Psychedelic therapy is growing in popularity. There are many options for choosing a clinic to receive treatment, but it’s important to choose the right one. Here are some factors to keep in mind and essential questions to ask yourself in determining the right fit for you.
Safety and Experience of Staff
Are the right physicians on staff?
Psychedelics are safest when they’re administered in a therapeutic environment supervised by qualified professionals. For ketamine-assisted therapy, the medicine is administered by board-certified anesthesiologists. These doctors can closely monitor your vitals and anesthesia levels during treatment. A holistic team of highly skilled professionals, such as trained therapists, medical technicians, nurses, and psychedelic-informed integrationists, will ensure the safest possible treatment.
At Nushama, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Radowitz and the team have administered thousands of journeys for mood disorders and are known to be best-in-class and among the most experienced globally.
How experienced are the center’s practitioners?
Credentials should be listed on a clinic’s website. It’s a good sign if the center lists not only highly qualified medical professionals but also specialists who have trained or performed research in the specific field of psychedelic medicine.
For example, Nushama’s Director of Therapy is Paige Monborne, a psychotherapist and integration specialist. Paige completed her BA in neuroscience at Dartmouth College and her MA and EdM at Columbia University’s Teachers College.
How do they ensure ketamine-assisted therapy is right for you?
It’s important to go through a screening process before receiving psychedelic treatment to confirm that you are a suitable candidate. Nushama performs a full medical and psychiatric intake. At others, you may be asked about your past experiences using psychedelics and about your medical history. Taking these steps will guarantee the best possible treatment and mitigates potential risks associated with ketamine therapy. For example, Nushama does not approve ketamine therapy for people with uncontrolled high blood pressure.
Environment and Support
Does the facility provide a safe “set and setting” for psychedelic therapy?
There are many steps to the process of effective psychedelic therapy. Most important is set and setting, which includes preparation, integration, and your environment. A good clinic should offer a warm and dimly lit environment with ambient music for a positive experience. It is also important that the patient feels supported through proper preparation for the journey so they know what to expect. It is important that there is space to talk about their experience afterward with a trained professional to be able to apply insights gained to their daily life.
At Nushama, our goal is to provide a comfortable, supportive environment for a therapeutic 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.
Ketamine therapy is unlike any other treatment you are likely to have encountered, so preparing your mind and body for the experience is critical. We’ll give you information on how to cultivate a positive mindset in the weeks leading up to your journey. We will also encourage you to set an intention before each infusion—a goal or purpose for your journey that will help direct the experience and gather insights—and then “let go.”
Does the clinic offer IV infusions?
IV infusions are the most effective method for psychedelic treatment in terms of safety and efficacy. When ketamine is administered directly into the bloodstream, it has 100% bioavailability meaning the entire dose is taken into the body.
With IV, the patient can stop the journey within minutes in the rare event of a “bad trip”. At Nushama, they can even alert the doctor using a call button who can then stop the IV drip. Other methods of administration, such as nasal spray, lozenges, and intramuscular injections cannot be stopped once administered.
Is the center near you?
It sounds like a simple consideration, but many people may find it comforting to undergo psychedelic therapy in a nearby neighborhood. Traveling long distances for treatment could also be inconvenient and you do not want to feel rushed.
A typical ketamine infusion session lasts only 45-60 minutes, but with preparation and integration, and recovery time, you could be at the center for two to three hours. You will most likely be scheduled for multiple sessions over the span of a few weeks.
It’s also recommended to schedule a car service or have someone take you home afterward as you’ll be unable to drive yourself.
Can you afford psychedelic therapy treatment at the clinic?
Though ketamine is entirely legal for medical use in the United States, its IV use in the treatment of mood disorders is not yet FDA-approved, so ketamine-assisted therapy is not covered by insurance. Many centers will offer a payment plan, so check to see if that is an option.
The FDA has recently approved the use of ketamine nasal spray “Spravato”, in conjunction with an oral antidepressant to treat adults with certain conditions such as treatment-resistant depression and major depressive disorder with acute suicidal ideation or behavior.
Certified Spravato treatment centers may be covered by your insurance if you’ve been diagnosed with either of those disorders. Going the at-home route may also be cheaper but those methods of administration can be very imprecise.
How does the center make you feel?
Trust your gut. Finding the right psychedelic wellness center is a bit like picking a partner. You won’t be undergoing psychedelic therapy alone—in fact, you and your center will be going through a lot together. You’ll know when you’ve found the one you’re comfortable with. The right fit will pay extra attention to your care, answer all of your questions and make you feel supported.
Psychedelic Therapy in NYC
If you’re based in New York or the surrounding area, Nushama has the largest ketamine wellness center in the tri-state area. Our goal is to inspire you to transform your life and to provide a sanctuary to support you as you embark on your mental health journey. If you’d like more information, we are happy to have a call with you and answer any questions you may have as you pursue the option of ketamine-assisted therapy.