The Ketamine Therapy Experience
Thursday, 07 January 2021

Ketamine therapy has been found to be a transformative treatment for those suffering from depression, anxiety, PTSD, and thoughts of suicide. Ketamine is dissociative anesthetic, used widely for over 50 years. Ketamine therapy dissociates you from your limiting thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and feelings. It can help you gain insight into your true nature. One of the challenges inherent in ketamine therapy, and (by extension) psychedelic assisted psychotherapy, is that we do not have a way to accurately record what’s going on inside our heads. A common refrain from patients, when we’re going through the integration process, is “I don’t have the words to describe what happened”. Of course, this can be incredibly frustrating for a patient who has just undergone a universe-expanding mental drama. But this is where the magic of the integration process comes into play. Though each experience is unique, the contents of the visionary state are shape by each person’s unconscious milieu, some common themes have emerged. This is important because when we share an experience with another person, it becomes reality. And the more people who share the experience, the more real and enduring it becomes.

Floating

By far the most common sensation is the appearance of floating. Patients described being lifted away out of their everyday concerns. Often, they have the perception of floating out of the room and visualizing aspects of their life as if they are a fly in the corner. They feel light, free, and unafraid.
 

Darkness

Most people have an encounter with a dark force at some point. The psychologist Carl Jung termed this “The Shadow”. An encounter with the shadow can be one of the most significant phases of ketamine treatment. Sensations of fear or apprehension begin to build, but when a patient leans into the discomfort and does not fight The Shadow they usually break through to a place of transcendent beauty.
 

Deity

Depending on a patient’s religious and spiritual background, the transcendent space is often referred to as the presence of Diety. Some people talk with God or a deceased family member. I’ve named this space the ‘imperturbable center of being’. This space is calm, peaceful, tranquil and completely devoid of fear or anxiety. Experienced meditators can enter this space more or less at will.
 
Most of our daily living experience is consumed by a variety of distractions—internal and external. Phones, jobs, relationships, the innumerable responsibilities (real and self-imposed) are just a few. Once we become aware of an internal, imperturbable depth of being, we can access this space and more easily organize the chaos of our minds. This may be the single most important lesson of ketamine. By meditating on this internal space outside of the clinic, a space that’s ever-present but usually unacknowledged, we change ketamine from a routine medical procedure that will likely wear off over time, to a truly transformative way of being.
 
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Quotation

"Take care, don't fight, and remember: if you do not choose to lead, you will forever be led by others. Find what scares you, and do it. And you can make a difference, if you choose to do so."

J. Michael Straczynski
 

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