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A Patient Reflection on the OVID Ketamine Augmented Psychotherapy: The Journey of Travelling From one Place to Another in Five Weeks.
To fully explore the positive neurological and psychoactive effects of a ketamine augmented psychotherapy (KAP) treatment, patients’ voices must be heard. To understand my perception and experience as a patient, I apply tools known to me as a health systems researcher. Framing this experience as a personal journey, I hope to promote discussion in two ways:
– understanding and acceptance of the treatment; and
– strategies to improve patient experience and outcomes.
My personal journey unfolded over five weekly 40-minute ketamine infusions aligned with five weekly integration therapy sessions. I developed a deep understanding of how patterns of thinking and behaviour hindered me from fully experiencing life. As a child, I did not know love free from coercion or abuse; and this defined my adult experiences of love. Since my arrival in Germany in January 2020, I slowly started detaching from my emotions as a default coping mechanism; in response to a series of traumatic events enacted by an ex-partner. The KAP journey allowed me to safely confront profound feelings of shame, fear and hopelessness. Because, a loving life demands recognition of independent rights and agency, and respect of boundaries.
I have long connected to bell hooks’ concept of love intellectually. hooks asserts that love is a verb; that love consists of concrete actions to nurture oneself and others. KAP ignited the spark of that love as a tangible process; as something I have the capacity to hold and the power to do. I held the practice of love as the central focus, and experienced an awakening of feelings, realignment of purpose, and restoration of hope.
It is within hooks’ feminist concept of love as an active , deeply transformative and emancipatory process. that I map my KAP journey. I still have a long way to go. But I know — not just intellectually, but bodily and emotionally — that, as hooks says, “The light of love is always in us, no matter how cold the flame.”