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Ketamine Assisted Therapy

Legal Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy in Saint Louis, MO

About Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy

Research abounds about the benefits of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, yet with most psychedelic substances not yet legalized, many people are left waiting for life-changing treatment. 

 

Ketamine is the only widely legalized psychedelic therapy available in the United States. Technically a dissociative anesthetic, ketamine has the potential to take clients on a journey that helps them get out of old habits and thought patterns, rewire their brains, and move closer to the people that they want to be.

 

At Alternative Therapy STL, I believe that the deepest healing involves going beyond the conscious mind. That is why I have undergone advanced training in Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy, as well as Applied Shamanism and Depth Hypnosis.

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What to Expect from Ketamine-Assisted Therapy

Throughout the KAP experience, you can expect to have:

  • A 90-minute intake session

  • At least 1 preparation session

  • Ketamine-assisted session(s)

  • Integration session(s)

 

Most clients elect to complete several ketamine-assisted therapy sessions, which will have at least one integration session in between ketamine-assisted sessions. 

 

KAP will start off with a consultation, an intake session that is about 90 minutes long, and at least 1 hour-long preparation session. This will help me get to know more about your history, goals, and presenting issues. It will also give us time to prepare for the ketamine experience, set expectations, and set intentions for the experience. 

 

Ketamine-assisted therapy sessions generally last for about 2.5-3 hours. They involve intention setting, guided relaxation, music, and processing of the experience at the end. 

 

After each KAP session you complete, we will meet for about an hour for an integration session. This will help you make meaning out of your experience, make full use of the neuroplastic window, more fully apply your experience to your life, tie your KAP experience back to your goals, and prepare for your next steps. This may involve preparing for another KAP journey, discharging back to a primary therapist, trying out other forms of therapy with me, or bringing your therapeutic work to a close. 

 

Sample Outline of a KAP Schedule with 3 Dosing Sessions:

  • Session 1: 90-minute intake session

  • Session 2: 65-minute preparation and resourcing session

  • Session 3: 2.5-3 hour dosing session

  • Session 4: 65-minute integration and prep session

  • Session 5: 2.5-3 hour dosing session

  • Session 6: 65-minute integration and prep session

  • Session 7: 2.5-3 hour dosing session

  • Session 8: 65-minute integration session 

Frequently Asked Questions About KAP

Where are the sessions held?

Sessions are primarily held in my office in Saint Louis, Missouri. In-person KAP is preferable, but KAP can also be facilitated online. There is also an option for a hybrid format for those who want to combine in-person and online sessions. You are required to be located in Missouri for KAP dosing sessions. I am only licensed in Missouri and Illinois, and my prescriber is licensed in Missouri but not Illinois. Therefore, I am unable to offer KAP dosing sessions to people over telehealth who are located in Illinois for the dosing session. 

What do KAP Sessions Include?

  • The opportunity to self-administer ketamine during therapy sessions

  • A pre and post-KAP workbook personalized for you to help you prepare for and integrate your experience

  • Workbook review outside of face-to-face session time

  • Music

  • An eyeshade (for those coming in person)

  • Complementary snacks, filtered water, and tea (for those coming in person)

  • A comfortable couch where you can recline or lay down, blankets, and pillows (for those coming in person)

How will I obtain ketamine?

I work directly with a prescriber who will meet with you virtually. Your prescription will be mailed to you. I do not provide KAP to people who have obtained ketamine without a psychiatric prescription. 

 

Will I be safe to drive?

You are welcome to drive yourself to preparation and integration sessions where you do not take ketamine. You will be asked not to drive and to arrange your own transportation to and from dosing sessions.

 

What should I do after KAP? Can I go back to work?

Please take off work for the rest of the day and keep responsibilities to a minimum to rest and reflect. You are encouraged to be mindful about the media you consume after KAP. Your brain will be in a highly plastic and sensitive state. Please be intentional about the inputs you allow in, especially on the day of KAP.

 

What can KAP help with?

Ketamine has been shown in clinical trials to help with depression, anxiety, and PTSD. It is especially helpful for loosening rigid and ruminative thought patterns.

 

Am I required to see you as my primary therapist in order to do KAP with you?

No. I offer KAP both as a standalone service and as part of my wider therapeutic services. This means that you can come to see me just for KAP. You may also choose me as your therapist, and continue services with me even after your KAP experience is over.

 

What will the ketamine experience be like?

Everybody’s experience is different, and no two experiences are exactly the same. Some people experience a feeling of peace, floating, or serenity, go into a state similar to a dream, or feel like they “zoom out” or “detach” from their thoughts and problems. Emotions may arise during the ketamine experience. No matter your experience, we will work together to make meaning out of it that is empowering for you and your goals for therapy. 

 

Will I remember what happened during my KAP session?

You will most likely remember everything that happened during your experience. You will not be unconscious. I will also take notes about what you say, feel, and experience for you to reference and process afterward. 

 

How will KAP be administered?

Ketamine is medically available in 4 ways: as an IV drip, via intramuscular injection, as a nasal spray, and as a sublingual troche. You will be prescribed a sublingual troche for our therapeutic work, and you will administer it yourself according to the prescriber’s instructions. 

