How to Choose a Ketamine Therapy Clinic

July 3, 2024 by Steve Suntala

Choosing the right ketamine therapy clinic for your needs will require research and self-reflection. In the end, you are making a monumental decision about your mental health. You want to ensure you receive care from reliable, trustworthy, and reputable professionals.

Any ketamine clinic can make claims about their procedures and success rates. Delving into past client reviews and asking the right questions can be paramount in determining who is and is not the right fit for your treatment needs. Regardless, a gut feeling can be the greatest indicator of future successful provider-patient relationships. 

What Is a Ketamine Therapy Clinic?

Ketamine is a revolutionary mental health treatment that has gained significant traction with providers in the last few years. What was originally designed and utilized for anesthesia has since proven successful in improving numerous conditions, including treatment-resistant depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and PTSD.

While available in various forms, patients typically experience the best results when receiving ketamine IV infusions. Indeed, research shows intravenous treatment results in higher response and remission rates and longer treatment maintenance. Ketamine infusion clinics, like New Pathways, utilize this method to provide patients with the most reliable and exceptional mental health care. 

What to Expect From Ketamine Therapy

Ketamine therapy is a unique experience, and everyone responds to treatment differently. Still, patients can expect a similar initial intake process when exploring treatment options. 

Below is a standard intake procedure for starting ketamine:

  • Initial consultation: Providers will conduct a consultation with patients before approving or initiating ketamine treatment. This appointment will include questions about medical conditions, symptoms, mental health history, and goals for therapy. 
  • Developing a treatment plan: Together, a provider and patient will develop a personalized treatment plan to help the patient find relief from distressing mental health symptoms. This guide may also include adjunctive therapies or support options. 
  • Infusion sessions begin: Upon receiving approval, a patient will begin ketamine sessions. Treatment is offered in a quiet, private room where the patient can relax and feel at ease. 
  • Staff monitoring: Constant medical monitoring is essential during the ketamine therapy process. Nurses or aides are always available to clients as they receive an infusion. 
  • Post-infusion care: After an infusion, nurses will monitor patients for any reactions or side effects. They will provide patients with after-care instructions and schedule the next session if desired.

8 Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Ketamine Therapy Clinic

Like physical health care, your mental well-being should always be a priority. Whether you’re struggling with treatment-resistant depression, an anxiety disorder, or trauma, ketamine can be an effective way to mitigate debilitating symptoms. 

Ensuring you find the right provider is as important as the treatment method. Ketamine should be administered by licensed professionals with ample experience in the field. A ketamine therapy clinic should also ensure they adhere to federal and state regulations, stay up-to-date on licenses, and provide a safe space for patients. 

With these factors in mind, patients can continue conducting personal research to choose a ketamine clinic that can help them achieve remission. 

1. Expertise in the Field

You want only the best medical professionals on your treatment team. Why would you expect anything less for your mental well-being?

Before considering a ketamine clinic, look into their staff and facility. Is ketamine part of a broader suite of offerings, or are they a ketamine-exclusive center? Does the community generally have a positive opinion of the clinic? 

Differentiating between an expert and a novice ketamine provider can be challenging. However, searching for publications or journals they wrote or contributed to is another way to vet a therapist. 

2. How They Evaluate Patient Candidates

A safe, licensed ketamine clinic will always conduct a thorough evaluation before approving a patient for treatment. They will likely request medical tests to determine if someone is suitable for infusions or contact the patient’s primary doctor to retrieve medical records. 

Some red flags to watch for include same-day appointments or special “sales” on treatment. Ketamine is a drug regulated by the DEA and other federal bodies. No clinic should provide care before meeting a patient or performing a physical and psychiatric exam. 

3. Certifications & Practice Models

Practicing as a ketamine therapist requires specific training and certification. As with any mental health treatment, providers must follow specific best practice guidelines. 

In the case of ketamine, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Society of Anesthesiologists detail exactly how providers should evaluate and approve patients, administer ketamine, monitor treatment, and issue follow-up care.

