How Does Ketamine Assisted Therapy Support The Treatment Of Trauma And Dissociation?
Trauma, such as physical abuse, sexual assault, or life-threatening situations, overwhelms the mind's capacity to process intense emotions and sensations. Dissociation arises as a defense mechanism, creating psychological distance and providing temporary relief from the immediate impact of trauma. Various forms of dissociation manifest, including depersonalization, where individuals feel detached from their own body or sense of self, and derealization, where the external world seems distorted or dreamlike. Dissociative amnesia, characterized by memory gaps or an inability to recall aspects of the traumatic event, is another feature of dissociation. This is one of the reasons why some adult survivors of childhood trauma often can't seem to recall periods of their lives. Compartmentalization occurs consciously and/or unconsciously in order to function and deal with daily life. However, the suppression of intense and overwhelming feelings and emotions does not make these go away. They sit idle, like undeveloped and immature parts, waiting for an opportunity to hijack one's experience.
Adult survivors of childhood trauma often have programmed behaviors, symptoms and dysfunctional ways of connecting with others or attachment issues. The programming is meant to help the child survive adverse and abusive environments, forming a false self. The dissociative effects of Ketamine cause the programming to "crack" giving a facilitated access to wounded parts of self.
Ketamine is a dissociative medicine that facilitates connections with trauma and these dissociated parts. Ketamine also facilitates emotional awareness and access to suppressed or repressed feelings related to trauma. By confronting and processing traumatic memories or experiences that have been pushed away, individuals can begin the healing process. Again, Ketamine causes the breakdown of compartmentalization and other coping mechanisms.
Moreover Ketamine induces altered states of consciousness that offer a fresh perspective on trauma. They enhance feelings of connection to oneself, others, and the world, providing new insights and understanding. This expanded perspective enables individuals to reflect on their experiences and potentially find resolution, contributing to the integration of dissociated parts of trauma.
Another crucial aspect is Ketamine aids access to material hidden in the subconscious. Memories, emotions, and sensations that were disconnected or concealed from normal awareness can be reached. Exploring these hidden aspects allows individuals to work through dissociated parts related to trauma and promote healing.
Additionally, psychedelics have the potential to facilitate the release of built-up emotional tension and physical sensations associated with trauma. By breaking down defense mechanisms, these substances open up pathways for emotional and nervous system discharge and release, enabling individuals to process and integrate dissociated trauma material.
Additionally, the temporary dissolution of the sense of self, known as ego dissolution, induced by Ketamine can be beneficial. During this state, individuals detach from their usual identity and perspectives, enabling them to view and integrate dissociated parts of trauma with greater compassion and understanding.
It is crucial to approach the potential therapeutic use of psychedelics for trauma with caution. Their use should occur in controlled and supervised settings, such as clinical trials or with trained professionals. Integration of the psychedelic experience into therapy is essential, ensuring ongoing support to process and make meaning of the insights gained during the psychedelic experience.
I offer Psychedelic Assisted and Interactive Therapy using Cannabis and oral Ketamine using a somatic approach. It is a "wholistic" approach; and the integration of internal family system, central nervous system discharges, and focused contemplation of reactive sensations in the body create breakthroughs that no amount of talk therapy can ever achieve.