User Avatar

Empower Health

Ketamine Therapy for Depression: What You Should Know

Patrick Callas
Patrick CallasPublished on July 20, 2022

Statistics show that roughly 8% of all Canadian adults are suffering from depression at any given time. And the COVID pandemic has only made depression rates climb higher. As of April 2021, one in four Canadians were experiencing depression, anxiety, or PTSD. [1

Despite being so common, depression is often left untreated and undiagnosed. Even those who do get prescribed something for their depression may turn out to be non-responders. 

But fear not — a new treatment called ketamine therapy is changing the way both psychiatrists and patients view depression and other hard-to-treat mental illnesses. Let’s take a closer look. 

What is Integrated Ketamine Assisted Therapy (iKAT)?

Ketamine-assisted therapy (KAT) is the combination of the administration of ketamine, an atypical psychedelic, with therapy with a provider trained in somatic and mindfulness approaches. Ketamine is what’s called a dissociative drug, often used to relieve pain, reduce anxiety, and promote deep relaxation. 

Modern research shows that ketamine is helpful in relieving another type of pain, too: the mental pain caused by difficult experiences, trauma, and persistent mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. Studies reveal that ketamine therapy may help up to 70% of people diagnosed with treatment-resistant depression. (Otherwise treatment-resistant, that is.) [2

And ketamine-assisted therapy may become even more effective when it’s followed by integration therapy — a process we call iKAT. A post-therapy integration session allows one to associate lasting meaning with what they’ve experienced. It allows one to integrate the transient relief they felt into something that lasts far after the ketamine itself has worn off. Our interdisciplinary care team includes Naturopathic Doctors, Pain Medicine specialists, Neurofeedback Practitioners, Somatic Therapists, Osteopathic Practitioners, and Registered Massage therapists.

How we do Ketamine Therapy differently

Most ketamine clinics make use of ketamine infusions. Our Centre, however, does things differently. We administer ketamine via either tablets or intramuscular injections (the injections are done by a trained nurse). [3]

A therapist provides support as the ketamine kicks in and begins to breach your perception. Most people find ketamine’s effects extraordinarily relaxing — they may fall into a psychedelic, dream-like state, or feel peaceful enough to reconcile their past with a brighter future. Our therapists remain present throughout the whole experience in order to provide personalised care. Some patients are more expressive during their sessions; others become very introspective. We prize and support the patient’s experience either way. 

The way we administer ketamine allows its psychedelic effects to run their course within just one hour. Once their session is over each patient is given ample time to relax and reintegrate before they head home. Despite being so fast-acting, ketamine’s antidepressant effects can persist for 9-12+ months. 

Ketamine Therapy: your next step?

Click here to get started on your ketamine-assisted therapy journey and take a new approach to your mental, physical, and spiritual wellness. Thousands of people with treatment-resistant depression have already experienced life-changing relief — will you be the next? Regardless of where you find yourself, our team will be happy to help you along on the way.  

Empower Health Newsletter

Get occasional updates from Empower Health in your inbox