Updated: Aug 21
Every culture has its traditions with regards to healing. With western medicine, particularly allopathic medicine, the focus has been on making a diagnosis about a specific part of a human and addressing that diagnosis with an evidence based therapy or medication. Most people intuit that there is something lacking in this approach and the general health of our people and communities is evidence that we are missing a piece of the puzzle as far as creating health goes. A possible explanation for this is that western medicine's approach to health rarely recognizes the importance of our connections to the people and places around us. And as we find ourselves increasingly disconnected from nature and one another, our health suffers. We know that any living entity does not thrive in isolation but our current reductionist model of health tends toward seeing parts rather than the whole. Psychedelic therapies offer a way to address connection to nature, self, and community. And while these therapies are becoming more prevalent, they are often inaccessible in a for-profit private insurance healthcare system. At Asheville Integrative Psychiatry and at GroupKAP, there are new offerings designed around creating better access. We realize that these offerings are still expensive and may be unaccessible to many. Our hope is that insurance companies soon realize the benefits of these therapies and begin to offer meaningful reimbursement for them.
Single Day Ketamine Therapy
At Asheville Integrative Psychiatry we have traditionally offered a 4 week Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy protocol that was created from our experience and research in psychedelic therapies. It is designed for those with the greatest needs and the severest illnesses. It is an expensive and time consuming process but we believe that it is cost effective when compared to standard care which rarely has a strategy for stopping medications or healthcare visits. We stand by this approach for the clients who need it and believe that it offers the highest standard of care for Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy.
We also now offer a single day ketamine therapy experience that combines guided nature connection work with ketamine therapy, bodywork/massage, and personalized guided movement instruction. We require physician screening beforehand to evaluate safety and determine if this therapy is appropriate. We offer these sessions with a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner experienced in psychedelic therapies, and a license massage therapist and yoga teacher with experience in trauma informed therapeutic touch and movement. The lower price and time commitment makes this an attractive offering for many people and we often get questions about how to decide which route is best.
There is no single day therapy that is curative in and of itself; this experience is designed to be a catalyst for transition. Ketamine, when used correctly, can help stop repetitive thoughts. It also creates a window of neuroplasticity that can be used to learn new perspectives or begin new habits. With that in mind, the single day offering is best used to facilitate change. Without a plan for what's next, this offering is unlikely to be significantly helpful in the long term. It does not offer the level of therapeutic support and long-term care that our four-week protocol does. But for someone on the cusp of something new, with a good plan for creating a healthy transition in life, this can be a meaningful and useful experience.
Another thing that is different about the single day experience compared to the longer offering is the form of integration that is offered. With psychedelic therapies, preparation and integration are vital components for making the experience useful. Typical integration strategies involve talk therapy and conceptualizing the lessons learned in the psychedelic state to create meaningful change in everyday life. With the body work and movement component of the single day offering, our goal is to offer a more kinesthetic form of integration. Our hope is to bring someone back into their body with a new perspective and appreciation of their own embodiment. If we can connect to nature and connect to self, we can build a path to change.
It is relatively easy to promise that a day of ketamine therapy, nature therapy, massage, and movement will make someone feel better that day and in the days that follow. Our goal, however, is to use this experience to create lasting change for clients who are using it as a component of additional strategies to create change in their life. It is not designed to be a cheaper and shorter version of our psychotherapeutic protocol and cannot offer the degree of support that our longer protocol does.
We are happy to answer questions about whether either of these approaches could be helpful for you. You can contact us to discuss this with one of our staff. We do not recommend any psychedelic therapies in the absence of careful consideration and professional advice.