April 21


Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD: Helping Veterans and Trauma Survivors Access Inner Healing

By Tatyana Kholodkov

April 21, 2023

Life is Full of Challenges, Losses, and Change

All that we live through can make an impression on our consciousness and our bodies. Some life experiences may be particularly painful. First, we live through incidents where our own or others’ safety is threatened or violated, on an emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual level. Likewise, things happen when we are too young to process what is occurring. In addition, our nervous system is too overwhelmed to digest the trauma, and it gets stuck.

There may be more subtle and cumulative trauma.

This experience can be in chaotic households or with caregivers who are unable to adequately see and respond to their children. Furthermore, harm is an experience from living in systems of oppression and navigating a society that has a limited sense of what is defined as “normal.” Additionally, many people every day feel devalued, invisible, or have to prove themselves. Others have to fight just to be offered basic dignity.

The Effects of Trauma Can Layer Upon Each Other

All of these experiences HURT. As a result, the effects of trauma can begin to layer, one upon the next, like the surface of a seashell that thickens. The burden becomes so heavy. Psychedelic therapy allows individuals to explore their lived experiences in a safe and supportive environment. our subconscious may bring up what you’ve had to keep in the dark. In fact, all the feelings you carry inside are welcomed. 

A layered shell held in a hand at the waters edge representing the many layers of trauma people can have. Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy for Trauma in Durham, NC can help break through these layers.

Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy Helps Process Trauma

When seeking Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) for trauma, individuals are often wanting to have additional tools to process what has happened. They want to be able to change how it impacts their lives. There is a great toll from trauma, regardless of form. Veterans and civilians alike often struggle with intrusive images repeatedly. Firstly, these images replay what happened over and over. Secondly, this forces people to try to push their overwhelming feelings aside. Some experience suicidal ideation, high-risk behaviors, and substance use. Loss of relationships is also common with PTSD.

Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy for Trauma: Both Acute and Long-Term Symptoms Are Addressed

Ketamine-assisted therapy can help with both acute symptoms such as reducing suicidal ideation and with longer-term benefits when offered in the context of trauma work. The expansive states of consciousness can be transformative. Additionally, Project Yes therapy clients describe being able to finally feel safer being themselves.

Psychedelic Psychotherapy Can be Helpful Regardless of the Nature of the Trauma.

This includes:

  • Combat trauma
  • Military sexual assault
  • Car accidents
  • Living with parents and partners who are withholding or abusive
  • The daily trauma of racism, bias, and bigotry

It isn’t that psychedelic medicine can take it all away. However, psychedelic experiences can offer not only temporary relief from the psychological pain but moreover with seeing oneself as more than the hurt one has lived through.  

The sun shines through dark clouds representing the clouded lens trauma causes us to view ourselves through. Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy for Trauma in Durham, NC can help us see clearly.

Trauma Can be Tied to Feelings of Guilt

At times, a person’s trauma is tied to something they have done that they carry a lot of guilt about. For example, perhaps an act that was inconsistent with how they would like to regard themselves. Helplessness and heartbreak can also result from decisions that figures of authority made which ultimately harmed others. Uniquely, the term for this form of psychological pain is called Moral Injury.

Moral Injury

It is often seen among combat veterans, emergency responders, journalists, and medical personnel, but can occur for anyone. The consequences include not feeling deserving of love or acceptance from themselves and others. However, KAP can help individuals face what happened, process their feelings more fully, coming to terms with the past.

Kap and Trauma Therapy Offer Opportunities for Clarification

Through trauma therapy combined with KAP, we can develop ways of relating to thoughts and feelings in a way that doesn’t rob us of the present. From there, we clarify what matters most in life and take steps to embrace living more fully.  

A multitude of multi colored sea rocks representing the many different feelings people come to terms with during KAP for Trauma in Durham, NC.

Confront and Process Difficult Experiences with KAP for Trauma

Like MDMA therapy, Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy can help individuals recovering from PTSD by helping them confront and process difficult experiences. That may include approaching painful memories, the avoidance of which may maintain PTSD.

Connect With Difficult Emotions

As part of trauma treatment, clients are able to access a bigger range of emotions. This includes ones they may have difficulty connecting within their daily life. Firstly, this can be challenging feelings like grief, sadness, anger, and fear. And secondly, it can also be emotions associated with vitality, such as peace, comfort, acceptance, and love.

Change Cycles of Feelings That Trap You

Ketamine therapy can also help individuals start to change some of the cycles of uncomfortable thoughts, feelings, and body sensations that keep them feeling trapped.

Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy for Trauma is Gentle on the Body

Additionally, in contrast to MDMA therapy for PTSD, which is to take 8 hours, KAP sessions are generally 2-3 hours in length. Furthermore, the experience of medicine itself is also often experienced as fairly gentle on the body. This is helpful in trauma-informed care. Right now in North Carolina, only Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy is legal. However, in the coming years, there may be other psychedelic therapy options. 

Promote Feelings of Connection and Empathy

Psychedelic therapy helps with trauma healing by promoting a sense of connection and empathy. Thus, many individuals who have experienced trauma may feel isolated or disconnected from others. Psychedelic therapy fosters a sense of connection and empathy, by allowing individuals to feel more connected to themselves, others, and the world around them.

Ketamine Has Empathogen Characteristics

In fact, Ketamine has empathogen characteristics, which can be felt as a sense of oneness and opening of the heart. We may have forgotten, but we are already whole, and have the capacity for love deep within.

A beautiful pink sun sets over the ocean representing the warmth and capacity for love that can be rediscovered through Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy for Trauma in Durham, NC.

Preparation is Key to a Positive Experience

It is important to note that psychedelic experiences, particularly when occurring without preparation, in unsupported settings, and without a way to digest them can themselves be traumatizing. As a result, when clients come to Project Yes PLLC for Ketamine Assisted Therapy, we go through a detailed process to ensure the client feels as ready as possible before engaging in the medical sessions. Additionally, important areas explored include skills to feel more present in their body (reducing going into overwhelm or shut down), what they can expect, and ways they can signal their needs.

An Integrated Team Approach to Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy for Trauma

Lastly, together with the medical providers we collaborate with, you have a team to take care of you, in a setting where your comfort is at the forefront of your mind. Thus, we empower our clients to also be in charge of their healing. We encourage our clients to commit time and energy to their life to bring what arises in an expanded state of consciousness into who they are in waking life.

Begin Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy for Trauma in Durham, NC Today

If you have been struggling with past trauma and traditional treatments have not worked we can help. Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy is a proven alternative treatment that can address symptoms of trauma that have proven treatment-resistant in the past. At Project YesDr. Kholodkov is trained extensively in the KAP Process and is here to help you on your journey to healing through Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy and beyond. Follow the steps below to get started:

Other Services Offered by Project Yes

In addition to Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy, we offer Additional Psychedelic Psychotherapy Services, Psychotherapy Services for AnxietyInsomniaIntegrative HealthOCD, and Trauma and PTSD as well as Yoga and Meditation Options. We look forward to guiding you on your journey toward optimal physical and mental well-being.

If you want to learn more about Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy and our other services please check out our blog here!

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