Ask any prospective clinics about their compliance with these organizations. Request information about their typical treatment models and compare these to federal regulations. Any deviation can indicate unsafe procedures, and you should consider looking elsewhere for treatment.

Psychiatric Vs. Anesthetic Clinics

As mentioned, ketamine was originally designed as an anesthetic, and many clinics still use the drug for this purpose. Of course, ketamine can be incredibly beneficial for many patients in a medical setting. However, ketamine infusions without adjunct psychiatric care can impair the ability to heal mental health troubles and grow from the experience. 

So, while patients can work with anesthesiologists throughout treatment, most experience better, long-lasting improvements when approaching ketamine through a psychiatric lens. 

4. Success Rates

Ketamine treatment is highly effective, especially for those with treatment-resistant depression. Some studies show ketamine is more effective than other alternative treatments like ECT, making for a more accessible relief method for those struggling with long-lasting symptoms.

Any reputable ketamine clinic should show favorable results from patients. New Pathways has a 75-80% success rate, with many patients experiencing full remission from systems with ongoing treatment.

5. Clinic Setting & Comfort

True growth comes in comfort. Many cannot lay the foundation for life-changing mental health work in a sterile, lifeless environment. Patients should feel relaxed and at peace when receiving ketamine treatment, as openness is pivotal for success.

Ketamine infusion sessions generally last 45 minutes to an hour, during which time you remain seated. Ask yourself if the general environment meets your expectations–if not, exploring other options is best.

New Pathways offers each patient their own room, complete with dimmed lighting, music (if desired), eye masks, and cozy seating blankets and pillows. We take great pride in our ability to create a welcoming environment where patients can initiate healing. 

6. Staff Friendliness

Another key element of mental health treatment is the patient-provider connection. Not only should you feel comfortable with the provider, but you should also receive tender support from nurses and aides.

An unwelcoming environment is a major deterrent for many seeking mental health support. Clinic staff should welcome patients with friendliness, providing top-quality monitoring and interaction from the start to the end of each session. Without this connection, treatment adherence, success, and remission rates drop, leaving many patients despondent toward the entire industry. 

7. Accessibility to Providers Between Sessions

Of course, your clinic will not be open 24/7. However, you should be able to connect with your care team easily between sessions. Providers should be happy to answer your questions or concerns about treatment–you should never feel like a burden when reaching out for support.

8. Transparency About Treatment & Success

Seeking mental health care can be intimidating, and you may feel overwhelmed by the endless options. Your treatment team should be honest and straightforward about your ketamine therapy to help ease any stress or anxiety. You should be well-informed about the duration and frequency of sessions, potential benefits, and any other aspect of the process. 

Remember, Trust Your Gut

You know what they say: Trust your gut! 

Our bodies signal distress or discomfort for a reason. Many times, we can sense something is “off” before our brains can register the situation. If a clinic leaves you feeling uneasy in any way, you may fare better by pursuing treatment from another provider. 

At New Pathways, our patients come first. Your well-being is at the forefront of our mission, and helping you find long-term relief is our ultimate goal. We are here to provide education, support, and accessible care, whether you’re interested in an initial evaluation or just exploring your options.

At New Pathways Clinic our heartfelt mission is to establish a holistic mental wellness campus that touches the lives of individuals in the greater Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati regions. We are dedicated to combining state-of-the-art mental health treatments, like Ketamine therapy infusions and Spravato nasal spray, with the expertise of compassionate mental health professionals to treat depression, anxiety, PTSD, migraines, and bipolar disorder.

Our unwavering commitment drives us to continuously evolve and adapt as the scientific landscape of ketamine research expands and diversifies, leading to innovative mental health treatments. We are determined to pave the way for a healthier future for Cleveland, central Ohio, and southern Ohio.

New Pathways Clinic also offers Semaglutide & Tirzepatide weight-loss shots, ketamine-assisted psychotherapy, and  ketamine/Spravato support groups for patients.

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