Spravato & Ketamine Treatments

Spravato®: What, why, and how?

Spravato® is a nasal spray approved by the FDA for adults with treatment-resistant depression. It is also used to treat depressive symptoms in adults with major depressive disorder (MDD) who exhibit acute suicidal ideation or behavior. The exact mechanism of action for Spravato® is not fully understood, but it is believed to involve antagonism of the NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptors, which impacts GABA and glutamate levels, the brain’s most prevalent neurotransmitters.

To schedule and see if you qualify for Spravato treatment, contact us here.

Ketamine Treatment & Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy

We are also very excited to introduce Ketamine treatments both medical with intention setting and Ketamine with Psychotherapy (KAP).

Is Ketamine Therapy Effective? (Ketamine alone, without psychotherapy)

Ketamine therapy is an alternative treatment for PTSD, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and a host of other mental illnesses. Numerous studies from Harvard, Yale, and other respectable institutions have begun highlighting ketamine’s ability to help individuals who are resistant to typical treatments (such as psychotherapy and medications). 

Ketamine is acknowledged by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) as an effective treatment for various mental health disorders.

How is Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) Different?

After being cleared with a Ketamine medical evaluation (different than a normal psychiatric medical evaluation), clients are administered ketamine and taken to a treatment room for the duration of the experience. When used as a standalone medication, ketamine can provide people with significant symptom relief. This relief can be short-lived if it isn’t provided along with intention-setting and may require regular follow-up Ketamine sessions.

At Soma Therapy, we offer both Ketamine treatment for symptom-relief and Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP). By combining ketamine simultaneously with psychotherapy, we provide the opportunity for symptom relief and profound personal growth that can lead someone to change their lives and contribute to healthy overall well-being.

Working with your KAP therapist, you can expect symptom reduction while targeting the underlying issues that cause you to experience symptoms. Working through specific intentions, themes, and integrating the inner intelligence of your ketamine sessions with a guide beside you.

HOW KETAMINE WORKS DIFFERENTLY

Most antidepressants act by increasing certain levels of neurotransmitters (Serotonin, Norepinephrine, and Dopamine). Ketamine works differently; when Ketamine is given, it binds to a receptor in the brain called the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor. When Ketamine binds to this receptor it temporarily blocks the action of a neurotransmitter called Glutamate. A large number of clinical studies suggest dysfunction of the glutamatergic system is one of the primary issues in mood disorders. Because Ketamine acts on different systems than traditional antidepressants, it is often effective when antidepressants or opiate pain medication have little or no reductions in symptoms.

KETAMINE DECREASES INFLAMMATION

Reducing inflammation is a key element in the treatment of mood disorders and pain conditions. Ketamine is known to decrease the levels of inflammatory compounds in the brain and body. Specifically, it decreases IL-1, IL-6, TNF-a, CRP, and MCP-1.

KETAMINE DECREASES NEGATIVE THOUGHTS

The default mode network in your brain produces most of the normal conscious thoughts that you have on a day-to-day basis. In depression, the default mode network is hijacked by other parts of the brain, with the result being that resting thoughts can become consumed with negative ruminations. By temporarily disconnecting these areas chemically, Ketamine can disrupt the cycle that is causing unwanted negative thought patterns. When this effect is combined with therapy and Ketamine’s neuroplastic influence, new pathways can be forged that train the brain to think positively again.

KETAMINE INCREASES NEUROPLASTICITY

Certain doses of ketamine are known to increase the expression of “brain-derived neurotrophic factor” (BDNF). BDNF is a protein that encourages the growth of new neurons and synapses.  Chronic stress, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, inflammation, and PTSD can damage the brain over time. Increasing BDNF is crucial to repair what has been damaged. Increasing the expression of BDNF is how Ketamine helps to “re-wire” the brain, which is the primary aim of the Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy Therapy process.
Ultimately, our program is meant to provide long-term relief from the pain of mental health conditions. Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy is a powerful tool for healing.

Our Process

  • Intake: Our Ketamine intake is thorough to determine which of our ketamine programs is the best treatment fit for you (physically and mentally) and for your treatment goals. Our intake involves two steps: an intake medical questionnaire and a thorough personal assessment with one of our licensed Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNPs) or Licensed Nurse Practitioners (APRNs).
  • Preparation: To ensure a beneficial treatment, we outline what you can expect during your appointment and provide you with a Ketamine information and consent form. Our team will guide you through creating an optimal mindset for your sessions, setting your intentions, aftercare instructions, and how to maximize your time with us.
  • Exploration: During exploration sessions, you’ll enter an altered state of consciousness. Clients describe feelings of deep relaxation, wonder, and a newfound capacity to explore challenging emotions and life experiences, with the support of our highly skilled team.
  • Integration sessions and during Ketamine (*under KAP Plan only) In an altered, neuroplastic state, the brain can make new connections and rewrite learned patterns. Our skilled therapists help you draw out insights and ensure your gains from your Ketamine Exploration are sustained and integrated into your life, to prevent a relapse of your symptoms
  • Recommendation: While single sessions can provide profound breakthroughs, and symptom relief, and can be combined with your current therapy and medication treatment, we recommend an evidence-based treatment protocol that involves six ketamine exploration sessions with supportive integration sessions. Doing 6 sessions better helps clients target specific treatment goals with intentionality and helps clients become comfortable with the medicine and process so they can “let go and learn from their inner intelligence”. Throughout your KAP sessions, we personalize your ketamine dosage based on your comfort level, history, and tolerance to the medicine physically and emotionally.

