As the field of psychedelic therapy continues to gain traction, it is becoming increasingly important for practitioners to ensure their treatments are safe and effective. Nushama is at the forefront of this conversation, constantly putting its members first and determining the best ways to care for them, from our treatment to year-round programming. Here are thirteen practices we’ve identified essential for providing our members the highest quality care.
Set: Preparation and Integration
As you’ve probably heard before, the keys to a positive psychedelic experience are set and setting. To create the right mindset for your therapeutic journey, proper preparation is crucial. Nushama guides members through a comprehensive process that includes setting intentions, practicing breathwork, and discussing expectations for their session. Questions such as “How will my body feel?” or “What visuals will I see?” may be answered. This preparation allows members to enter their journey with an open mind and a clear understanding of the process.
Integration is another essential component of Nushama’s approach. By providing integration therapy after journeys, members can apply insights gained from their experiences to their daily lives. Year-round integration circles take place bi-weekly for any members (current or past) who want to attend. This ongoing support fosters long-term growth and sustained relief from mood disorders.
A comfortable and supportive environment is vital for a successful psychedelic journey. Nushama achieves this by providing Zero-gravity chairs, eye masks, and carefully curated music. Integrators are present who offer emotional support and guidance throughout the experience, further reinforcing the sense of safety and care.
In addition to a comforting ambiance, Nushama incorporates essential medical elements, such as IV drips, blood pressure monitors, and scales. These elements ensure safe and therapeutic use while also promoting a sense of security and professionalism.
Members are afforded enough time after their journeys to return to their normal state. While infusions typically last less than an hour, journey rooms are booked for three hours at a time to give you the opportunity to recover.
The primary protocol at Nushama is six intravenous treatments over the course of three to six weeks, an approach backed by data. Additionally, we’ve partnered with Awakn Life Sciences to offer their KARE protocol to treat alcohol use disorder—it has proven to be 86% efficacious for abstinence after six months, an unprecedented clinical-study result.
To ensure members are suitable candidates, Nushama conducts a thorough screening process. This process includes a psychiatric intake and medical intake, and in some cases, a urine toxicology and full blood panel as well. By carefully assessing each individual’s medical background, we can provide personalized care and minimize potential risks associated with ketamine treatment. For example, people with uncontrolled high blood pressure are not a fit for ketamine therapy. During the medical intake, people are screened for such conditions to ensure this treatment is right for them.
Nushama clinicians closely monitor members starting by taking their pre-journey vitals. Careful attention is given to dosing throughout the entire psychedelic journey. After the experience, post-journey vitals are taken, and integration support is provided. We recommend that members take a car service or have someone pick them up after their session to ensure they arrive home safely.
Medically Supervised Dosing and Delivery
Dosing is a critical aspect of psychedelic therapy. We work closely with our members to determine the appropriate custom dose based on weight as well as prior experience with psychedelics. Strict protocols are in place to account for every drop of ketamine per our DEA license. Ketamine is stored securely behind a triple safe, dosed only by licensed doctors, and administered by nurses.
Clinicians Informed by Ethical Guidelines
To maintain the highest ethical standards, Nushama’s clinicians have been trained in and adhere to certain ethical guidelines. Here are a few:
- Recognizing that therapeutic ketamine is a mental health treatment
- Recognizing that ketamine is a powerful medicine and that patients require specialized care before, during, and after treatment
- Understanding the importance of integration
- Aspiring to be compassionate, thoughtful, honest, and forthright in all communications
By following these guidelines, Nushama ensures that its practices are in line with established norms in the field.
Member-operated Safety Control
Empowering members with control over their experience is a vital aspect of Nushama’s approach. If a member feels uncomfortable at any time during their journey, a call button is available to summon clinicians to immediately stop the IV drip. This safety measure allows the psychedelic effects of ketamine to dissipate within minutes.
Therapy Team Collaboration
A holistic approach is essential for successful psychedelic therapy. Nushama collaborates with each member’s therapy team to ensure that their treatment plan is comprehensive and cohesive. Our team includes highly trained therapists, anesthesiologists, medical technicians, nurses, and integrationists, all working together to provide the best treatment possible.
Medical Symptom Management Onsite
Medical symptom management is available onsite, with medications on hand to address any adverse events that may arise. Elevated blood pressure and nausea are two of the most common side effects. Each can be managed and stabilized at Nushama’s facilities if needed.
Experience Focus: In-person Ketamine Journeys Only
Though at-home treatments are on the market, Nushama firmly believes that a controlled substance eliciting a change in consciousness should be administered with medical supervision in a clinical environment. This approach ensures safety, efficacy, and professional oversight, fostering an environment where members can fully engage with their treatment and achieve optimal results.
Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy is a new and rapidly growing field. Innovations that improve safety and efficacy are being made all the time. Rather than competing with other providers, we believe we can learn from each other. By collaborating with similar organizations and professionals, we can all work together to deliver the best possible care.