What is Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP)?
KAP is a powerful, transformational treatment modality. Ketamine disrupts ordinary consciousness and can help to shift one’s thinking out of habitual cycles of negative thoughts and emotional states. Like repaving a street, it is thought that ketamine can clear out the ruts, providing a smooth surface to move forward in a different direction, instead of getting stuck in the same old paths. Importantly, KAP can help to facilitate profound transpersonal and mystical experiences. Such experiences can offer important clarity and insight into one’s struggles, add a deeper dimension to ongoing therapeutic work, and facilitate a sense of meaning and interconnectedness.
What is Ketamine?
Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic that has psychedelic effects at higher doses. It has been used safely in medical settings for over 50 years. It was initially approved as an anesthetic in 1970, and has been used off label (meaning there is no FDA indication) for procedural sedation and analgesia since that time. The first study to find that ketamine is effective for depression was conducted in the year 2000. Since then, it has been used off label for depression and other psychiatric ailments amid mounting evidence that it is a safe and effective treatment for these conditions. Interestingly, it is currently the only psychedelic medicine legally available in the United States (outside of research studies/FDA clinical trials).
How Does Ketamine Work?
Ketamine’s mechanism of action is complicated. It works on a variety of receptors, but its most potent effect is through antagonism at the NMDA receptor. This action causes a surge in glutamate, which is the most abundant neurotransmitter in all vertebrates. Glutamate is involved in learning and memory formation, as well as stress reactivity. There is an accompanying release of BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor), also known as “miracle grow for the brain." BDNF promotes neuroplasticity and synapse formation, and is thought to be necessary for the anti-depressant effects of ketamine.
What Does the KAP Process Look Like?
Initially, all prospective KAP clients will meet with a therapist and a consulting physician for an intake and evaluation. If deemed eligible for treatment, clients will receive a few preparatory sessions where we will discuss what to expect from the KAP sessions, set intentions for what psychological material will be addressed during KAP, and explore possible challenges that may come up. After the preparatory sessions are complete, the KAP and integration sessions take place. Integration sessions occur within a few days after KAP sessions and are an opportunity to process material and deepen understanding of insights gained during the KAP sessions.
How Much Does KAP Cost?
Our out-of-pocket rates are listed below. A limited amount of grant funds are available to pay for treatment costs for individuals from BIPOC and/or LGBTQIA+ communities. The final cost of services will be determined on an individual basis as part of the client intake process.
Initial Consultation Call (20 minutes): Free
Psychological Screening (2 hours): $400
Medical Screening (1 hour): $200-300, depending on medical complexity
Preparatory Sessions, typically 3 sessions (1 hour each): $175 each
KAP Sessions, typically 6 sessions (3 hours each): $525 each
Integration Sessions, occurs after each KAP session (1 hour each): $175 each
Does My Insurance Cover KAP?
Your insurance plan may cover the screening, preparatory, and integration sessions, but KAP sessions are not covered by insurance plans at this time. Many clinicians at Sequoia Center are contracted with PacificSource and BlueCross Blue Shield insurance plans, and we are happy to bill for screening, preparatory, and integration sessions if you are covered under one of these plans.
If you have an insurance plan that we are not contracted with, we are happy to provide you with a superbill for you to submit to your insurer for out-of-network reimbursement (if eligible). Please note that out of network benefits vary greatly. It can be helpful to call your insurance company and ask the questions below to find out about your out-of-network benefits.
QUESTIONS FOR YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY REGARDING OUT OF NETWORK BENEFITS:
Do I have out of network benefits?
Is there a deductible to pay down before accessing out of network benefits? If so, what is the amount?
After the deductible has been met, what is the copay or coinsurance?
What is the 'allowed amount' (important to use this terminology for accuracy in getting an answer) for session code 90791 and 90837?