5 Recommendations to Patients Planning on Ketamine Infusions
Authored by Mary Anne Anderson, M.Ed, CMHC
Healing Pathways Therapy Center (HPTC)
I am a Clinical Mental Health Counselor, who specializes in the treatment of trauma and chronic illness. I became interested in working with clients as a ketamine-assisted psychotherapist, after experiencing lasting personal success with my first series of ketamine treatments (thanks to Restorative Health). I have since worked with many patients, offering counseling before, during, and between ketamine treatments - both in-clinic and through telehealth therapy sessions.
I am certified to offer psychedelic psychotherapy, based on the completion of a comprehensive training program (https://www.scptr.org). I also have years of experience implementing principles and techniques of mindfulness, Internal Family Systems (IFS), and other Self-directed modalities that emphasize each person’s potential for accessing inner healing wisdom. I look forward to working with you and meeting your needs. Please contact me for pricing and insurance coverage details.
Recommendation 1 | Detox and Fasting
Clean diet: up to days/weeks before receiving treatment: you might consider limiting use of caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, sugar, processed foods, animal products, and any other substances (i.e. cannabis, opiates) that could interrupt the flow of your experience.
It is important to listen to your body and consult with your trusted medical provider prior to treatment. It is often advised to continue medications you are already taking and/or not to suddenly quit taking a prescribed medication!
Avoid solid foods for about four hours prior to ketamine treatment (clear liquids are acceptable)
Stay hydrated before and after treatment, adding some electrolytes if needed
Recommendation 2 | Meditation
Clear your mind
Increase awareness and openness to whatever might take place
Practice being in the moment
Set your intention for ketamine experience ahead of time
Prepare to let go and surrender to the experience, if nothing else
Recommendation 3 | Journaling and Reflection
Record hopes and desires for experience
Write down goals (i.e. decrease pain or let go of worries/specific fears)
Consciously create a calm mindset before the experience takes place
Keep stress levels to a minimum, and do not be rushed right before your experience
If possible, spend time in nature prior to ketamine treatment
Consider music you might like during your treatment. Calming background music (i.e. with theta waves) works well for most individuals. Others prefer to create playlists of meaningful songs, with or without lyrics.
Recommendation 4 | Examples of Intentions
Surrender to the experience
Chronic pain relief
Be kind to myself
Recover true Self
Heal trauma wounds
To optimize the SETTING of your treatment, I commit to providing compassionate, patient-centered psychotherapy, in a safe environment.
Recommendation 5 | Positive Affirmations
You are safe.
I am here (holding your hand, to ground you, etc.).
You have everything you need within you.
What needs letting go?
Trust yourself . . .
I am here to witness your process.
You have choices . . .
You have a voice.
Allow your breath to guide you.
Let me know if you need anything from me . . . or if something does not feel right.
Let your inner compass help you navigate this.
What is coming up for you? . . . go with it.
I am here to hold space for you.
How can I support you in this moment?
If a client/patient were to enter a crisis state during ketamine treatment, I would call upon competent and trained staff at the clinic to offer additional support. In the rare event that a crisis was to become an emergency, available staff and I would work together to access the appropriate level of care for the client/patient.
INTEGRATION: After each ketamine session, I recommend and provide follow-up therapy sessions, typically within days of ketamine treatment, where the experience can be processed in a safe holding space.