Ketamine & KAP Estimated Pricing:

INSURED WITH COVERAGE
Ketamine without KAP: $45 per session plus any applicable copay
Ketamine with Psychotherapy integration & Licensed Therapist: $250-395 per session
The $250-395 includes the cost of licensed and specially trained staff, medication administration, and a potential copay for the first hour of therapy. The second hour of therapy is not covered by insurance*

*This is the estimated cost. There may be additional fees if your insurance does not fully cover services or if there are changes to your treatment process.

NON-INSURED TREATMENT COSTS
Ketamine without KAP:
Medical intake session… $150
1st medicine session….$195
Total: $345

Ketamine with Psychotherapy:
Medical intake session….$150
Prep session with therapist…$100-200
Medicine session with therapist…$495-555
2nd integration session…$100-200

Total: $745-$1045*


FAQS

How are Spravato and Ketamine different?

Spravato (esketamine) and ketamine are both used in the treatment of depression, but they differ in their chemical form, administration, and regulatory approval. Ketamine, an older medication, is typically administered intravenously or intramuscularly and is known for its rapid-acting antidepressant effects. It is widely used off-label for treating depression and many other mental health conditions, meaning it’s not specifically approved for this use but is recognized as an effective treatment by many clinicians. Spravato, on the other hand, is a nasal spray containing esketamine (a ketamine isomer) specifically approved by the FDA for treatment-resistant depression and major depressive disorder with acute suicidal ideation or behavior. Spravato’s approval includes requirements for administration in a certified medical office and observation of the patient due to potential sedative effects and other risks. Soma Therapy is REMS Certified and able to provide both types of treatments.

Can I do Ketamine treatments if I am seeing a psychiatric medication provider or therapist at another practice?

Absolutely! We love working with outside providers and therapists. We would get a release of information to ensure we can provide copies of session notes and insights with your current treatment team. KAP and Ketamine can be wonderful in conjunction with talk therapy and we are happy to provide information for providers and therapists at other practices as well.

How is this different from the therapy I’ve already tried?

Our approach builds upon the effectiveness of traditional talk therapy. The combination of psychedelic medicine and talk therapy means our treatment can have an impact more quickly; and over a shorter time period. Some clients who have experienced KAP have described treatments as “10 trauma therapy sessions in one”. This is why we recommend Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) for the best therapeutic benefit.

Our KAP therapists are specialized and trained in psychedelic healing and ketamine assisted psychotherapy, in addition to their existing accreditations. Many of our KAP providers have additional trauma training including EMDR, IFS, Somatic therapies, and other modalities they can utilize. Our KAP therapists are experts in helping clients unpack their complex psychedelic experiences so they can build new thought patterns for long-lasting relief.

How do you prevent a “Bad Trip”?

A comforting atmosphere, careful preparation, and intention setting will minimize any unpleasantness that might come up for you. We create an environment and setting that is comfortable ensuring you have access to “cozy items” like blankets, noise reducing headphones, eyemasks and soothing playlists.

In your first session, we begin with a low dose of ketamine to help you become familiar with the sensations and feelings. Due to the exploratory nature of ketamine, some clients may experience challenging emotions, memories, visions, and intense bodily sensations.

Often these difficult experiences provide an opportunity to process the events and emotions that contribute to challenges in your daily life and can be resolved with a trained KAP Therapist and integration sessions resulting in profound healing. Integration sessions are therapy sessions done directly after and 1-3 days after your KAP session to help you integrate what is learned during session. Experiencing intense bodily sensations can release trauma that has been stored in the body as well. This is why having a therapist available during your psychedelic exploration is so valuable – they’re trained to help you navigate any emotional pain and discomfort that may arise. In other exploration sessions, clients report feelings of peace, connectedness to themselves and others, new ways of looking at things, and more comfortable and even pleasurable experiences and feelings they may not have had access to in day-to-day life or with talk therapy alone.

Is Ketamine and Spravato treatment safe?

Ketamine has been used safely in medical settings for decades, primarily as an anesthetic (so safe that it’s even used as an anesthetic or sedative on newborn babies). More recently, it’s gained recognition for its effectiveness in treating depression, PTSD, and other mental health disorders and their associated symptoms, especially where other treatments have failed. Studies show that when administered with licensed and trained professionals in a safe and therapeutic setting, ketamine can be safe for treating depression, with manageable side effects like temporary dissociation or elevation in blood pressure.

Is treatment covered by insurance?

As all sessions are conducted with a licensed therapist or nurse practitioner and licensed medical staff, you may be eligible for partial reimbursement under extended health benefits, depending on your employer or insurer’s coverage limits. We will provide you with the necessary documentation to seek reimbursement from your insurance provider and/or try to bill these sessions for you. While we do our best to bill these sessions to insurance, some plans may not cover this and we will notify you as soon as we learn that your plans don’t provide coverage. Spravato treatments are the only type of treatment that may be fully covered by insurance.

Does this treatment replace my therapy or medication in the long term?

Often clients report better coping skills, feelings of self-love, an increase in positive body image, and a deepened understanding of themselves after treatment. Some clients even report relief from chronic pain and physical discomfort. Though some clients have gone off of their medication after finishing their treatment with us, every client’s needs are different. Please speak to your medication provider prior to making any changes to your psychiatric medications.

Ultimately, our ketamine and Spravato treatments are meant to provide long-term relief from the pain of mental health conditions. Spravato and Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy are both powerful tools for healing.