How effective is ketamine therapy? 

Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy (KAP) is very effective in addressing a variety of presenting mental health concerns. Several studies indicate that ketamine-assisted psychotherapy (KAP) leads to a statistically significant reduction of depressive symptoms in between 60-70% of individuals. 

KAP can lead to a significant decrease in depressive symptoms, including: pessimistic thoughts, inability to feel, lassistude, sadness; social withdrawal; fatigue; and changes in eating.  

Other effects of ketamine-assisted psychotherapy (KAP) include: 

  • Disruption of ruminative thinking patterns

  • Reduction in negativity, narcissistic focus, and self-obsession

  • Increase in cognitive and emotional flexiblity

  • Development of discernment

  • Reworking of trauma and placing them in the emotional and historical past

  • Relaxation of habit vigiliance

  • Enhanced capacity for mindfulness

  • Enhanced creativity and problem solving

  • Increased self-regard and self-compassion

  • Cultivation of greater trust in self and others 

  • Accepting reality and lowered existential distress and anxiety 

A 2022 systematic review of peer-reviewed studies indicate that “KAP may be effective in initiating rapid, significant benefits for a wide range of disorders” (Drozdz, etal, 2022). Other findings from the review include:

  • “KAP’s capacity to facilitate rapid clinically significant reductions of anxiety and depression has been observed in multiple studies”

  • “Reported increases in treatment engagement have also been observed and attributed to such sudden gains”

  • “Rapid reductions in depression/anxiety have been associated with lower drop-out rates and increased participation in therapy” 

  • “In the treatment of substance dependence, the integration of ketamine and psychotherapy appears to promote abstinence initiation, improve relapse prevention, improve craving reactivity management, and increase motivations to terminate drug use in select individuals” 

  • Improved duration of benefits in pain management patients

  • Psychedelic experiences as part of KAP lead to increased rapport, reduced defensiveness, and the experience of transpersonal connection that aids decision-making and support transformation in studies on depression, PTSD, and addiction

  • Facilitates neuroplasticity involved in new memory formation, fear extinction, and restructuring of traumatic memories