I’ve had the privilege of providing Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) over 600 times for clients at Revitalist in the last year. Over 70 percent of people suffering from treatment resistant depression responded positively to the low dose, slow infusions. The results are even higher with a counselor. However, at Revitalist, we noticed that more was necessary for our clients’ continued success post treatment.
We discovered what Dr. Raquel Bennett, a psychologist and founder of the KRIYA Institute, and Ketamine infusion psychiatrist Dr. Steven Levine had been noticing and researching, as well. Clients often struggled assimilating into their new depression free life.
Often isolated from family and friends while suffering from depression, they may find their social support system diminished. Furthermore, with clarity and improved insight to their condition, they may discover what they had been missing in life with struggling with the effects of depression. Upon these realizations, they sort through a list of regrets and how much time and money spent with doctors, medications, and therapists.
This phenomenon was coined by Jessica Katzman as “Therapeutic Bends” or “the effects that can occur when we ascend rapidly from great depths.” For more, read her article here:
All of this makes sense. Joel Robertson in Peak Performance Living, writes that it requires 3-6 weeks of consistent action using mental health tools and techniques before behavioral results are noticeable. Ketamine boosts the process and provides insight and energy to begin these tasks.
However, even with the benefits of KAP, the brain may seek to return to the old baseline for about 3-6 months, should a client discontinue compliance to new learned behavior. So when the Therapeutic Bends and discontinued behavior happen, the brain attempts to gravitate back to the original unbalanced baseline. The client’s brain longs for the familiar friend, depression.
At Revitalist, we knew something must be done to support our clients. Thus Community Care was developed to provide groups to help with social interaction, learn new coping skills, and practice living into their new self with the support of therapists and peers.
Social support, identity formation, coping skills, accountability to compliance, and psycho-education provide what a client needs to avoid the Therapeutic Bends phenomenon,. A mixture of Ketamine, Psychotherapy, and Community Care is how we found a way forward for folks recovering from treatment resistant depression.