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FAQs

Do you have questions about Ketamine-Assisted Therapy? We understand.

You can find answers to some of the more commonly asked questions below, but there is no one-size-fits-all.

If you have any additional questions about how Ketamine Therapy can help you, our supportive clinical staff will be happy to answer.

Ketamine-Assisted Therapy

What is Ketamine-Assisted Therapy?

Ketamine-Assisted Therapy combines talking therapy with calculated doses administered by professional clinicians in order to help you overcome mental health difficulties and addictions.

It is part of a wider family of Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies.

What is Ketamine Therapy used for?

Ketamine-Assisted Therapy is particularly good for conditions that have an underlying experience of trauma or adversity, which you may naturally wish to avoid thinking about. With the dissociative nature of Ketamine and the support of trained therapists, conditions such as addiction, depression, eating disorders, and more can be faced.

How does Ketamine-Assisted Therapy work?

Ketamine is an NMDA antagonist working across multiple receptors in the brain. At very high doses, it acts as an anaesthetic, putting you completely to sleep. At lower doses (as we use), it creates an altered state of consciousness that, when combined with psychotherapy, allows you to carry out effective and safe treatment. Ketamine is understood to increase brain plasticity (flexibility) and connectivity, meaning it can help a person become more adaptive and open to new perspectives.

More simply, Ketamine allows your brain to react differently, which in a clinical environment, paired with talking therapy from professionals, gives you the mental space to overcome that which has held you back.

Read more about how Ketamine-Assisted Therapy works.

What are the benefits of Ketamine Therapy?

Ketamine is proven to improve brain plasticity – which is another way of saying it lets your brain react to things differently and consider new perspectives. Alongside the therapy we offer, you’ll find yourself able to adopt new flexible ways of thinking and behaving, which easily translate into your everyday life. The effects are proven to be rapid and often work on treatment-resistant conditions where traditional therapies fail.

What does Ketamine Therapy treat?

Based on evidence of efficacy, we offer Ketamine-Assisted Therapy for the following conditions: Depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD, eating disorders and addictions to multiple substances, including alcohol.

Is Ketamine Therapy safe?

Ketamine is very safe. It is used every day in casualty departments all over the world as a safe and effective anaesthetic for performing minor surgical procedures. Ketamine-Assisted  Therapy uses significantly lower doses that are tailored to the recipient.

All patients are carefully screened and fully monitored throughout.

Safety is Klearwell’s priority.

What is the difference between Ketamine Infusion Therapy and Ketamine-Assisted Therapy?

There is a key difference between Ketamine Infusion Therapy and Ketamine Assisted Therapy. Although both administer Ketamine as the means to allow you to address your thoughts, Ketamine-Assisted Therapy combines this with talking therapy. This offers a supportive, inclusive and safe environment, negating the likelihood of feeling isolated, and ensuring that newly built pathways are optimal for future success. Klearwell is the leading provider of Ketamine-Assisted Therapy.

What does Ketamine-Assisted Therapy feel like?

It is a “dissociative” drug, meaning you’ll experience a sense of detachment. This is sometimes referred to as an ‘out of body’ type experience. This, when combined with psychotherapy allows you to see psychological problems in a new light and, together with support from their therapist, reflect upon and address issues that may previously felt impossible.

Can Ketamine Therapy lead to addiction?

In large, repeated doses (as some people use the drug recreationally) it is possible to become addicted to ketamine.

 

However, in the lower, infrequent doses we use clinically, there is a very low risk of addiction.

Does Ketamine have any side effects or risks?

Yes. The most common effects are feeling disassociated, and you may experience some anxiety that will pass. Our therapists will help you manage this.

Physically, you may feel lightheaded or dizzy; some describe feeling nauseous or tired.

We recommend that you fast for 6 hours before your Ketamine administration, and we offer a relaxed clinic where you can rest after your sessions if you wish. We also recommend not making plans after your session.

Less commonly, some report low mood or a manic feeling immediately following treatment.

You must immediately inform the clinical team if you notice these experiences so we can support you. You will be closely monitored throughout your treatment, and clinicians will use a questionnaire to monitor any side effects and how long they last (most typically resolve within an hour).

Although there are concerns with any form of medication, we prioritise your safety at every opportunity.

 

How long does Ketamine-Assisted Therapy last?

Every person is unique, so their approach and response to therapy differs. However, Ketamine-Assisted Therapy is proven to show rapid, long-lasting effects in comparison to standard talking therapies.

Is Ketamine Therapy supported by science?

Yes, considerably. You can find scientific research on Ketamine efficacy for mental health conditions here. Our work is supported by leading doctors in psychedelic therapies, Dr Nutt and Dr Erritzoe of Imperial College London, and by therapy specialists VIA. You can read these on our research pages.

How Much is Ketamine-Assisted Therapy?

The Klearwell Process

What conditions do you treat?

Depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD, eating disorders and addictions to multiple substances, including alcohol.

Common to all of these conditions is often an underlying experience of past trauma and/or adversity – often going back to difficult childhood experiences. Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy is a particularly good treatment for helping patients to address difficult past traumatic memories that they would usually avoid though is not exclusive to those who have experienced past trauma or adversity.

Are there conditions that would exclude me from Ketamine-Assisted Therapy?

Yes. For the most part, Ketamine – as administered in our clinics under medical professionals – is safe for a range of health and medical conditions. However, we are committed to your safety, and some health conditions or states represent an increased risk.

People with unstable blood pressure, a history of cardiac disease, severe liver or kidney disease, those pregnant or breastfeeding, the elderly, children under 18 years old, people with a history of psychosis (e.g. schizophrenia or bipolar 1 disorder) or those with a high suicide risk will likely not meet the eligibility criteria for Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy.

However, every case will be assessed individually and discussed with our clinicians before deciding whether to proceed with treatment.

 

Do I need a referral? How can I get a referral from my GP?

You do not need a formal referral from your GP, though we will ask to see your medical record. Anyone may self-refer to the clinic to be assessed for possible treatment.

Is this treatment covered under the NHS?

At present, the NHS has not chosen to fund this kind of treatment. Historically, proven treatments, from CBT to EMDR, take some time to be approved due to costs and provision.

In the meantime, we offer treatments as self-funded, though you may be able to approach your health insurance.

Klearwell is proud to work with Vitality.

How to prepare for Ketamine-Assisted Therapy?

When you make your referral, you will be asked to get a medical summary from your GP.

This will be reviewed by the medical team, and you may be invited for a face-to-face medical assessment. We recommend fasting before Ketamine administration sessions, and you must organise a safe return home. During visits for the treatment, you are advised to wear comfortable clothing. The other (non-drug) therapy sessions will be like ordinary outpatient therapy sessions.

What can I expect during the treatment?

The treatment consists of eleven sessions of outpatient therapy. You will not be required to stay overnight for any sessions. On four occasions, your therapy session will involve being injected with a solution of ketamine in the deltoid muscle, which is at the top of the arm. The dose will vary across the four drug sessions depending on your clinical progress and in collaboration with yourself. Some people may desire or require higher doses. Others may wish to stay on lower doses. You will have control over how the therapy progresses.

How will the Ketamine be administered?

Much like a vaccine might be given, we use intramuscular injections of ketamine in the deltoid muscle (at the top of the arm).

How long will it take for Ketamine to be felt in my system?

The effects start after five minutes and last for around 90 minutes. You will be supported throughout the experience. You can then relax in our comfortable clinic surroundings before going home.

How long does a treatment visit take? Can I drive home?

Non-drug sessions are 50 minutes long. The drug sessions are two hours long. After each drug session, you will be able to stay in the clinic until you feel able to leave to go home. You will not be able to drive yourself home after a drug session. We will request that you are accompanied home by a named individual whom you have identified in advance of starting the treatment.

How many visits will I need to make?

You will visit the clinic for an initial assessment to get a better understanding of whether this treatment approach is suitable for you. If you are eligible and wish to proceed, you will attend ten more sessions in the clinic. You will have an integration therapy session the day after each Ketamine-Assisted appointment. Three weeks after your treatment course, you will be offered a follow-up appointment to see how things are going and discuss the next steps. You can, therefore, expect to make eleven visits to the clinic in total.

General Information about Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy

What is Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy?

Psychedelic Therapy refers to using drugs that alter consciousness, combined with therapy, to offer patients the opportunity to address difficult psychological issues supported by their therapist. The drugs, in combination with talk therapy, allow the patient to experience a deeper and more effective form of talk therapy.

Aren’t psychedelics drugs of abuse? How is this different?

Psychedelics, when misused recreationally or as part of addiction, can form their own problems, but this doesn’t negate the positive impact they can offer when used appropriately by medical professionals in a clinical environment. We see the same amongst painkillers in society that in controlled doses, their effects are immeasurably positive, but abuse of this can lead to negative outcomes.

Current research shows that many such drugs have important therapeutic properties and can be used safely as treatments for various medical conditions. In the medical context, the drugs used are controlled and verified with no contamination concerns. Patients are closely monitored before, during and after administration sessions, with changes made for ongoing sessions if necessary, making Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy very safe.

 

Could I have a scary ‘trip’ or experience?

Psychedelic experiences with ‘classic’ psychedelic drugs (such as LSD or psilocybin) can be potentially challenging. However, when used clinically, the patient is always accompanied by an experienced therapist who is there to help them through the experience. It is often through experiencing these challenges that the patient ‘breaks through’ and tackles rigid patterns of thinking, which have maintained their lifelong psychological issues.

Who are your providers?

All the medicines used are produced by legal chemists who specialise in manufacturing the highest quality clinical medicines that meet all the necessary regulatory approvals to be used with patients.

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