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Ketamine for Anxiety

A rapid-acting and short-term medication intervention for anxiety

Is Ketamine Treatment for Anxiety Right for You?

  • Do you suffer from significant anxiety and you’re worried about staying on medications for years?
  • Have you tried therapy for anxiety and it’s just not helping enough?
  • Does your anxiety impact your relationships, work and quality of sleep?

Anxiety is nearly a universal problem and has only increased since the COVID pandemic. In the United States, nearly 1 in 5 Americans suffer from anxiety.[1] Unfortunately, medications for anxiety are either addictive or often don’t help enough. But, in recent years ketamine has shown promise for anxiety disorders, and what’s even more promising is ketamine is a short-term intervention that you only need to take for a few weeks.

How Does Ketamine Treatment for Anxiety Work?

Ketamine was first used in the early 1970’s for emergency medical procedures, as well as for soldiers who were injured during battle. It’s a powerful anesthetic that has many properties including sedation, relaxation and even pain cessation. However, it wasn’t until more recently that ketamine treatment for anxiety was discovered.

Here’s what’s relevant to you specifically…

Ketamine is rapid-acting and in many cases can help with immediate relief from anxiety which has been demonstrated in clinical trials. Many medications for anxiety come with problematic side-effects and also can result in habit formation. Ketamine does not come with the same long-term side effects as other medications and operates completely differently on the brain with anti-inflammatory processes. Additionally, rumination and worry are common symptoms of depression and anxiety. Ketamine has been shown to downregulate brain structures involved in obsessive rumination. [2]

How Effective is Ketamine for Anxiety?

Medications for anxiety have clearly saved many lives. The largest issue with mainstay anti-anxiety medications are they are either highly addictive, take many weeks to work, don’t work at all, or come with very unpleasant long-term side effects.

The New Kid On The Block: Ketamine Infusions for Anxiety

A handful of ketamine clinical trials have focused on generalized anxiety and social anxiety. The results of these trials are generally encouraging, although more research is clearly needed to confirm these early results.

Ketamine for Anxiety Clinical Trials

Dore et al (2019) reported a case series of ketamine outcomes for patients who were suffering from a variety of types of anxiety including social anxiety, generalized anxiety, and PTSD, with statistically significant benefits.[3] Their work was significant in that all of their 235 cases were ketamine-assisted psychotherapy, not ketamine alone. In a 2018 open label investigation by Glue et al, one to two subcutaneous doses of ketamine per week over a 3 month period produced a 50% reduction in generalized anxiety and social anxiety.[4] This study is important because it shows that recurrent dosing of ketamine can be effective for anxiety.

Figure: Glue et al 2017

HAMA Score

  • Personal Outcomes

    It’s completely possible to sleep peacefully at night and wake up in the morning refreshed and ready to meet the day. Imagine that your mind was able to slow down and you felt more calm and centered. It’s not uncommon for patients to leave our Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy program with this type of radical transformation. Patients often report after a couple of sessions feeling calmer, more relaxed and ready to connect with friends and family. There’s no reason to believe your anxiety has to remain at status quo even if you’ve tried other therapies before. Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy is an entirely new type of therapy for anxiety. Many patients finish the program and feel a deeper connection to others with a greater sense of purpose. It’s completely possible to feel your self-worth again and get into higher levels of productivity so you can achieve what you know you are capable of. We’ve even had many patients leave feeling more connected to the world and feeling aligned with a higher purpose for their lives. It’s possible to have consistently productive, upbeat and grounded days where you feel able to express your potential. We understand that these things might currently feel impossible, but Ketamine Assisted-Psychotherapy, can make these types of experiences a reality. Individual results may vary.

How We Are Different

Choosing a medical provider can be a stressful experience. We want to help you find the right ketamine provider for your needs. Although there are an increasing number of places offering ketamine, there are several key things that make our clinic different which are important to consider when determining if IPC is the right place for your care:

  • Medical Team:
    Our founder and medical director, Dr. Will Van Derveer, is a nationally recognized educator, researcher, and author who is one of the leaders of this emerging field. Additionally, our medical team is one of the most experienced groups of ketamine providers in the country.
  • Investment:
    At IPC we understand that patients who choose to pursue Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy are making a significant financial investment in their long term health and we take that seriously. We are committed to keeping our costs as affordable as possible without compromising any aspect of the quality of care. We do not take medicaid, medicare or insurance, however, we can provide out-of-network claim forms if you want to seek reimbursement.
  • Integrative Psychiatry:
    Our clinic believes in assessing and treating root causes of mental health conditions. Unlike most ketamine clinics, you will be evaluated for your ketamine consult by an Integrative Psychiatrist. Rest assured, if we believe ketamine is not the right or only course of action, you will be recommended other treatments that go after the root of the problem.
  • Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy:
    Ketamine’s dissociative effects offer a unique opportunity to uncover new ways of understanding your depression. Most ketamine centers place multiple patients in one room without any psychotherapist. We have treated a number of people who felt very disturbed by the experience of being left alone on ketamine. Each patient in our clinic has a private room and a highly skilled therapist throughout the ketamine treatment. 

  • Physician On Site:
    Some ketamine centers do not provide a physician on site. Additionally, there are therapists who will provide psychotherapy for clients in their office who have received sublingual ketamine without medical staff present, even though the FDA recently mandated that a newly approved version of ketamine cannot be administered outside of a medical office. Although medical emergencies are an extremely rare outcome of ketamine, we stand firmly for safety first by having a physician and nurse on-site, and we do not condone the use of ketamine outside a medical office setting.
  • IV Ketamine:
    There are several different ways of administering ketamine and at IPC we prefer IV infusion because it is the most studied route of administration. If for some reason IV is not best for a specific individual we also have other routes of administration which can be discussed between a patient and their individual provider. Unfortunately, sublingual ketamine research is not compelling and scant, therefore, we do not generally recommend this route of administration.

Powered by the Integrative Psychiatry Institute

We’re not only on the forefront of integrative care for patients, but we are also backed by the educational power of the Integrative Psychiatry Institute. Our expert practitioners are learning directly from the premier educational community for integrative psychiatry. Rest assured, our practitioners are constantly implementing new practices from the latest research in innovative mental health care.


1. Harvard Medical School, 2007. National Comorbidity Survey (NCS). (2017, August 21). Retrieved from Data Table 2: 12-month prevalence DSM-IV/WMH-CIDI disorders by sex and cohort.
2. Hamilton et al. Depressive Rumination, the Default-Mode Network, and the Dark Matter of Clinical Neuroscience. Biological Psychiatry. 2015 Aug 15;78(4):224-30.
3. Jennifer Dore et al. Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP): Patient Demographics, Clinical Data and Outcomes in Three Large Practices Administering Ketamine with Psychotherapy, Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 51:2, 189-198, DOI: 10.1080/02791072.2019.1587556.
4. Glue, P., Neehoff, S. M., Medlicott, N. J., Gray, A., Kibby, G., & McNaughton, N. (2018). Safety and efficacy of maintenance ketamine treatment in patients with treatment-refractory generalised anxiety and social anxiety disorders. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 32(6), 663–667.