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Ketamine treatment for depression available in Park City

Park City Behavioral Health Clinic is now offering Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy KAP for various types of mental health issues.
Julia - stock.adobe.com
Park City Behavioral Health Clinic is now offering Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy KAP for various types of mental health issues.

Ketamine is an FDA approved medicine that was initially developed as an anesthetic and used on solders in Vietnam. Over the last two decades, ketamine has been researched and developed into a treatment for depression. Various clinics offer different types of treatment.

The Huntsman Mental Health Institute’s Park City Behavioral Health Clinic is now offering Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy or KAP.

Dr. Benjamin Lewis is the director of the KAP clinic. He says ketamine infusion clinics offer one type of treatment, while the KAP clinic is taking a more holistic approach.

“And you mentioned that term ketamine assisted psychotherapy, and this is a model of using ketamine that is somewhat different than standard ketamine infusion clinics,” he said. “The goal with ketamine-assisted psychotherapy, or KAP, is that ketamine is used in a more robust embedded psychotherapeutic protocol. So, patients are really engaging with the psychotherapeutic process, through the period of time that they're receiving ketamine.”

Lewis said patients who struggle with anxiety and depression are eligible for KAP clinic therapy. Most patients they see have not responded to traditional treatments.

“Many people have had multiple trials of antidepressants, and we're open to working with people wherever they are in regards to their mental health treatment,” Lewis said. “That is not uncommon that people have tried several agents in the past and not had full remission or full resolution of their symptoms, and so this tool offers some promise for a lot of those folks.”

Lewis said the treatment follows the psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy model.

“And that refers to this model where you're facilitating an experience. You're facilitating an alteration of consciousness, and then you're looking at unpacking and integrating insights that might have arisen during that experience and carrying that forward in a way that hopefully induces a durable therapeutic response.”

Lewis said the process is a multi-tiered process that involves at least three sessions that last about three hours.

“The first hour is typically an internal experience with eyeshades on and a music track that people are listening to over headphones,” Lewis said. “Depending on how people respond, that lasts for about an hour or so, and then we have an hour and a half to two hours of more flexible psychotherapeutic time where we're looking at that experience, we're unpacking it, we're engaging that with their therapeutic goals.”

After three ketamine sessions, Lewis explained there is a standalone integration hour where the therapist works with the patient on using what surfaced during the sessions and carrying it forward.

Currently, the KAP clinic is treating patients 18 and over. The treatments are not covered by insurance and cost $3,900.

The Park City Behavioral Health Clinic is located at 1820 Sidewinder Dr. suite 100, Park City, UT 84060.