Advanced Topics in Ketamine and Psychedelic Assisted Therapy
Advanced Topics in Ketamine and Psychedelic Assisted Therapy
Join Polaris Insight Center on Dec 11, 2021 and January 21, 2022 for two advanced workshops on special topics in clinical work and the development of ketamine and other psychedelic-assisted psychotherapies. These training modules integrate diverse clinical theories, traditions, and philosophies offering participants an increasing wide-angle lens on the evolving field of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, grounding it in clinical wisdom, psychoanalytic and archetypal/Jungian theory and mindful practices.
Teachings are appropriate for healthcare professionals as well as the general public. Healthcare professionals will be able to incorporate the tools and practices offered in this program in ways beneficial to clients or patients.
Themes and topics to be presented in Module 6 include:
- Principles and practices of depth psychotherapy
- Developmental psychology and attachment dynamics
- Issues of memory consolidation and work with self-states
- Challenges and opportunities of maximizing the healing potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness through the effective use of the therapeutic relationship
- The effective integration of spirituality and spiritual explorations as an essential element of the therapy, integration and recovery process with an emphasis on Jung’s concept of the “transcendent function”
Module 7 expands into the application of principles and practices of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapies as they relate to the topics of:
- Integration and its challenges
- Neurotheology (the intersection of spiritual practices and neurophysiology)
- The relationship between meditation, psychedelics, self-care and improved preparation phase interventions
- Dynamics of the therapy relationship with a particular emphasis on relational psychoanalytic theoretical perspectives and approaches
Polaris’ offers modules 1 to 5 ketamine therapy training series. Module 6 and 7 can be taken without completing the prior series.
All modules are taught live online through Zoom. Earn 16 hours of continuing education (CE).
9:00 - 9:30: Overview, Introductions, CE guidance, Orientation and Introductory Breakout Meet, Greet and Prompt Group (Harvey Schwartz, Ph.D. & Veronika Gold, MFT)
9:30 – 10:30: Developmental Trauma, Memory Consolidation and Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy: The intersection between development trauma and Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy explored through the lens of memory and Self-States (Robert Voloshin, D.O.)
10:30 - 10:40: Break
10:40 - 12:00: The "Transcendent Function": Psychospiritual Themes in Psychedelic Medicine (Kelley O’Donnell, M.D., Ph.D.)
Many who turn to psychedelics do so from the depths of a psychospiritual crisis. They are often suffering from the emptiness, ennui, and existential anxiety and depression that can arise from a sense of separation from themselves and/or others. In this presentation, we will discuss Jung's concept of the "transcendent function," including its manifestation through—and healing potential for—psychospiritual suffering. We will discuss how the transcendent function seeks wholeness and healing through the reconciliation of paradox. We will highlight in particular the apparent duality inherent in the archetypes of masculine/feminine and death/resurrection. Drawing from different myths, psychological frameworks, and spiritual traditions, and using specific examples from sessions of ketamine- and psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy, we will explore how these themes might manifest in psychedelic experiences, and how an understanding and integration of paradox might illuminate a path towards healing.
12:00 – 12:25: Breakout Group Inquiry and Discussion
12:25 - 12:30: Return to Main Room, Sign out for CE and Lunch Break (Possible Assignments to Pods for Continued Discussion During Lunch)
12:30 – 1:20: Lunch Break
1:20 - 1:30: Song, dance and/or quick video break before continuing webinar
1:30 – 2:45: The Agony and The Ease: Suffering and Healing in Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy (Evan Sola, Psy.D.)
The Agony and The Ease presentation will explore the lived-experience of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy from the perspective of clients and participants in Ketamine and MDMA trials. With a particular focus on conflicts and confusions emerging within these sessions, the course will discuss case material and paradigms for thinking and responding to difficult moments throughout the course of treatment. Through our exploration, trainees will reflect on aspects of therapeutic holding that facilitate the therapist’s (and client’s) trust in the healing properties of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, often arising through repetitions of the conflict at hand. Case vignettes will lead us into consideration of theory and technique in the psychedelic-psychotherapy situation.
2:45 – 2:55: Break
3:00 - 4:00: Love, Play, and Medicine: Attachment and Relational Approaches to Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy (Andrea Rosati, M.D., Ph.D.)
In Love, Play, and Medicine, we will explore how the works of Donald Winnicott, Wilfred Bion, and John Bowlby inform psychedelic-assisted psychotherapeutic approaches. In psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, the establishment and maintenance of a therapeutic holding environment (Winnicott, 1953, 1971) are crucial to a felt sense of safety for participants to access challenging material. With the therapist in the role of a secure base (Bowlby, 1988), intra- and interpsychic attachment relationships can be explored, and therapeutic techniques including containment (Bion, 1959, 1962) and play (Winnicott, 1971) facilitate the transformation of painful experiences into healing. We will use theoretical approaches and case examples to enrich our discussion.
4:15 - 4:40: Breakout groups to discuss the afternoon presentations
4:45 – 5:00: Final QA, comments and closing process
Module 6 Learning Objectives
- Learn how to create the safe, effective, psychodynamic practice of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.
- Learn how to help patients explore and integrate their psychedelic experiences.
- Understand psychospiritual themes that often arise in the practice of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.
- Understand how conflict emerging in the psychedelic-psychotherapy session can lead to learning and growth.
- Learn how explicit and implicit memory relates to cognitive and somatic processing of emotional and traumatic psychological material.
9:00 - 9:15: Welcome, Introduction, Orientation to the Day, CEs
9:15 - 10:30: Introduction to Neurotheology: Spiritual practices, Mystical Experiences, Psychedelics and the Brain (Steve Rosonke, M.D.)
