WHAT TO EXPECT
Before the first session:
Before your first session, you can fill out all necessary forms (consent and background form). Those forms can be found under the "forms" section. Once completed, please e-mail the forms to me. Alternatively, you can arrive 10 to 15 minutes prior to your session to complete them at the office. Forms are available in the waiting area.
At the first session:
Whether this is your first time in therapy, or you've done it before, you'll most likely experience an array of emotions - nervousness, fear, apprehension, maybe even excitement. It's important that you know - these emotions are completely normal and okay! You are about to meet someone new, a complete stranger, and share some private, intimate and even deep information, memories, experiences and emotions with them!
At the first session, we will review all of the paper work you filled out, and pay particular attention to the consent form in terms of privacy and confidentiality. You will be asked what brings you in, and whether you have a specific concern or you're not quite sure, we will navigate that together. At this time, you will most likely be asked some questions in order to get to know you - more information about your life, work/education, social life, health, spirituality, and more. We will talk about how you've dealt with difficult emotions or experiences in the past, what has worked for you and what hasn't, your insight about what you think is going on, etc.
Near the end, we will discuss any specific goals or intentions that you have in therapy, and customize a type of road map in which to navigate together. We can discuss if you think the therapeutic relationship is appropriate, or if you'd like a referral to a different practitioner - no offence will be taken if you request to see another therapist!
The first session is really to get to know you - your history, your hopes, goals etc.
At the end of the session, collecting or arranging payment is done, and arrangements for the next session can be made, should you wish to.
From your therapist:
Sharing our lived experiences, thoughts, feelings, hopes and aspirations, and when comfortable doing so, our deep inner truths, is not something we take lightly! With that in mind, it is of the upmost importance to us that we offer a space in which you feel respected, heard and safe. You should expect authentic communication, support and empathy. It is our belief that a therapist's role is not to heal you per se, but rather to support you as you navigate your healing journey, and to offer genuine support and guidance throughout.
With that in mind, most of the work is done by you! Even though counselling is safe, it is not always comfortable. Difficult or repressed emotions, anger, and frustration may surface, but we will work through those things together. At New Earth, we strongly value authentic and honest communication, so you should expect to be held accountable and challenged throughout the process.
Finally - and very importantly, your therapist does not know everything! Just like you, therapists are humans too, and often experience their own challenges. If it is felt that your concerns would be better supported by another practitioner, a referral can be made. Additionally, should you request to terminate therapy to work with another practitioner, no offense will be taken.
Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy:
After your referral is sent in to The Linden:
Once your referral has been received and processed by The Linden, you will be contacted to set up your psychiatric intake with Dr. Hooper. At your scheduled appointment, Dr. Hooper will go over intake information, background history, and discuss the Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) program with you. After that appointment, you will be contacted to set up you psychotherapy intake on a separate date. At that appointment, you will go over your background history again, your childhood, your current functioning, your hopes for KAP, and the opportunity to ask any questions. We will also schedule your 6 KAP sessions, and your 3 integration sessions if you choose the Intensive KAP package.
Your first KAP:
At your first KAP session, we will begin by having our RN meet with you to weigh you and discuss any medical questions you may have. We will then discuss your intentions for the session, confirm your dosage of Intranasal (IN) Ketamine, and discuss any questions or concerns you may have. You will then settle in with a progressive muscle relaxation (PMR). After that, our RN, Zach, will come in and check your vitals and begin administration of the IN Ketamine. Depending on dosage, it may involve anywhere from 3 to 8 sprays, spanning over 15 to 40 minutes. The arm cuff for blood pressure is left on your arm throughout the session, but the finger clip for oxygen can be removed. Our RN will enter the room half way through the session to check vitals again, and then one more time at the end of the session.
Once the sprays are done, you will be invited to settle in with your eyeshades, and a specially selected KAP music playlist will start. Based on your intention from the start of the session, an invocation will be read to you.
At this point - the session looks different for everyone. Typically, 5 to 10 minutes is given to settle in with the music, to get comfortable, and to let the ketamine start to take effect. You are free to talk, move, stretch or do whatever you need to do throughout the whole time. Some people have very introspective sessions, where they don't talk much, but move through things internally. When this happens, the psychotherapist will check in regularly to see how you're feeling, what you're experiencing, etc. For others, the session is an intensive therapy session that involves moving through deep emotions, experiences and memories while engaged in talk therapy. Whatever place you find yourself in during these sessions, is the right place for you in the moment. You may even find that in one session you talk a lot, and in your next, barely talk at all. Some people even have the desire to move around in dance! Whatever you need, you are accepted.
Subsequent KAP sessions:
Each subsequent KAP session follows the same beginning - check in, confirm dosage, check-in with the RN, intention setting, dosage confirmation, and time to ask any questions. As noted above, each session often takes on a life of it's own, depending on your intention, dosage, and where your subconscious takes you. We've had individuals feel completely relaxed and open to discussing things that were previously kept suppressed, to individuals finding themselves in space floating with stars.
Integration sessions are an opportunity to go even deeper with the experience. We schedule integration sessions at the intake to ensure all of your sessions are booked. We have 1 integration session for every 2 KAP sessions.
Often times, people don't remember all of the experiences that come up during KAP. Some people have described it as a dream - when you wake up, you have a faint memory, but it fades quickly. Luckily, your whole experience is captured in our notetaking during each KAP session, so we can remind you of the experiences! These integration sessions let us investigate the emotions, experiences and memories that came up, what they mean, why they came up, and how to integrate their teachings into your daily life. This integration process typically allows for a more intensive overall experience, and significantly supports the ketamine's work.
After all of your sessions:
Our KAP programs all offer 6 KAP sessions to start, but once you are complete those sessions, you can continue to book in for KAP and integration sessions as you see fit. It does not need to continue on a weekly basis, and some find coming in every month or 2 is beneficial. We will work with you, your goals, your budget, etc, to ensure you are getting the support you need.