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Katy's Story: I Was Able to Say Goodbye to the Trauma

I’ve had mental health issues since I was 13 years old. Since I was in my twenties, I’ve been in therapy after being diagnosed with complex PTSD, generalized anxiety director, and major depressive disorder. Over those years, I’ve done a lot of hard work and built a strong foundation, but it’s easy for those who live with mental health disorders to feel stuck.

That’s how I was feeling when my regular psychotherapist of six years and I began discussing ketamine-assisted therapy. I was interested in the process after seeing some of the stories of patients on This Is Life with Lisa Ling, so we contacted Field Trip Health.

There, I connected with my therapist right away. Excellent credentials and an even better sense of humor helped me feel safe and comfortable, which was important because I started with a baby dose. At first, I could feel the dose, but it wasn’t overwhelming, and we increased the amount as things progressed. By the third session, something important happened: I started freaking out and wondering what I should be doing next. That’s when my therapist encouraged me to be present. It was such an aha moment: the medicine would lead me where I needed to go.

After that, I was able to relax and lean into the experience. It was like an adventure, a roller coaster, with some anticipation and nervousness where once you’re at the top, you start rolling through the twists and turns, but in the most relaxing way. Your inner healer and the medicine will take you where you need to go.

By the fifth session, I could peek my head into the psychedelic space in a way that felt relaxed and at peace—kind of like a blood vessel with some galactic scenery. Then, in the sixth session, I had another breakthrough in which I could say goodbye to the trauma of something that happened to me in my early life. It was like I was letting the pain go abstractly, and it was a life-changing realization for me that the pain and trauma had been so deeply embedded.

By the time I completed my sessions, I felt equipped with two other big life lessons: lighten up and don’t take things too seriously. I don’t always have to look for order and think about the next steps in life. Sometimes, it is okay to live in the present moment.

Since then, I’ve had a few life setbacks, but I’ve been able to handle them in a more healthy way than I may have previously. For example, my marriage recently ended, and I was able to come at it with self-compassion and self-advocacy. I’m a people-pleaser, so being able to do that and set boundaries was a clear result of my work in my treatments. I can acknowledge a divorce does not rule my life or impact how I feel about myself.

Lately, meditation has also played a more prominent role in my life, even if it’s just five minutes to connect with myself. I do breathwork with the Field Trip App (like a breathwork jazzercise!), and I’ve been accessing some of the other tools in my toolbox from my previous therapy. It’s all helped me in how I react to situations in the moment and allowed me not to be catastrophic about everything.

Today, I’m feeling pretty good. In January, I did my first group session, and it was fantastic to bounce my experience off another person and hear about theirs. I’ve come to accept depression will probably be a lifelong journey for me, but through these treatments, I’ve realized I can only do my emotional labor: let others worry about their own.

I’m also much more open with my loved ones, which helps with my depressive symptoms as I can give people the opportunity to tell me what they want and need from me—and vice versa. I had suicidal ideation for the first time in five months recently, but I was delighted to realize how long it had been since the last time that had happened.

Overall, ketamine-assisted therapy has been highly impactful, and even my friends and family notice a difference. I would be interested in using other psychedelics in a clinical setting one day, but for now I plan to continue this for as long as I can and for many years to come.

*****

The testimonials are the individual experiences of those who have attended Field Trip and taken part in our treatment, however they are individual results and results will vary. The testimonials are not necessarily representative of all of those who have used our treatment.

Field Trip may have edited the testimonials to account for correction of grammar or typing errors where necessary. In other cases, the testimonials may have been shortened for brevity. Field Trip has not edited the testimonial in a way that would create a misleading impression of the individual's views.

Ketamine is also not for everyone and may result in serious side effects. Certain medical conditions and other factors may reduce the effectiveness of ketamine as a treatment or disqualify you from receiving ketamine. Please consult a physician or other medical professional before commencing treatment.

For more information about what Field Trip offers including an overview, risks of treatment, and cost, please review Our Therapy.

Are you disappointed with the results from other therapies or medications? Is something blocking progress, but you’re not sure what? Find out if psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy is right for you.

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