine Treatment
    • Work to remove as many stressors from day-to-day life as possible.
    • Work with a therapist, coach, or guide to do “intention” sessions before treatment. Decide ahead of time whether or not they will also meet with you during the ketamine sessions, as well as how often you’d like to meet in between the ketamine sessions.
    • Avoid alcohol or the use of any illicit drugs. Combining either with ketamine is extremely dangerous. 
    • Talk with your medical provider about not taking benzodiazepines or any prescribed opioids on the day of treatment. 
    • For your mind and body to fully benefit, please refrain from alcohol and recreational drug use for several days before your appointment.
    • Get a good night’s sleep before your scheduled treatment.
    • Plan to have time to relax between the ketamine infusion and returning to work/previous activities– do not plan on returning to work the day of the treatment.

  • Immediately Before the Ketamine Treatment
    • If recommended, take prescribed anti-nausea medication (Zofran/Ondansetron) to help alleviate nausea. 
    • Settle your mind as much as possible to enter a state of relaxation. Allowing 30-60 minutes of quiet time before treatment is a good practice.
    • Dress comfortably.
    • Avoid solid foods and milk for 4 hours before your ketamine treatment. Please stay hydrated–clear liquids are permitted ( water, fruit juice without pulp, carbonated beverages, tea, and black coffee) until the time of your treatment. 
    • Avoid alcohol or the use of any illicit drugs. Combining either with ketamine is extremely dangerous.  
    • Bring a water bottle and a small blanket. People tend to get cold. Bring any other tokens or meaningful items you may have discussed with your therapist, coach, or guide ahead of time. 

  • During the Ketamine Infusion
    • When treatment begins, you will most likely enter a dream-like state and may have some time perception distortion and disassociation. You will not fall asleep. Many people report feeling relaxed within a few minutes. 
    • During the treatment, you may feel lightheaded, this is normal, and the feeling will pass.
    • For those who are administering the ketamine at home, we will expect someone to be with you during the treatment.*

  • After the Ketamine Infusion (until the following day)
    • Ketamine services are outpatient procedures. Most people can leave immediately afterward. A recovery area is available after your treatment if you need additional time. 
    • You are required to have a driver. It is unsafe to drive for 12 hours after a ketamine treatment. If you have not arranged a ride, we will not provide treatment
    • For those who are administering the ketamine at home, we will encourage you to have someone available for several hours to help out.*
    • Plan a healthy meal for afterward that will be easy to digest. Make sure that any nausea or dizziness has subsided before you eat.  
    • You will get the most benefit from ketamine as a psychedelic medicine if you also avoid alcohol and illicit drugs for 48-72 hours after the procedure, as the brain is the most malleable and open to change following a psychedelic medicine during that 72 hr window. 
    • Do not participate in activities that require you to rely on motor skills or memory, and limit major decision-making for about 12 hours after ketamine treatment. 
    • Ensure that you are free of obligations or appointments on the day of your ketamine therapy. A comfortable, stress-free space to decompress and rest after sessions is crucial for a successful session.  
    • Limit exposure to news and media as much as possible 2-3 days after a session. Ketamine makes us extra open and vulnerable to outside influences. Protecting your mental and emotional well-being is very important. 
    • Resume all of your normal medications.
    • Difficult emotions or feelings can surface following ketamine sessions. Make sure you are asking for help and support from your support system.
    • You can resume all normal activity the following morning after a session. 
    • Practice grace and self-care following sessions. This time is different for everyone. We suggest meditation, time in nature, journaling, and fulfilling hobbies.
    • Follow up with your medical provider at the time determined. 

*at this time all treatments will take place in our office with one or more of our providers present.

What Are the Risks/Side Effects?

Ketamine treatment, while offering significant benefits, also comes with potential risks and side effects that should be carefully considered. The intensity and duration of side effects are typically influenced by the dosage and speed of administration, with the doses used in mental health services being lower than those used for anesthesia.

Common side effects of Ketamine treatment include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • dizziness
  • blurred vision
  • increased heart rate and blood pressure during treatment
  • hallucinations
  • changes in motor skills.
  • out-of-body experiences

These effects generally subside as Ketamine metabolizes within 3-6 hours post-administration.

Most side effects should resolve within 24 hours or less once treatment has been stopped and Ketamine is metabolized.

Less common side effects, though rare, may include rash, double vision, pain and redness at the injection site, increased eye pressure, jerky arm movements resembling a seizure, allergic reactions, irregular heart rate, arrhythmia, low blood pressure, and cystitis of the bladder.

Furthermore, Ketamine treatment carries certain risks, such as the potential for flashbacks, hallucinations, feelings of unhappiness, restlessness, anxiety, insomnia, and disorientation. The hallucinogenic nature of Ketamine poses the risk of an uncomfortable experience, commonly referred to as a “bad trip.” Other risks include temporary discomfort from venipuncture, bruising, infection, and fainting. Patients may also experience unease in responding to mental health and substance use questionnaires and should be aware of potential interactions between Ketamine and other medications.
All medications must be disclosed (both prescription and over-the-counter) to help mitigate the risk of adverse interactions.

Additionally, there is a possibility that Ketamine may not effectively address all psychiatric issues in every individual. Understanding the potential risks and side effects associated with Ketamine treatment is essential for informed decision-making and ensuring a safe and effective treatment experience.

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