Being able to speak to your medical health professional in an open and honest way about available treatments is an important part of any action plan, especially as the field continues to grow and evolve. If you believe that ketamine-assisted therapy (KAP) is right for you or you’re curious to learn more, here are some tips to help you speak with your doctor.
You may face some hesitation
Field Trip Health’s is committed to creating a supportive and empowering experience for each person, combining modern medicine with personalized psychotherapy and wellness practices. It focuses on legal, psychedelic-assisted integration therapy for hard-to-treat mental health conditions, offering a potential alternative to the current trial-and-error, “wait and see approach” that may not be effective for everyone (Field Trip Psychedelic Medicine Whitepaper.)
Do your research and come prepared
As the old proverb goes, knowledge is power. And it’s empowering to advocate for yourself and your mental health. Before you speak with your doctor, delve into some of the abundant research around the efficacy of psychedelic-assisted therapies (see below for some suggestions) and bring that research with you to your appointment. According to licensed mental health counselor Emma Knighton, Field Trip’s Psychotherapist Care Coordinator, it’s helpful to find research and studies that specifically reference what you’re personally experiencing.
Before your appointment be sure to list out all of the things that you have tried so far, with notes on what has worked and what hasn’t. Having all of that information ready to present in a clear and informed way can shift a potentially challenging conversation into a positive and productive dialogue between doctor and patient. Knighton adds that even doctors can be susceptible to some of the stigmas surrounding psychedelics, but if a patient has a clear sense of wanting to heal themselves, then that may sway a doctor from any preconceived notions.
One clear distinction to make with your doctor is that you are not simply seeking out a dose of ketamine—you’re looking to include it in your overall psychotherapy plan. Field Trip Health utilizes KAP in order to tackle issues experienced with a more holistic approach in mind.
When arming yourself with knowledge and material in preparation to speak with your doctor, it’s fine to read up on popular texts like Michael Pollan’s The New Science of Psychedelics or the lesser known Consciousness Medicine by Françoise Bourzat. However Knighton says that peer-reviewed studies are the real “ticket to skeptical MDs” understanding that KAP can be an effective therapy. “The beauty and curse of our medical system is that the research has to be done in a really strict way,” Knighton explains. She recommends a few resources to wade through in your search.
The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies
The Ancestor Project
How to get a doctor referral
In the United States, you can go ahead and book your first 15-minute care coordinator discussion with Field Trip Health to see whether or not the services are a fit for you. In Canada, a referral is required to begin the full treatment plan (you can download the referral form here) and your psychiatric consultation is covered by provincial health coverage.
If you are based in Canada, Field Trip may also refer you to healthcare providers who are familiar with Field Trip's treatment programs to consult with you on whether the treatment is a good fit, and if it is, they may provide referrals. “In the U.S., be sure to find yourself a provider who is psychedelic competent. They exist, you just have to look for them. The Psychedelic Support network is a great place to start.”
Written by Amber Dowling for Field Trip Health