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How Ketamine-Assisted Therapy is Different from Traditional Talk Therapy

December 7, 2022

Is Talk Therapy the Same as Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy and “talk therapy” are often interchanged, but both terms refer to the same practice. This form of therapy is focused on a treatment program rooted in discussion and several different academic techniques to help a client work through their life circumstances, emotions, thoughts, and behavior patterns.  Here at Field Trip, we offer ketamine-assisted psychotherapy, a protocol that combines traditional talk therapy with the power of psychedelic medicine for fast-acting healing and growth.

What are the Main Differences Between Ketamine-Assisted Therapy and Traditional Talk Therapy?

The main differences between ketamine-assisted psychotherapy (KAP) and traditional talk therapy is the incorporation of psychedelic medicine. With KAP, we wrap your psychedelic exploration around talk therapy sessions to both prepare before your session and integrate afterwards. Talk therapy is a pivotal part of the psychedelic experience and going into your program with intention and mindful expression is what makes KAP work to the best of its ability. 

Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy is different from traditional talk therapy in the way the program is structured. Traditional talk therapy, while effective for many people, can take a very long time to see results and growth. When you combine this modality with intentional psychedelic journeying, we often see healing occur at a much quicker pace. Many typically conduct traditional talk therapy in hourly, repetitive sessions that have the potential to last years. At Field Trip specifically, you will embark on a 6-8 week journey that includes both talk therapy and psychedelic dose days weekly, ultimately finishing after six exploration sessions. We pair multiple sessions close together as research and clinic results have proven that this extends the effectiveness of treatment, leading to longer-lasting relief. The program is condensed and intense, but minimizes years of mental health maintenance into less than two months.

Traditional psychotherapy without the companionship of psychedelics does work for much of the world’s population. This is a widely accepted practice for mental wellness. However, many people have struggled with this modality of healing being sufficient for their mental health challenges, especially those with treatment-resistant depression or complex trauma. Because ketamine is scientifically proven to show antidepressant properties, KAP is a good option for those who have tried other approaches and saw fleeting and minimal positive changes. Field Trip’s evidence-based program is designed to tackle not just the symptoms, but also the negative thought patterns, lifestyle factors, trauma, coping skills, and chemical systems in the brain, allowing it to be highly effective where other treatments have failed.

The cost of ketamine-assisted psychotherapy versus talk therapy is notably different. Because KAP combines several talk therapy sessions with psychedelic medicine exploration and a supportive team of mental health and medical experts, the investment reflects this. Psychedelic therapy is often not covered by insurance, but you may be eligible for partial reimbursement under extended health benefits, depending on your employer or insurer’s coverage limits. We will provide you with the necessary documentation to seek reimbursement from your insurance provider. 

Although most psychedelic therapists have the same core credentials as traditional psychotherapists, the reverse is not always true. Our Field Trip therapists, and many professionals who consider themselves “psychedelic therapists,” are specialized and trained in psychedelic healing in addition to their existing accreditations. They’re experts in helping clients unpack their complex psychedelic experiences so they can build new thought patterns for long-lasting relief. A very clear and empathetic understanding of how this powerful medicine works can help clients through treatment properly, every step of the way.

Which Modality is For Me?

Making an informed decision on your mental health healing journey is important. If you have not tried traditional talk therapy before, it is a great place to start. Simply speaking to a licensed professional who is unbiased and trained to help understand the complexities of your mind and your life experience is a remarkable tool in knowing yourself and becoming better. However, this approach does not work for everyone as mental health solutions are not a one-size-fits-all approach. If you have tried traditional psychotherapy to no avail and are looking for an alternative option, psychedelic-assisted therapy may be a good fit for you. 

There are a handful of situations where you would not be suitable for ketamine-assisted psychotherapy and the Field Trip program. These include:

– Allergy to ketamine

– Pregnancy/Breast Feeding

– Personal history of schizophrenia or psychosis

– Uncontrolled hypertension (blood pressure)

– Severe recent head injury/trauma

Many of our clients who are eligible and have experienced treatment-resistant mental health conditions report finishing our program with feelings of personal growth, clarity, and connection. In the spirit of the medicine, ketamine-assisted therapy requires you to trust, let go, and be open. You will know when you are ready. 

If you need any clarification or guidance before you feel fully comfortable and prepared, reach out to us at Field Trip.

Does Field Trip Health Have a Ketamine Therapy Offering Near Me?

Field Trip Health has clinics and at-home programs throughout the US and Canada. If you are ready to begin your journey toward healing and build your personalized treatment plan, then give us a call to learn more:

  • 1-888-519-6016 (USA)
  • 1-833-222-0084 (Canada)

Or schedule an appointment online, and our team will reach out to you.‍