Interested in where spirituality and science intersect within the brain? In this presentation we will discuss the emerging field of neurotheology and the brain science behind enlightenment, non-ordinary states of consciousness, and mystical experience. The historical context of enlightenment and mystical experiences will be described. Additionally, we will examine the recent literature on the neuroscience of transformative experience to better understand what is actually going on acutely in the brain during such experiences. The long-term structural changes within the brains of people seeking these transformative experiences as well as the overall health benefits of these experiences will be discussed.
10:30 - 10:35: Brief Break
10:35- 11:45: Meditative Practices for Attunement and Self-Care in Psychedelic -Assisted Psychotherapy (Keith Lowenstein, M.D.)
This presentation focuses on the use of meditative techniques to support the preparatory, active phase, and ongoing integration processes in psychedelic assisted psychotherapy. Meditation techniques not only provides support and growth for clinicians in their own self-care but allow for a new level of co-regulatory attunement for the therapeutic dyad throughout the entire process. Meditation is an emergent state awareness that is arrived at through modifying the relations within the central nervous system such that the parts communicate in new ways bringing about an emergent "altered” state of consciousness. These practices being presented are coming out of the Kriya yoga tradition, which is a dynamic form of yogic meditation. It is a wonderful foundation for any contemplative process or therapeutic encounters. Kriya yoga is a simple form yet highly effective form of medication that helps one experience deep states of meditation at an accelerated rate. It is a variety of techniques that help one learn how to fine-tune one’s attention, autonomic nervous system and states of consciousness at will.
In psychedelic assisted psychotherapy, the clinician must be fully capable of managing their own self-regulation. With practice one can develop significant ease with which to shift one’s state of awareness. This is particularly important for the therapist working with individuals with a history of trauma as well as those undergoing altered states during treatments. Experience of vicarious trauma is well-known to leave both physical and psychological remnants in providers who work in these areas. Modulating one’s own nervous system during the treatment session can at the same time lead to greater awareness and attunement between the provider and the client while at the same time giving the provider the connection, they need to the greater whole to stay grounded and deeply resourced. This leads to much less emotional strain on the provider while at the same time providing a deeper awareness of the client. This presentation will combine an overview of the anatomy and physiology of these practices as well as an experiential component for immediate practical use in clinician self-care and psychotherapeutic interventions.
11:50 – 12:35: Lunch
12:35 – 12:45: Dance, Reconnect and Orientation to rest of day
12:45 - 2:00: Relational and Depth Sensibility in Psychedelic – Assisted Psychotherapy (Jason Butler, Ph.D. & Genesee Hertzberg, Psy.D.)
This presentation will provide key methodological considerations for practicing psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy from a relational and depth psychological perspective. The presenters will discuss the topics of relational attunement, mutual enactments, and working with images and provide a demonstration of these approaches.
2:00 - 2:10: Break
2:10 – 3:25: Subtle Intuition in the Psychedelic Field ( Karen Peoples, Ph.D.)
This presentation will briefly introduce Bionian Field Theory and psychoanalyst Wilfred Bion’s ideas of psychic "containment" as they relate to working in the enhanced unconscious field in psychedelic sessions. The therapist’s capacity for attunement to the unconscious field and its subtle energies is crucial to the therapeutic emergence of unsymbolized experiences, especially those that are preverbal or dissociated. The therapist’s intuition of difficult-to-access psychic states in clients rests on our capacity to intuit, access and contain these states within ourselves. Participants will learn to apply Bion’s idea of reverie and how it leads to psychic "containment,” understand adequate containment of client experience in the psychedelic session, and elaborate how the therapist’s access to subtle bodily states can help the emergence of unsymbolized or dissociated states in clients.
3:30 – 3:50: Breakout Group Discussion of prior relational presentations
3:55 - 4:55: Psychedelic Integration Challenges: Rapid Remission and The Therapeutic Bends (Jessica Katzman, Psy.D.)
The rediscovery of psychedelics/ketamine as powerfully efficient treatments for chronic refractory mental health conditions has been hailed as a massive boon, and many welcome rapid recovery with relief and gratitude. However, practitioners have noticed that some clients visibly experience a period of disequilibrium and difficulty in adjusting to such positive changes. We have come to refer to this response metaphorically as "the therapeutic bends,” as a way to suggest the effects that can occur when we ascend rapidly from great depths. This presentation will explore the potential unintended consequences of these effective, fast-acting interventions, as well as suggest possible interventions tailored to various types of distress.
4:55 - 5:00: Closing Meditation, Prayer, Ending
Module 7 Learning Objectives
- List three of the different levels where possible challenges may occur during Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP).
- List two different types of interventions that may support clients during the rapid remission process.
- Explain Bion’s idea of reverie and how it leads to psychic "containment,” by giving two examples of adequate containment of client experience in the psychedelic session.
- Describe two key considerations pertaining to relational approaches in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.
- List and describe two meditative practices that can be used for helping with therapist and patient attunement and therapist self-care in psychedelic assisted psychotherapy.
- Describe two important areas of research in the emerging field of neurotheology.
Meet your Training Instructors:
Dates: December 11, 2021 and January 21, 2022
16hrs CE credit available, select CE option
All modules are held at 9 am – 5 pm PDT
This course is designed for mental health professionals – MDs, DOs, NDs, NPs, RNs, PsyDs, PhDs, LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCs, LEPs. Open to the public.
To request accommodations for special needs, please email the program administrator at email@example.com
Participants need to cancel up to 2 weeks in advance to receive 100% refund. If cancelled after the 2-weeks-in-advance period they can use the credit for a future training or receive 50% refund.