Psychedelic medicine refers to various techniques using psychedelic molecules for improving mental health and overall wellbeing. Scientifically, it is believed that the power of psychedelics to promote mental wellness and healing are the result of a temporary quieting of the ego, and a suspension of the Default Mode Network (DMN) of the brain. When combined with therapeutic support for integrating into your daily life, psychedelics can offer a path toward healing and transformation. Multiple evidence-based studies from world-class institutions have demonstrated that using psychedelics can produce profound, sustained results in as little as one session. Ongoing benefits include improved well-being and optimism, and increased neural plasticity.
There is little evidence to suggest that experiences with psychedelic substances result in long-term addiction or physical harm. In fact, a growing set of studies indicates that these substances, when taken in a therapeutic setting, can be quite positive for mental health issues. However, as with any drug, there is potential for abuse and harm if not taken safely and under medical supervision. Field Trip only promotes the safe use of legal psychedelics under the supervision of our expert medical team in a therapeutic setting.
Psychedelics are powerful substances that have the potential to cause profound changes in perception and patterns of thinking. They can be unpredictable and, at times, overwhelming for some people. That said, it’s often the difficult journeys that lead to the most significant breakthroughs and long-term benefits. Even difficult experiences can be wonderful opportunities to see life from a new perspective. Experienced professionals can help to minimize the anxiety felt during the experience. They serve as trusted guides and interpreters, while also maximizing the effectiveness of the treatment. By creating safe, comfortable environments and helping you establish an open, relaxed mindset, therapists help facilitate a beneficial experience.
Field Trip’s providers are professionally trained and licensed medical practitioners. They range from experienced doctors and psychiatrists to registered psychotherapists. Every Field Trip Health clinic has a medical director and a psychiatrist on staff to screen our patients for safety and fit. All of our psychotherapists have been trained in using specific techniques and protocols during integration therapy. Field Trip also has a highly experienced and respected medical advisory team, made up of key opinion leaders in the mental health space, as well as scientific experts who have worked at major pharmaceutical organizations.
Currently, Field Trip has protocols for addressing depression and trauma. Program offerings may vary depending on the Field Trip Health Center location. Please reach out to us if you have questions about whether you qualify.
Although the use of ketamine therapy is generally safe for most individuals, there are some conditions that may disqualify you from this treatment. These conditions include, but are not limited to pregnant women and nursing mothers, and individuals with a history of psychosis or schizophrenia, active mania/hypomania, or poorly controlled hypertension (high blood pressure) or hyperthyroidism. Do note that high blood pressure that is well controlled with medication may not be contraindicated with ketamine assisted psychotherapy. As a result, the medical team will assess blood pressure prior to ketamine administration. If your blood pressure is too high, unfortunately, we will not be able to administer your medication and your appointments will need to be rescheduled to ensure your safety.
The Field Trip medical team closely screens each new patient during our consultation process to ensure they are a safe fit for our program. A more complete list of our contraindications include:
-Allergy to Ketamine
-Recent Traumatic Brain Injury
-History of Psychosis
-Obstructive Sleep Apnea
-Respiratory Issues due to Weight
-Medication Risks (benzodiazepines, opioids)
-Active Substance Use
-Acute Suicidal Ideation
-Significant Past Substance Abuse
In Canada, Field Trip currently requires a medical referral from your doctor or psychiatrist. Download our standard referral form. Once we have received a referral, our staff psychiatrist will screen prospective clients to ensure your safety and confirm ketamine-enhanced psychotherapy is the right fit for you.
In the US, Field Trip does not require a referral. To qualify for treatment, you will go through a secure medical intake questionnaire and conduct a consultation with one of our licensed medical professionals to ensure our program is the right fit.
