Group Ketamine Assisted Therapy

two white flower vases

I’m so excited to be the first in Nashville to be offering Group Ketamine Therapy! While group Ketamine Assisted Therapy (KAT) is not a replacement for individual KAT it is a different modality with its own unique benefits. All group members will need to be connected to another mental health resource (ex: therapist, psychiatrist, coach, group therapy etc). The group facilitators will speak with each individual to make sure this modality is appropriate.  Each series will include 3 Preparation Sessions, 4 Ketamine Dosing Sessions and 5 integration sessions over 8 weeks. Thats 36 hours of therapy!

I have created a structure for group work using KAP for 2 reasons: 

We heal in connection and community. Those dealing with mental illness often find themselves in isolation and struggle to maintain connections and relationships. KAP Group Work creates a community of peers to rely on for support. Group KAP can be an opportunity to heal in community, while also moving towards goals in their individual therapy work. 

Financial barriers are a major concern in gaining access to quality mental health care. KAP Groups aim to increase access and affordability to those seeking this treatment where finances are an obstacle.

Facilitators

Melanie Reese, LMFT, CCTP

Melanie is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Clinical Trauma Professional with a private practice in Nashville, TN where she offers ketamine assisted therapy and works with clients to prepare for and integrate after psychedelic experiences.

Co-facilitator Volunteers

In order to keep costs as low as possible for participants, groups will be co-facilitated by volunteers. This could include any combination of the following:

1. Licensed/Unlicensed practitioners with experience working with psychedelics or interested in learning more about KAP Group work.
2. Masters/Doctoral level clinical interns or therapists seeking licensure under the direct supervision of Melanie Reese.

If you are a practitioner in the helping field and would like to donate your time, please email us at Admin@traumatherapynashville.com

Amy Neff, MD and the practitioners of MindStream Integrative Medicine

Dr Amy Neff is the owner of MindStream Integrative Medicine. A medical practitioner at MindStream Integrative Medicine will conduct all medical screenings, administer medications and provide medical monitoring during each dosing session.

Group Size & Costs

Group Size

Each group will be a closed cohort of 4-6 participants. 

Pricing

The services for Trauma Therapy of Nashville, LLC and MIndStream Integrative Medicine are billed separately. The following is an outline of these costs:

Trauma Therapy of Nashville:

There must be at least 4 (no more than 6) participants for the group to start. The total cost is $1800.00 per participant. The group is priced at $200.00 per clinical hour. We will work with you if you need to pay in installments ($225/week for 8 weeks).

If you have out of network benefits, you may be able to submit to your insurance for reimbursement. However, we cannot guarantee reimbursement and payment will still be expected even if you are not reimbursed. Payment of the total cost of the group is expected regardless of attendance.

MindStream Integrative Medicine:

In addition, patients will be referred to MindStream Integrative Medicine for a consultation with a doctor or nurse practitioner who completes a medical screening to determine if ketamine will be clinically appropriate. We cannot guarantee that participants will pass a medical screening. Participants are encouraged to discuss counter indications on a general level to help determine if there are any obvious rule-outs.  

Medical Screening: $350.00
Medicine Administration and Medical Monitoring (day of dosing sessions): $350 per dosing session paid at the time services are offered ($1050 total for 3 dosing sessions)
Total Cost for Medical Screening & Services : $1400 (paid directly to MindStream and subject to change according to exact services needed for medical treatment)

Group Process & Commitment

Intake and Consultation:
Each participant will meet with Melanie Reese with Trauma Therapy of Nashville to determine appropriateness and best fit for the group. This 30-minute session is done via Zoom and the cost is $100. A consultation does not ensure a spot in the group. 

Medical Screening:
Once determined that a client is a good fit for the group, they will be referred to MindStream Integrative Medicine for a consultation with a doctor or nurse practitioner who completes a medical screening to determine if ketamine will be clinically appropriate. We cannot guarantee that participants will pass a medical screening. Participants are encouraged to discuss counter indications on a general level to help determine if there are any obvious rule-outs.

Group Format:
Each series will include 3 Preparation Sessions, 4 Ketamine Dosing Sessions and 5 integration sessions over 8 weeks. Thats 36 hours of therapy! Preparation and integration sessions will run for 1.5 hours each via Zoom, except for the first and last sessions, which will meet in person. Dosing sessions will be 3.5 hours each and take place in-person at MindStream Integrative Medicine.

