Michael Cooper MD
Innewell clients that are on plans that include Psychotherapist-Led Ketamine Experiences begin with two supervised ketamine experiences. These experiences are under the guided care of a licensed therapist who’s been trained in helping you harness the power of psychedelics for introspection and self-exploration. Your therapist is with you from start to finish during your ketamine experience.
You may be wondering what it’s like to work with a therapist while you’re undergoing a psychedelic experience. In this article, we’re going to break down what to expect and provide tips for interacting with your therapist during your virtual ketamine sessions.
Will I feel like talking during my ketamine experience?
Ketamine is classified as a dissociative anesthetic. When you take ketamine, you will most likely feel calm, quiet, and relaxed. Some people compare taking ketamine to going into a very deep meditation. The experience offers a beautiful opportunity to reflect on your life from a more distanced and less emotionally reactive space. During supervised experiences, your therapist will be on-camera and present with you, and their role is to maintain a safe and supportive environment throughout your experience, enabling deep introspection without fear of judgment. Likewise, their job is not to “watch you” during your session*, but rather to keep a pulse on the energy and shifts that take place as your experience unfolds.
Do I need to talk to my therapist during Ketamine Assisted Therapy?
If there is a story, memory, or thought that comes up during your session, your therapist will be happily ready to listen and help you process it. You may exchange dialogue similar to a typical therapy session while you are in your altered state.
However, it’s important to recognize that you are not required or expected to talk and engage with your therapist throughout your experience. If you feel like putting on your eyemask and simply listening to the music, that is completely fine. In some cases, clients will not speak at all during a ketamine-assisted therapy session, only opening up once the effects have worn off and their session is complete. In this case, your therapist will honor the quiet space while still being attentive..
The dynamics of communication during ketamine experiences are fluid, and will likely change from session to session. At one particular dose, you might have a highly verbal session, and at another dose, you may prefer more silence.
In summary, there is no “right way” to interact with your therapist during the journey. They are there to support you in whatever way you need.
What happens after my supervised experiences?
After your first two supervised sessions, you should start to feel comfortable with how ketamine makes you feel. Likewise, your therapist and psychiatric clinician will be working together with you to ensure you’re safe and at the optimal dose throughout the duration of your program.
Subsequent ketamine experiences are self-guided and followed by an Integration Session with your therapist. Integration sessions allow you to work with your therapist during the optimal time window when your brain is benefitting from the neuroplasticity that ketamine induces.
You will always have access to your therapist and psychiatric clinician throughout your entire journey at Innerwell. We want you to feel comfortable communicating anything that comes up for you, whether it’s an insight, question, or concern.
*You’ll have a sitter at home to make sure you’re safe. Plus, all Innerwell sessions start with a series of safety checks to make sure you’re ready to go.