What to Look for in a Psychedelic Therapy Clinic

Psychedelic therapy is changing people’s lives for the better. People suffering from treatment-resistant depression, PTSD, OCD, bipolar disorder, and other mental health disorders are finding relief through ketamine therapy. You deserve to find similar relief and feel like the best version of yourself again. A good psychedelic therapy clinic can help find the best treatment plan for you. When searching for a psychedelic therapy clinic, it is a good idea to keep these few things in mind in order to receive safe and effective care:

Licensed, Legal, and Safe Practice

When looking for a psychedelic therapy clinic that fulfills your needs, you should first ensure that the practice is licensed, legal, and safe. All psychiatrists, psychotherapists, and medical professionals should be properly licensed and certified. Belonging to The American Society of Ketamine Physicians, Psychotherapists, and Practitioners helps certify that a psychedelic therapy clinic is knowledgeable on safe and ethical use of ketamine for therapeutic purposes. Since the research on psychedelic therapy is expanding quickly, professionals in this field must stay up-to-date on recent research and law changes. Currently all psychedelics except ketamine cannot be legally possessed or recommended because they remain on DEA schedule 1.  A safe and legal psychedelic therapy clinic should only discuss with you psychedelics that are legal. Equally important is the route of administration. Intravenous (IV) ketamine is considered the gold standard for treatment resistant depression. Combining psychotherapy during the actual treatment of IV administration will maximize the potential of ketamine-assisted psychotherapy for depression. A good clinic is filled with highly experienced professionals who care deeply about their patients’ wellbeing and follow ethical guidelines and all applicable local and federal laws. 

Trained Psychotherapists Experienced in Psychedelic Therapy

Although psychedelic therapy is an expanding and promising field, not all psychotherapists specialize in its practice. Doctors at a psychedelic clinic should show a passion for psychotherapy research. Psychotherapists at a credible psychedelic therapy clinic should have adequate training by either the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), Integrative Psychiatry Institute, or California Institute of Integral Studies. MAPS is a research and educational organization at the forefront of psychedelic therapy training [1]. 

It is also a good sign if the medical professionals at a psychedelic therapy clinic are up-to-date on training from the Integrative Psychiatry Institute. Psychotherapists with experience in integrative psychiatry understand that psychedelic therapy is not right for everyone. They should not push ketamine therapy or recommend it to all of their patients. Trained psychotherapists who are experienced in psychedelic therapy can help determine what your personalized treatment plan should look like. If you have questions about a therapist’s experience, their credentials are usually listed on the clinic’s website. You can take your time to find someone you are comfortable working with. 

A Safe Setting for Ketamine Therapy 

Your surroundings during ketamine therapy largely determine its success or failure. Unfortunately, many people have horror stories of their experiences with psychedelic therapy because they were not provided a safe and comfortable environment for their session. In the field of drug research, it is believed that your “set and setting” are the determining factors in the effects of psychedelic drugs [2]. “Set” describes the mindset of a person and the therapist before an experience with psychedelics, including their personality type, their preparedness, their expectations for the experience, and their reasons behind this intention. “Setting” describes their environment and surroundings during the experience. For ketamine therapy, you need to feel comfortable, safe, and cared for.

It is the job of a psychedelic therapy clinic to understand the importance of their patients’ surroundings during therapy sessions. They should prepare private therapy rooms that promote success, positivity, and comfort. Your clinic should never leave you alone or unsupervised during a ketamine session. You should not be with other patients and strangers. Your therapist should be by your side to guide you and listen to you during your ketamine session. When looking for a psychedelic therapy clinic, you can ask questions about what the therapy rooms are like to see if they prioritize your comfort and safety.

Medical Supervision During Treatment

Medical supervision is another crucial part of safety during ketamine therapy. Well-trained psychotherapists know that medical supervision is necessary for safe and legal psychedelic administration. Part of your “set and setting” is what feelings you have before you go into a psychedelic treatment. Knowing that you are in good hands during a ketamine session will greatly impact your ability to relax and have a positive experience. A physician should be on-site during ketamine treatments in case any undesired side effects were to take place. Although ketamine therapy-related emergencies are extremely rare, medical professionals need to be present at the clinic in case of emergency. Your psychedelic therapy should also be supervised by your ketamine-assisted psychotherapist. They should be there to listen and talk to you during your psychedelic experience. They will be a comforting source of help to make sure you get the most out of your experience.

At Integrative Psychiatry Center in Boulder, your health and wellbeing are deeply important to us. Our ketamine therapy clinic puts your safety before anything else. We want to help guide your journey in finding joy in your life again. Please contact us if you have any questions about ketamine therapy. We are here to help. 

References:

  1. “Therapy Training – MAPS PBC – Become a Psychedelic Therapist.” MAPS Public Benefit Corporation, mapspublicbenefit.com/training.
  2. Hartogsohn, Ido. “Constructing Drug Effects: A History of Set and Setting – Ido Hartogsohn, 2017.” SAGE Journals, 1 Jan. 2017, journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2050324516683325.