Implementing Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy into your Private Practice: Ethical Considerations and More

Published May 15, 2024 by Zencare Team

There are some emotions simply too painful to express, and while the support of a trusted therapist can be utterly transformative, trauma can still linger in what’s unspoken. Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP), also known as Ketamine Assisted Therapy (KAT) and other psychedelic-assisted therapies are thought to give clients a bridge to healing when more traditional therapy approaches reach their limits (1).

In this article, we’re discussing the ethical considerations of offering KAP at your practice and how to offer this potentially life changing modality to your clients in a safe, effective way.

Two people are sitting across from one another in conversation. The person to the left is a tan Caucasian with hair up in a bun. They are wearing a cream top, a black skirt, and black heels. They have a notebook on their lap and glasses in hand. The person to the right is a Caucasian with brown hair half up. They are wearing a white button-down, denim pants, and black sneakers. They have their right arm resting on the arm of the chair with their hand on their face.

What is Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy?

Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) makes use of ketamine’s effects to ease mental health symptoms while providing clients with a novel way to experience their thoughts and feelings (1) (2). Ketamine alters a person’s perception and provides them with a sense of calmness, as it impacts the chemicals in the brain. Many people describe the feeling after taking ketamine as feeling disconnected from their inner voices and or finding relief from physical or emotional pain.  

Together with integration sessions, KAP can be a useful way to utilize the brain’s neuroplasticity to provide individuals with literally a different way of thinking about their lives. Ketamine can help clients break free from harmful patterns too, making it a unique yet constructive therapy approach.

Finding the right training for Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy

Because Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy includes the provision of a drug and has physical effects, there are certain risks associated that must be addressed by appropriate training from a legitimate training organization. High quality training in KAP can help therapists learn their role in KAP and explore how they can best support their clients as they seek emotional healing.

With the rising popularity of KAP, many companies and organizations across the country —and the world — are offering KAP training for therapists. However, many of these training opportunities come with red flags.


When looking for KAP training programs, it may be beneficial to check out which ones offer you the chance to experience the therapy yourself, that way you know what it feels like.

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Important things to note about Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy:

Choosing the right approach for Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy

Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy comes in many formats, and which format is best for clients depends on their specific mental health concerns and their goals with KAP. Each type of KAP comes with advantages and drawbacks, so it’s essential to talk through what’s on the table with clients before they begin treatment. Preceding those conversations, therapists must be familiar with the various routes of administration, dosing amounts, and integration paradigms, which they can learn about through KAP training.

As a brief overview of the different types of KAP, KAP can look like the following:

KAP therapists should fully inform their clients about how KAP works and any potential side effects. Clients can also benefit from talking with a therapist about their individual timeline when it comes to KAP, such as how many sessions they intend to participate in and how much time they want to spend in their integration sessions.

As with any therapy approach, it’s important — and ethical — to get clients’ informed consent. KAP requires clients to deliberately agree to ketamine treatment while understanding the risks and benefits. Many therapists offer KAP as a “last resort” option after clients have exhausted other therapy options, though they understand that KAP can have hugely beneficial effects for their clients.

Consistent Oversight for Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy

Because of the nature of KAP, most therapists keep detailed documentation about their sessions with clients, including the ketamine dosage, length of sessions, frequency of sessions, and effects. Consistency is key when it comes to KAP, so offering clients consistent dosage is best done when therapists maintain clear, comprehensive notes.

Ketamine, in the end, is a restricted drug. While its popularity in the mental health field continues to build — and while many studies have found KAP to have meaningful positive effects on mental health — mental health professionals must keep diligent records and keep the drug in a locked safe. Therapists might also consider consulting with a client’s medical team to ensure physical safety during treatment.

Lastly, many therapists find it useful to consult with other KAP professionals or peers from their KAP training to safeguard against misuse — even accidental misuse — of ketamine in mental health treatment. Having a community to support you as the therapist can make a world of difference, especially when it comes to more novel approaches to healing.


Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy has earned the respect of many mental health professionals across the country, with many of them beginning or finishing their KAP training and bringing this approach into their practice. KAP has the potential for many great client outcomes, as long as it’s provided ethically and according to best practice.



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