 

What is the difference between KAP and an IV infusion of ketamine?

IV infusions are administered at medical clinics and require medical supervision. They typically do not offer therapy alongside the infusion. Most patients at IV clinics report being left in a room alone for their ketamine infusion, with no emotional support, and are sent home immediately after. 

 

KAP, on the other hand, is administered in a comfortable, serene therapy office with therapeutic support every step of the way. This helps you prepare for the experience, feel emotionally safe during it, and reap all the magical benefits of KAP during the highly neuroplastic state you’ll be in as the ketamine begins to wear off. Also, KAP tends to be more affordable than an IV, especially considering the fact that you receive therapy and ketamine: 2 powerful services at the same time. Additionally, pairing ketamine with psychotherapy helps make the results longer-lasting.

 

While IV ketamine is primarily a medical experience, KAP is a therapeutic one with real biochemical benefits, combining the best of both worlds! 

 

How many sessions will I need?

Research suggests that you will obtain optimal benefits by doing multiple KAP sessions. I recommend completing at least 3-6 ketamine dosing sessions. You are not required to commit to several KAP sessions. If you are sincere about wanting to receive KAP but want to try it out once to make sure it works for you before committing to more sessions, we can schedule an initial KAP session and you can decide whether to schedule more afterward. Keep in mind that the cost-to-KAP ratio decreases the more KAP sessions you complete, due to the one-time up-front intake and prep session costs. 

 

Do you provide psychedelic-assisted therapy with substances other than ketamine?

Not at this time. Other substances, such as MDMA and psilocybin, are not currently legal in Missouri outside of clinical trials. I recognize that you may choose to have a therapeutic psychedelic experience on your own time or participate in a psychedelic session out of the state or country. If this is the case, I am happy to meet with you to help you integrate it, no matter the substance you use. Read more about psychedelic integration here

 

Is KAP the only form of therapy you offer?

Nope! I am committed to offering truly holistic therapy. I also offer Applied Shamanic Counseling, Depth Hypnosis, and Nutritional Therapy. You are welcome to explore any of the other modalities that interest you alongside KAP for truly multi-dimensional care. 

Do you provide emergency KAP services for severe depression or suicidality?

Not at this time. My practice is not equipped to intervene in crisis situations and I am generally not able to provide emergency, as-needed care. Advanced scheduling is required. If you are having an emergency, you may be better served by a ketamine infusion clinic or emergency psychiatric services. Phone numbers for emergency services can be found at the bottom of this page.

How do I get started?

The first step is to request a consultation. Make sure to mention that you are interested in KAP on the consult request form. During the consultation, we will discuss your goals and put together a personalized plan for your care. 

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Your KAP Investment

Ketamine infusions are costly and brief, and don’t offer the benefits of therapeutic meaning-making, goal-setting, integration, and support. Regular talk psychotherapy sessions tend to require many meetings and a regular investment of money, time, and energy over a long period of time.

 

KAP offers the potential to save time and money by combining biochemistry with psychology for deeper and more impactful change.

 

KAP is more affordable than ketamine infusions and therapy offered separately, and combines the best of both worlds to take full advantage of increased neuroplasticity for lasting transformation. The investment you make now can pay off for the rest of your life.

KAP Investment:

  • Medical Evaluation: $300, scheduled with an MD at a separate practice

  • Ketamine Troches: About $5 per troche. The exact amount needed will vary based on your personal situation

  • 90-minute Therapy Intake: $310

  • 65-Minute Prep Session: $225

  • 2.5 Hour Dosing Session: $780 

  • 65-Minute Integration Session: $225 

 

Packages are available at a 5% discount when paid up-front, and payment plans are also available. Cost-effectiveness increases the more KAP sessions you complete, as the initial intake and preparation sessions are one-time occurrences. 

My Qualifications for KAP

Emma Donovan, MA, LPC, LCPC, completed Integrative Psychiatry Institute's Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy Certification Program and holds a certificate in PAT. This training included an experiential ketamine component, where she received KAP, was a therapist for KAP, and observed KAP sessions.

 

She has also completed Fluence's "Psychedelic Integration: Premise and Promise" course, and the Sacred Stream's "Plant Medicine: Preparing and Integrating the Experience" course. ​These trainings provide her with a background in the biochemical, Western perspective on psychedelic science as well as the transpersonal and spiritual side of psychedelic healing. ​

Additionally, she is a Depth Hypnosis Practitioner, a Certified Applied Shamanic Counselor, is level 3 trained in IFS, is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, and a Certified TRE Provider. She also offers therapy intensives, and is skilled in facilitating longer-form multi-hour therapy sessions. She comes to KAP with a well-rounded skillset. She facilitates KAP both virtually and in person in her office in St. Louis, MO. If you're interested in KAP, please click the "request a consultation" button and mention KAP. 

**If you need immediate or trip-related help, the Fireside Project provides a free psychedelic support crisis line via call or text. Their number is (623) 473-7433. 

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