During your consultation, our medical team will walk through the treatment process with you in detail. You will then be provided with additional resources and exercises to prepare for your initial ketamine experience. Our approach to ketamine-enhanced psychotherapy uses ketamine as a catalyst to unlock deeper therapy sessions with a trained psychotherapist. We then blend these intensive sessions with mindfulness, self-care, and personalized integration activities to deliver a holistic treatment approach that heals on multiple levels.
Our initial medical consultation is conducted virtually. It takes approximately 45 mins to one hour. If after the consultation, we find that the treatment is a good fit for you, we will schedule you in for your modules of ketamine therapy sessions with your medical team, scheduled over a period of several weeks. Patients should expect to be in our health center for approximately two to three hours during each of these sessions. During this period, you will also be joining us in our health center for several standalone, one-hour psychotherapy integration sessions.
Following your initial consultation, under the Core treatment program, you will undergo four to six ketamine experience and exploratory therapy sessions, as well as two to three standalone integration therapy sessions. This will all take place over a period of approximately four weeks. Please note that the exact number of visits may vary by center location and program.
As our psychedelic-assisted therapy program is still a novel treatment, our program is not currently covered under OHIP or other public health options in Canada.
As all sessions are conducted with a registered psychotherapist, under the clinical supervision of a registered psychologist, you may be eligible for partial reimbursement under a psychotherapist and/or psychologist benefit - the amount depending on your employer or insurer's coverage limits. In Ontario, this could be up to $2,225 of the total treatment cost. In the US, reimbursement amounts may vary depending on provider.
We are happy to provide you with the necessary documentation to seek reimbursement from your insurance provider.
Ketamine-assisted therapy is conducted at lower doses of ketamine than what has been used safely in anaesthesia for decades. It is known to be safe and well-tolerated in both healthy adults and children. Despite its common use in modern medicine, ketamine’s application in lower dosages for the treatment of mental health challenges, such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD, is relatively new. During your consultation, our medical team will screen you carefully to ensure you are a safe candidate for our treatment.
Ketamine is an NMDA receptor antagonist that interacts with some of your brain’s neurotransmitters. Its effects can include relieving anxiety and pain relief, and acting as an antidepressant. Under medical supervision, lower doses of ketamine can relax your mind and allow you to temporarily disengage from your routine thought patterns. When combined with psychotherapy, studies found it can be helpful in reducing anxiety and depression.
Every psychedelic experience is unique to the individual and environment, and ketamine is no different. There are some commonalities in reported sensations from psychedelic doses of ketamine. You may experience a sense of disconnection—that you are observing your mind and body from outside rather than within. The experience has also been described as “euphoric,” “calming,” and “mystical.” Many people experience changes in energy level, becoming either more relaxed or more energetic. The heart rate is also often increased. It’s important to recognize that for some people these unfamiliar sensations can be overwhelming or difficult. Even with experiences that may seem negative in the moment, the insights gained are often tremendously valuable.
As with any powerful substance, there are some potential side effects while under the influence of ketamine. Below are some potential effects you may experience during and after administration, until the effects of the drug have worn off:
- A feeling of dissociation or disconnection from your normal self
- A sense of impaired balance and coordination
- A feeling of drowsiness, mental confusion, and/or slurred speech
- Impacts to visual, auditory, or tactile processing, including diminished ability
to see, hear, or feel objects accurately
- Ketamine can worsen psychotic symptoms in people who suffer from
schizophrenia or severe personality disorder
- Feelings of anxiety, fright, nausea, and/or vomiting
More severe side-effects, much more rare and typically only seen at much higher doses, can include:
- Under surgical ketamine doses, there are reports of decreased immune
- Chronic, high-dose abuse of ketamine may cause urinary tract symptoms
and permanent bladder dysfunction
Ketamine can be administered to patients in a variety of ways, including intravenously, nasally, or sublingually. At Field Trip in Canada, patients consume tablets under the tongue sublingually in the presence of a health professional. This means it typically takes effect within five to ten minutes. Effects normally last from 45 to 60 minutes. In the US, patients are given ketamine through an intramuscular injection.
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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.