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Setting Intentions: Reflections to Help You to Prepare for Ketamine Assisted Therapy

What Is Ketamine Assisted Therapy? A Brief Overview

Ketamine works by blocking NMDA glutamate receptors in the brain that are involved in the signaling between neurons. This disrupts habitual thought patterns and provides a window into a more flexible cognitive state. The ego-dissolving effects of ketamine may provide insight into the connection between mind and body, and how thought patterns influence our actions (and vice-versa). By disrupting negative thought loops, ketamine provides a window where psychotherapy and life changes may have enhanced effects.

Preparation and Intention Setting

To maximize the therapeutic potential of ketamine therapy, it is important to set clear intentions for your experience. Reflecting on the root causes of your symptoms, relationships that need healing, and life changes you want to make can help provide focus and purpose for your session. Discussing these intentions with your therapist beforehand will allow them to provide appropriate guidance during your experience.

The Power of Setting Intentions Before Ketamine Treatment

Clarifying your goals helps provide direction and purpose, allowing you to get the most out of your experience. Consider the following questions:

6 Reflection Questions to Ask Yourself

What is your intention for this treatment?

Before beginning ketamine assisted therapy, it is important to establish your goals and intentions. Ask yourself what you hope to gain or achieve from this experience. Do you want to gain insights into yourself, address past traumas, or find relief from depression or anxiety? Setting a clear intention will help guide your experience.

What are you open to learning or realizing?

Going into this treatment with an open and curious mindset will allow you to gain the most from it. Reflect on what potential insights or breakthroughs you are open to receiving. Let go of any preconceived expectations.

What are you afraid of addressing or realizing?

It is normal to feel some fear or apprehension before this type of treatment. It is way different than what you have probably experienced in therapy before. Consider any emotions, memories or revelations that you may be avoiding. Discuss this with your therapist to feel adequately prepared.

What if ketamine treatment does not meet your expectations?

It's important to remember that everyone responds differently to the treatment. In such situations, communication with your healthcare provider is key. They can help you navigate any unexpected outcomes, adjust the treatment plan if needed, and provide support during the process. Being open about your experience and any concerns that arise can lead to a more tailored and effective treatment approach.

How can you prepare to surrender control?

There is an important component of willingness (or at least intention) to let go of control and allow your mind to wander. Practice meditation or mindfulness techniques to strengthen your ability to observe your thoughts without judgment. Discuss any concerns about loss of control with your therapist.

How will you take care of yourself after the session?

Plan ahead to provide yourself comfort and support after your ketamine session. Having transportation figured out, a healthy meal for afterwards, limiting stressful obligations for the day, limiting screen time, and spending time in nature are all ways to prepare for after your session. Your self-care will aid integration of the experience.

Creating Your Ideal Set & Setting

Physical Environment

For your ketamine assisted therapy session, carefully consider the physical space in which you will experience the treatment. An ideal setting is a quiet, private room free of distraction or interruption. You may want to arrange the space with pillows, blankets, eye shades, headphones, and other items that will aid your relaxation and focus.

Mental Preparation

In the days leading up to your session, reflect on your intentions and hopes for the experience. Journaling, meditation, or talking with your therapist can help gain clarity on what you aim to address or achieve through the treatment. Release expectations of a particular outcome, but set a general intention to gain insight and healing. Make space in your schedule to rest and renew your energy in the time surrounding your session. Limit obligations, chores, and stressful tasks. Approach your treatment with an open and curious mindset.

Integrating Your Experience Afterward

Reflect on Your Insights

After your ketamine-assisted therapy session ends, take time to reflect on the insights and perspectives you gained during your experience. Journaling or discussing your experience with a therapist or trusted friend can help make these lessons more concrete and integrate them into your daily life. Some questions to reflect on include:

•What did I learn about myself or my situation?

•Did I gain a new understanding of my challenges or relationships?

•Are there any beliefs or thought patterns I would like to change?

•What small changes can I make to my daily routine to support my healing and growth?

Practice Self-Care

In the days following your session, make self-care a priority. Your ketamine experience may have brought suppressed emotions to the surface, so be gentle with yourself during this time. Staying in a relaxed and meditative state of mind will allow new insights to emerge and help you process your experience.

Seek Professional Support

At Integrative Journey Modern Psychotherapy, we believe that the therapeutic component of ketamine assisted therapy is the most important part of the process. Our therapists are experienced and trained in ketamine assisted therapy, preparation, and integration therapy. Click here to schedule a 15 minute discovery call to see if ketamine assisted therapy is right for you.

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