The practice of ketamine assisted psycho-pharmacotherapy has evolved as a specialized procedure with the goal of inducing an ego-dissolving, transcendental peak experience. Also known as a transpersonal, mystical, or spiritual experience, a peak experience is an ecstatic state characterized by the dissolution of boundaries between the self and external reality.  This ecstatic state can either be a psychedelic or transcendental experience depending on the individual participant and the level of engagement and preparation undertaken in advance of the ketamine administration.

Psychedelic experiences are the more common experience and are induced with little to no preparation upon administration of the ketamine. Psychedelic experiences are categorized as follows:

  • Feelings of leaving one’s body, i.e. out-of-body experience
  • Awareness of becoming a non-physical being
  • Sense of transcending normal time and space
  • Emotionally intense visions
  • Encounters with archetypal beings
  • Visits to mythological realms of consciousness
  • Vivid dreams and memories of past and/or future incarnations
  • Experience of psychological death and rebirth of self

Transcendental experiences are had by approximately one third of patients and are facilitated by fully engaging in the preparation guidelines suggested by the Kolp Institute. Following a Whole Food, Plant Based (WFPB) diet, achieving optimum hydration, and de-toxifying the body of all sedatives (sugar, alcohol, anxiety medication, pain killers, etc.) and psycho-stimulants (caffeine, nicotine, amphetamines, diet pills, etc.), coupled with meditation and regular exercise, greatly increase the participant’s likelihood of having a transcendental experience. Transcendental experiences are categorized as follows:

  • Feelings of ego dissolution and loss of identity
  • Deep feelings of peace and joy
  • Sense of sacredness
  • Feelings of interconnectedness with all people and nature
  • Feelings of cosmic unity with the Universe and God
  • Profound sense of ineffability of the experience
  • Intuitive belief that the experience is a source of objective truth about the nature of reality
  • Re-experiencing the birth process

The ketamine experience involves one session with the psychoactive agent, Ketamine, and depends on set, or expectations, and setting, or environment. The psychedelic substance itself is not the healing agent, but an adjunct to the psycho-therapeutic process involved in the treatment program itself.

The Ketamine Session is scheduled for the 4th day of the residential WELL Program , or is administered following seven sessions of tele-psychotherapy with one of our program therapists. For residential participants, breakfast is omitted on the morning of Ketamine administration, but all participants should refrain from food and drink for at least eight hours prior to this experience.

You will be asked to make two agreements with the therapist to ensure your safety and well-being. You will agree to:

  • Follow any direct instructions the therapist gives you until you both agree that the session is over.
  • Remain at the location of the session until the therapist decides you are ready to leave.

The session will last approximately two hours. At the beginning of the session, you will have time to ask any questions you may have. You will then lie down in a comfortable position with eye shades. When you are ready, you will receive an injection of ketamine in your hip. The dose is 1.5 cc, or a little more than a quarter teaspoon, which is one-fifth of the dose used to put people to sleep for surgery. At that time, music begins to play, and the visionary experience starts, lasting approximately 45 to 50 minutes. The therapist and supervising physician will attend you throughout the session.

After the visionary experience ends, you will remain in a non-ordinary state of consciousness for another 50 to 60 minutes while your ego defense mechanisms are temporarily suspended. During this fertile time, guided imagery is used to imprint affirmations that will reinforce positive lifestyle changes and accelerate your psycho-spiritual growth.

When you have returned to your ordinary state of consciousness, you are strongly encouraged to record your experience in your journal during the recovery period. You will have further opportunity to share your experience with the therapist in your one-on-one follow up session, or with other program participants during the wisdom circle group during the residential workshop. This journaling and sharing of your experience is highly recommended, as it will significantly improve your processing of the experience, further enhance its psycho-therapeutic benefits and reinforce your lifestyle transformation.