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The Embrace of Space: Music for Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy Sessions

The Embrace of Space: Music for Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy Sessions


Over 15,000 students taught
Psychedelic Support has enrolled over 15,000 students in our free and paid courses! All proceeds from our paid courses have gone into funding more education and resources for the public around safe and ethical use of psychedelics in therapy and harm reduction.
Training Description

Music is an important component of setting in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy and has the potential to help catalyze transformational processes in psychedelic sessions. The practice of listening to music itself can be a doorway into a more receptive, meditative state of mind, which can, in turn, facilitate a process of surrendering more fully to the psychedelic experience.

Often referred to as “the language of emotions,” music provides a container for the patient to explore and process emotions while guiding the forward movement of the journey. Stanislav Grof describes the role of music in psychedelic sessions as creating “…a continuous carrier wave that helps patients to overcome difficult parts of the sessions and move through impasses” (Grof, LSD Psychotherapy, 2008). Additionally, as the musical journey unfolds, old memories and associated emotions, previously hidden under the surface of consciousness, emerge and can be processed, understood, and released or integrated.

In this workshop, various aspects of using music to enhance patients’ experiences in ketamine assisted psychotherapy (KAP) will be explored, including track selection and arrangement, matching music and sound effects with drug effects, effective use of transference and countertransference in relation to music. 

We will consider the dual role of the facilitator – one part therapist and one part sonic alchemist – in using various kinds of music to synergize with the dissociative effects of ketamine and enhance a spacious state of mind, often symbolized by transpersonal visions of vast interstellar space, intricate subterranean caverns, and luscious underwater seascapes.

Examples of specific tracks and fully-curated playlists will be shared, and experiential learning exercises will be offered to help participants understand the various phases of the sonic journey. This workshop will ultimately give participants a better understanding of the methods used to prepare and create music sets for ketamine sessions to deepen the patient’s therapeutic process, open their hearts and minds to the vibrational dimensions of consciousness, and support healing from depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

Option to earn 4 hours of continuing education (CE)

    Training Curriculum

    Learning Objectives

    After completing this course, participants will be able to:

    1. List two specific elements of music selection and arrangement that should be considered when conducting KAP sessions.
    2. Describe two features of ketamine playlists that facilitate or impede psychedelic sessions. 
    3. Describe two ways to respond skillfully to patients’ distaste or resistance to the music.
    Meet your Training Instructors:
    Eric Sienknecht, PsyD
    Eric is a licensed psychologist who specializes in treating chronic pain, mood disorders, and trauma. He has undergone training in KAP through the Ketamine Training Center and in MDMA-Assisted Therapy through the MAPS MDMA Therapy Training Program and is currently a Sub-Investigator and Co-therapist, and a trainer on the MAPS MDMA-Assisted Therapy Clinical Trials for treatment-resistant PTSD. He presents at conferences regularly on topics such as set and setting, ethics, integration, working with expansive states of consciousness, and music in psychedelic therapy. Eric is a lead trainer in the Polaris Insight Training Program.
    Eric Sienknecht, PsyD
    Clinical Psychologist
    Polaris Insight Center
    Ryan Hoffman, LMFT
    Ryan has dedicated his therapeutic practice to working with anxiety, depression and relationships challenges. He has developed a passion for working with the expanded states of consciousness that arise through psychedelics. Ryan’s approach to therapy is inspired by a number of modalities including transpersonal, existential, humanistic, somatic and EMDR.
    Ryan Hoffman, LMFT
    Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
    Polaris Insight Center
    Extra Info

    CE Credits:
    4hrs CE credit available, select CE option

    August 3, 2024

    All sessions are held at 9 am – 1 pm (Pacific Time Zone) on Zoom

    Target Audience:
    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 training@polarisinsight.com

    Cancellation Policy:
    Participants need to cancel up to 2 weeks in advance to receive a 100% refund (minus a $25 admin fee and payment processing fee). If cancelled after the 2-weeks-in-advance period they can use the credit for a future training or receive 50% refund (minus a $25 admin fee and payment processing fee).

    Certificate Information

    Interested in the different certificate options for our courses? Read on to learn more:

    Learn more about Completion Certificate

    Once you complete the course you will receive a Polaris Insight Center Certificate of Completion. Choose this option if you are not a licensed health provider and do not need continuing education credit for your professional degree.

    Learn more about CE Credit Certificate

    Once you complete the course you will receive a Polaris Insight Center CE Certificate. Choose this option if you are a licensed health provider who would like continuing education credit for your professional degree.

    • Be sure to select the CE credit option when purchasing the course.
    • Upon completion of the course, you will receive a Certificate of Attendance for your credits.
    • CE credits for psychologists are provided by Polaris Insight Center, an APA-approved CE sponsor.
    • Polaris Insight Center is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Polaris Insight Center maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
    • The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE credits for LCSW, LPCC, LEP, and LMFT license renewal for programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association.
    • LCSW, LPCC, LEP, and LMFTs, and other mental health professionals from states other than California need to check with their state licensing board as to whether or not they accept programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association.
    • For questions about receiving your Certificate of Attendance, to request special accommodations, or report a grievance contact Psychedelic Support info@psychedelic.support.