Commitment:
This is a closed group, meaning that the same members will participate each time and it will not be open to any new members for the duration of the series. Group participants will need to commit to and pay for the entire series. While conflicts may arise, the group cannot run without this full commitment and we cannot offer any refunds for missed sessions for any reason, including illness. If unexpected circumstances do arise, we will speak with participants about potential alternatives and will make every effort to accommodate them. 

FAQs

What if I have a bad experience? 
While we cannot guarantee what sort of experience you will have during the ketamine session, some people do have challenging experiences. We will be present to support you through the dosing session. Even though the experience may be challenging, it may also bring to light important issues to address during integration. 

Am I required to be in therapy for this experience? 
We require that all participants be connected with some mental health resources that they can access for support during and after the completion of the group. This can include an individual therapist, group therapy, psychiatrist, coach, etc. since after the group, we will not be able to provide ongoing clinical support. We will offer referral resources for people who are interested in additional treatment or need to be connected to a therapist for individual work.

What kinds of indications would make this group a good fit for me?
You might be a fit for the group if you are working through depression, addiction, anxiety, PTSD and other clinical diagnoses. Some people may require a higher level of care, and during the initial assessment interview, we will determine whether we are able to accommodate your specific needs in the group.

What counter-indications would make this group NOT a good fit for me?
This list is not intended to be used to make medical decisions and is for informational purposes only. It was constructed using data whenever possible, although extrapolation from known information was also used to inform risk. Any medical decision and/or use psychedelic drugs should be made in conjunction with your healthcare provider(s). It is recommended to not perform any illicit activity. 

Medical/Psychiatric Contraindications to KAP

  • Pregnancy/nursing mothers
  • Untreated high blood pressure, other cardiac diseases needing treatment such as atrial fibrillation or congestive heart failure
  • Untreated hyperthyroid disorders
  • Clinically significant substance use: active cocaine use, acute alcoholism
  • Active mania
  • Active psychosis
  • Glaucoma or recent eye surgery
  • Brain tumor, swelling, injury
  • Inability to consent to treatment
  • Significant liver disease
  • Significant kidney disease
  • Difficult airway (from a previous experience, or sleep apnea, or anatomic risk factors)

Medical/Psychiatric Relative Contraindications to KAP

  • Current daily use of benzodiazepines: reduces effectiveness of KAP. The medical team can work with the client to taper from benzodiazepines in a medically supervised way. 
  • Current heavy daily use of alcohol (with risk of withdrawal). Ketamine can be used in alcohol withdrawal, but for the purposes of this facilitated exam, we would advise a longer appointment for the client to discuss additional options. 
  • Cautions with these medications:
    • Lamotrigine: 6 hours since last dose and wait 6 hours until next dose
    • Gabapentin

*Having a condition listed here does not automatically disqualify you from KAP, rather an indication that it be further discussed with your healthcare provider(s). 

Group Schedule

(Wednesdays + Thursdays):
Week 1: Preparation Session #1 – Wednesday, 5:00PM-6:30PM (In-Person at TTN)
Week 2: 2nd Preparation Session #2: Thursday, 9:30AM-11:00AM (Via Zoom)
Week 3: 3rd Preparation Session #3: Thursday, 9:30AM-11:00AM (Via Zoom)
Week 4: KAP Dosing Session #1: Wednesday, 2:00PM-5:00PM (In-Person at MindStream)
Week 4: Integration Session #1: Thursday, 9:30AM-11:00AM (Via Zoom)
Week 5: KAP Dosing Session #2: Wednesday, 2:00PM-5:00PM (In-Person at MindStream)
Week 5: Integration Session #2: Thursday, 9:30AM-11:00AM (Via Zoom)
Week 6: KAP Dosing Session #3: Wednesday, 2:00PM-5:00PM (In-Person at MindStream)
Week 6: Integration Session #3: Thursday, 9:30AM-11:00AM (Via Zoom)
Week 7: KAP Dosing Session #4: Wednesday, 2:00PM-5:00PM (In-Person at MindStream)
Week 7: Integration Session #4: Thursday, 9:30AM-11:00AM (Via Zoom)
Week 8: Last Integration Session of Group Experience #5 – Wednesday, 5:00PM-6:30PM (In-Person at TTN)

Next Steps

If you are interested in joining the next group, please contact us at Admin@TraumaTherapyNashville.com. The first step will be to schedule a 30 minute screening call to determine preliminary eligibility. 

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