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What is Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy?

Ketamine assisted psychotherapy (KAP) is an intense type of therapy that can get to core feelings and help to rewire emotional memories.  Ketamine helps to bypass defenses, lower anxiety and provide access to deep feelings.  Our defenses and anxiety can act as protective mechanisms in times of stress or trauma, yet when they are activated automatically, (and often below our awareness) they can keep us stuck in unhealthy patterns.


Ketamine triggers neuroplasticity (a state where you brain can more easily learn, change and adapt) almost immediately.   This state allows the brain to form new neural connections and to disconnect from old patterns or ways of thinking that contribute to mental health symptoms.  This temporary window of neuroplasticity is an excellent time for establishing new habits, thought patterns and perceptions, and this is why KAP at the Golden Wellness Center includes integration work after each medicine session.


One advantage of ketamine over traditional antidepressant medications is how fast it works. A 2020 review from the National Institute of Health suggests it may provide benefit within 2 hours of dosing, with the effects being sustained for up to two weeks following a single dose.  This is in contrast to antidepressants which take several weeks to start working and up to 4 weeks to reach therapeutic levels.

What to expect from KAP

To get started, new clients will have at least 2 preparation sessions with a specially trained therapist and a medical evaluation with someone from our prescribing team. The journeying part of a ketamine sessions lasts approximately 45 minutes and is mostly characterized as an internal experience, but the work of setting intentions and creating a safe container requires preparation.  


The information that comes up during an experience with ketamine is processed or integrated in subsequent sessions with your therapist which are ideally scheduled within a few days of the medicine journey.  This combination of psychotherapy with ketamine creates a robust environment for change and the ability to access deep feelings, rewire emotional memories and quickly learn new habits.  

Who Can Benefit From KAP?

Ketamine is most commonly used for people with depression and has been shown to be effective in treating trauma, PTSD, anxiety, OCD, chronic pain, addictions and more.  Within 2-3 days of taking ketamine neural pathways can be restored helping to rewire your brain and the way it experiences the world.


Many people see some immediate improvement in their symptoms within hours or days of their first session. However, it generally takes a few or more sessions to see long-term results and for changes in thoughts and behaviors to stick.  


Effective treatment may take 4-12 sessions and we design our core offering around 6 medicine sessions including 2-3 preparation/evaluation meetings,  and 6 ketamine plus 6 integration sessions.   


There is not one specifically prescribed amount of ketamine dosing sessions, and you and your therapist and prescriber will decide what is right for you.  KAP is offered individually, for couples/dyads and in a group format.  


We recognize that, despite our commitment to keep our pricing as low as possible, it can still be a financial stretch for many to afford ketamine therapy.  In addition to working with insurance companies, we also accept the Advanced Care Card which may be used to finance payments for Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy at a low or in some cases 0% interest rate. E-mail us to learn more about this Advanced Care Card.

The Golden Wellness Center protocol includes two initial evaluations to get started with Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy. The first meeting will occur with a specially trained psychedelic assisted therapist who will then make a referral to a medical professional  with specialized training in KAP. If the initial evaluations support continued work with ketamine then the client will receive a prescription for ketamine that is enough for two dosing sessions and will also schedule the preparation session.

Therefore the first round of treatment includes one initial psychological evaluation ($200), one medical evaluations ($250-$425), one preparation session ($200), the medicine dosing session ($400) and one integration session ($200).  This is a cost of approximately $1,250 for individual KAP or $880 for group KAP. 

While the value of ketamine in medicine is well-established, many insurance companies remain hesitant to provide mental health treatment reimbursements, and seldom take a consistent stance on ketamine coverage, meaning decisions can vary on a case-by-case basis. As a result of these inconsistencies, many ketamine therapy providers have elected to take cash-only payments and not work with insurance. 


The Golden Wellness Centers seeks to address the issue head-on by working with your insurance company and providing the support you need throughout this process. We will attempt to bill your insurance for reimbursable expenses, although most plans are unlikely to cover more than 40% of the cost.  If your insurance plan is not part of our group of in-network carriers, or doesn’t provide direct reimbursement we can provide you with a super-bill and help guide you with steps you can take to attempt to receive some reimbursement. 

Meet the Counselor

Gianna Gariglietti, M.Ed., LPC-S

Gianna is a licensed professional counselor with degrees from the University of Kansas and Wichita State University.  In December of 2022, she completed the psychedelic assisted therapy certification program at Naropa University in Boulder, and is currently a MAPS MDMA assisted therapy trainee.  She completed the Psychedelic Research & Training Institute (PRATI) Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy certification and has worked as a therapist and an executive in human service and non-profits organizations for the majority of her career.


“I love and celebrate the diversity of people, and find it an immense privilege to support others as they look for more meaning and joy in life, or as they move through periods of pain and suffering, or work to improve their relationships to others and/or themselves. I enjoy working with adolescents and young adults as they navigate complexities, and with couples looking to improve their relationship, or those needing help to work out positive co-parenting strategies when a relationship ends.  Having over 20 years experience as a C-level executive, I appreciate working with professionals looking to find more meaning in their careers, or trying to reach that elusive work/life balance.  I tend to focus on my client’s strengths and abilities, and will 

walk alongside you in your healing and health journey, while helping you remember to celebrate successes and to treat yourself with grace when things don’t go as planned.” 


A great deal of Gianna's work and research has been with children/adults who suffered abuse or complex trauma.  The current published studies around psychedelic therapies and their ability to help people heal far more quickly than traditional therapy or psychopharmacology, is of great interest to her and she looks forward to working with this and other modalities in treating persons dealing with PTSD, depression, anxiety and other concerns.  


Gianna works with adolescents, adults, couples and persons who identify as members of the LGBTQIA+ community.  She practices from a humanistic, strengths based and holistic perspective. 

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