It would be inhumane,” Dore said, to not offer ketamine to people in intractable mental anguish. “We need things that are transformative, that aren’t putting a Band-Aid on a problem.
— Palo Alto Weekly, July 26, 2019

Learn About Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy

A note from Dr. Jennifer Dore:

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We at Helios are especially excited about the potential Ketamine assisted psychotherapy holds particularly for patients with depression, PTSD, and anxiety, including those suffering from suicidal ideation.

Ketamine is a Schedule III controlled substance classified as an anesthetic and NMDA receptor antagonist.  An article in Time in May 2016 points to two recent studies showing the efficacy of Ketamine in treating depression.  The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that “among 14 people with depression and suicidal thoughts, a few infusions of ketamine helped them to lessen their suicidal ideations considerably after three weeks.”  There are a number of theories as to what’s going on here, but a study from the journal Nature found that a metabolite that is a byproduct of Ketamine remains in the system for days after the drug is taken triggers antidepressant effects that last for days.  Our team recently contributed a major piece of research to this exciting field of study which you will find below:

In a time when there are few new pharmacological agents being developed for mental illness, this relatively new application of a decades old drug might just be one of the most exciting discoveries in our field today. 

 

Jennifer Dore, MD


Ketamine at Helios

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Full Intake and Evaluation

All new patients at Helios must undergo a full intake procedure which includes medical and psychiatric history, as well as an independent assessment of one’s physical and mental ability to undergo this procedure. 

Ketamine Sessions at Helios

You and your provider at Helios will determine the route of delivery and dosing protocol most suited to you.  Ketamine may be administered sublingually (under the tongue) or intramuscularly (injection) by one of our providers.  Sessions take place in a private treatment room specially designed to enhance the experience of this unique treatment.  Headphones and eye-shades are provided also to help patients turn inward during the procedure.

Integration Sessions

Ketamine is most effective when paired with psychotherapy.  For this reason, we strongly encourage patients undergo psychotherapeutic “integration” soon after treatment.  These sessions allow patients to discuss their experience and explore the potential meaning symbolism of what they have seen or felt.  

Effects and Possible Side Effects

Commonly used as anesthetic in children, Ketamine can induce a trance-like state and is used primarily for pain relief and sedation.  Side effects of the medication include but are not limited to dizziness, increase and decreased blood pressure, and, rarely, spasms of the larynx. Please discuss side-effects with your provider before undergoing treatment with Ketamine.  

Current Protocols and Applications

Suicidality, Severe Depression, Anxiety and PTSD:

The body of research shows that Ketamine is a powerful intervention for severe depression, anxiety and PTSD. Patients of Helios work with their provider to establish a treatment course and modality for the use of Ketamine.

End of Life:

Helios offers protocols and treatment plans to help ease transition for patients reaching the end of their life. You provider will discuss the risks and benefits of our existing protocols for end of life Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy.

Couples Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy:

As with individual psychotherapy, couples too can reach impasses in their treatment where a different kind of intervention is called for. Ketamine psychotherapy for couples is an exciting new approach to opening up lines of communication and shifting the modes of communications between individuals seeking to re-establish an environment of love and support in their relationship.

Our Commitment to You

Helios’s providers are medical professionals educated and experienced in the use of Ketamine, medication management and psychotherapy.  At Helios we make every effort to assure your safety and security as you undergo treatment and reintegrate afterwards.   At Helios we put a special emphasis on two critical points: “set and setting” which assures your experience takes place in a warm, welcoming, and forgiving context and “integration” which helps solidify learnings from your experience and gives you the tools to improve your quality of life moving forward.


Interested in visiting Helios and talking directly to a provider about Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy?

[This appointment is a 1-hour overview and discussion of Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy where prospective patients will be walked through how Helios administers Ketamine, the features of your experience and your potential fit for the treatment. This appointment is not an intake appointment. An intake appointment must be scheduled separately. A valid credit card is required to make the appointment and all cancellations must occur 24 hours in advance. The price for the appointment is $300.]


Interested in becoming a patient at Helios?

[After submitting a short form our medical team will pair you with a potential provider and follow up to help you schedule a 1.5-2hr intake appointment]


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A groundbreaking study into the effects of Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy

Dr. Dore and Shannon Dwyer and their co-authors have published groundbreaking research into the effects of Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy on depression and anxiety.


Go Deeper

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On PoinT: Helios’s Psychedelic Psychotherapy Blog

Read our latest thoughts on breakthroughs in psychedelic psychotherapy. In our latest post you’ll learn more about the ins and outs of Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy.

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Dr. Jennifer Dore’s Published Research

Review a list of Dr. Dore’s published research. Dr. Dore has extensive background in numerous medical fields, including studies in immunology, cancer, and psychedelic psychotherapy.

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What We’re Reading

Take a look at what we’re reading at Helios Psychiatry and Wellness. From books to articles, we’re always keeping our eyes peeled for the latest and greatest insights from around the fields of medicine and psychology.