Navigating Ketamine Therapy: A Guide for Friends & Family

Welcome to Ketamine Therapy at Cambridge Biotherapies. We understand that embarking on this treatment journey can be a significant step, and we’re here to support both you and your loved one every step of the way. Ketamine therapy is a unique experience for each individual, with effects that can vary from person to person and even from week to week. It’s normal to feel a range of emotions and physical sensations following an infusion, including tiredness, wired energy, chattiness, or a need for quiet reflection. Some individuals may also experience side effects such as nausea, light sensitivity, or dizziness.

As a supporter, your role is crucial in providing comfort and assistance during this time. It’s important to greet your loved one with a calm and understanding voice, and to ask how you can best support them. This may include tasks like preparing food, offering water or tea, or adjusting the environment to their comfort.

During the treatment process, it’s important to be prepared for ups and downs. Your loved one may have days when they feel lighter and brighter, and days when they seem more introspective and reserved. This is all part of the healing process, and it’s important to allow them the space to express their emotions without judgment. In the days following treatment, it’s important to create a safe and peaceful environment for your loved one. This may involve limiting stress and media consumption, and incorporating activities like spending time in nature or meditation. It’s also important to avoid bringing up emotionally charged topics during this time.

Overall, your support is invaluable in helping your loved one navigate their ketamine therapy journey. Thank you for being a part of their healing process.

Ready to Learn More About Ketamine Therapy?

If this guide has helped you understand the supportive role you can play, you might be wondering how to begin the journey with ketamine therapy. Whether you’re considering this for yourself or helping someone close to you, we’re here to provide the guidance and care needed through every step.

Sign up for a personal consultation to learn more about how ketamine therapy at Cambridge Biotherapies can be tailored to meet your unique needs. Our caring and expert staff is dedicated to answering your questions and ensuring a comfortable and informed experience.

Or learn more about Ketamine Infusion Therapy here.

We look forward to assisting you in this transformative journey and providing the support necessary for a successful treatment experience.

How to Provide Comfort and Assistance After Ketamine Therapy

Ketamine therapy is different for everyone who experiences it. Immediately after an infusion, a person may be tired, wired, chatty, or reserved. This may change from week to week. Sometimes, they may be coming out of an intense emotional experience and need some time to adjust. In addition, some patients experience nausea, light sensitivity, or dizziness following infusions. Here are some ways to support your loved one:

  • Greet your loved one with a calm and quiet voice. They may ask you to drive home in silence, cover their eyes, walk slowly, or rest during the ride home.
  • Ask “how can I support you?”
  • Offer help with things like preparing food, offering water or tea, and adjusting light or temperature in their space.
  • Be prepared that they may wish for quiet time alone. If this feels unsafe, negotiate things like keeping the bedroom door open a crack or checking in on a regular schedule.

Preparing for the First Ketamine Therapy Session at Cambridge Biotherapies

This treatment is intense and asks for a big commitment of time. The staff at Cambridge Biotherapies are so grateful to all of you who provide transportation, financial support, and care during this experience. While you wait, we invite you to sit in our cozy waiting room with Wifi, or explore Central Square while you wait.

  • In advance of the first appointment, make sure you know the address, how long it will take you to get to us, where to park, and a phone number to reach us.
  • Bring a book, work, craft, or watch a show on your phone (with headphones, please). You might want to bring a snack and something to drink. Our offices are in a beautiful Victorian building which can be drafty depending on the weather, so you might want to wear a sweater, or please ask us if you need a blanket or a hot pack.
  • We love to share recommendations! Ask us about coffee shops, grocery stores, bookstores, or places to grab lunch.

Understanding the Emotional Journey of Ketamine Therapy

Healing through ketamine can have ups and downs. During the first few weeks of treatment as a person is getting used to the medicine, there may be days when they seem lighter and brighter, and days when they seem introspective and reserved. This is okay. It is a normal part of the process of healing.

  • Allow your loved one to express emotions about treatment while you listen without judgment or advice.
  • Have trust in the process and the pacing.
  • Encourage the patient to share any concerns with their ketamine providers. We are here to help.

Supporting Your Loved One’s Experience: Communication and Understanding in Ketamine Therapy

It is normal to be curious about your loved one’s ketamine treatment…but, it can be difficult for people to describe what they experienced while under ketamine, and trying to do so can cause stress and confusion.

  • Let them take the lead on sharing details of their experience. Tell them you are curious and open to hearing about their experience if and when they feel ready to share.
  • It is very important to listen without judgment. This can look like gentle eye contact, active listening, avoiding offering advice or problem-solving, and expressing gratitude for what they felt comfortable sharing.

Supporting Neuroplasticity and Integration: Creating a Safe Environment Post-Ketamine Therapy

Part of how ketamine works is by fostering neuroplasticity in the brain. This means the brain can form new connections that replace unhelpful ways of thinking. It’s especially important that people are in a safe, peaceful environment in the days following treatment. They might make decisions about limiting stress and media consumption, and they may be adding in integration activities like spending time in nature and meditation. This can change the dynamics at home which can be a challenge for family and friends.

  • Avoid bringing up emotional topics like past trauma, family dynamics, politics, or future plans in the days following ketamine treatments.
  • Ask if the person would like company on a walk, during meditation, or watching a soothing show. If they would like to do this on their own, give them space to do so.
  • Honor the support you are providing through self-care: what can you do to take care of yourself during this time.

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