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What is Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy?
It is a broad term that encompasses a number of different approaches and protocols using psychedelics, and which has been practiced in the Western medical model since the 1950s. Though psychedelics like LSD showed promise as therapeutic agents in those early years, a period of prohibition starting in the 1960s and through the early 2000s significantly hindered the research and development of these modalities.
The last decade has seen a significant body of encouraging research supporting the efficacy of PAP for a number of mental health issues, especially depression, anxiety, addiction, and PTSD. Though most psychedelics are still regulated substances, the legal and medical landscape is changing quickly, and more treatment options are starting to become available to the general public.
What is ketamine?
Ketamine was initially developed as a surgical anesthetic in the 1970s, and continues to be used today for this purposes in hospitals. It is a well-tolerated, safe medicine from a physiological perspective that also has psychedelic and dissociative effects at certain doses. It also has a rapid antidepressant effect.
What is ketamine-assisted psychotherapy?
Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy is a process whereby the effects of a dose or multiple doses of ketamine are accompanied by psychotherapy. This process generally has two approaches: the first includes sessions whereby a mild, sub-psychedelic dose of ketamine is used as a kind of catalyst for the psychotherapeutic process; that is, it facilitates dialogue between the individual and their therapist. Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy can also refer to a therapeutic process that involves longer immersive sessions whereby a full psychedelic dose of ketamine is administered for the purposes of a more internal, visionary experience. These sessions are typically accompanied by a number of preparatory and integration sessions.