Phone: 310 773 3989
Ashley Covington M.D.
Board Certified In Psychiatry and Integrative Medicine
The only person better than you is the improved version of yourself
Let’s reset your life by resetting your mind
What is ketamine?
For nearly two decades research has been done using low dose ketamine for a variety of psychiatric conditions. Ketamine is considered a dissociative anesthetic and is a mild hallucinogen at low dosages. It works by blocking NMDA receptors in the brain which are thought to have a role in altering neural connectivity. Compared to other types of psychiatric medications, ketamine has demonstrated rapid effects in as little as one treatment.
Why does it work?
One possible way ketamine may work is by reducing the activity of brain regions known as the default mode network (DMN). The DMN can be viewed as the background mental chatter that is often found to be exacerbated in conditions like depression, anxiety and PTSD.
This negative judgmental background chatter from the DMN can act like a bully in your mind making you feel trapped and held hostage by negative thoughts and emotions. It is this same DMN activity that’s found to be reduced in people who meditate regularly.
Who can benefit?
If you are currently suffering from:
Post Traumatic Stress
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Ketamine may be an option for you. It can be used alone or in combination with antidepressant medications.
How many treatments are needed?
Despite the wonderful rapid benefits of ketamine, it is not a one time permanent treatment. In general, a series of sessions provides longer lasting relief than a single dose treatment. For this reason the initial recommended course of treatment is twice a week for the first 4 weeks.
After the initial treatment course, maintenance sessions can be done every 2-4 weeks depending on your individual care plan.
How much does it cost?
Each session costs $750. Sessions are fee for service and payment is expected at time of service. Insurance is not accepted however a superbill can be provided to you. Session packages are available at a discounted fee.
What to Expect
Have your current psychiatrist fill out the physician referral form (found here).
You will then be contacted by Dr. C for an initial free phone consultation.
You will remain under the care of your primary treating psychiatrist while undergoing ketamine administration by Dr. Covington
You should avoid eating 2 hours before and avoid drinking liquids 1 hour before your session.
a preassessment with Dr. C is completed each time to determine dosing.
The ketamine nasal spray is administered and takes effect in approx 10-15 minutes.
Effects typically last 45-60 minutes.
Each session will take approximately 90 minutes from start to finish and you will be monitored throughout your treatment in a private room.
you are asked to wait 30 minutes in the waiting area before leaving the office.
You must arrange transportation home, as you are not allowed to drive or operate heavy machinery the remainder of the day.
Plan to do something relaxing and restorative after each session while your brain is resetting itself.
Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP)
Ketamine has been found to have synergistic effects when combined with psychotherapy and considered a form of psychedelic assisted psychotherapy due to the promising effects on neuroplasticity.
The dosing of KAP is lower than the dosing used for the rapid treatment of psychiatric conditions as mentioned above. When using very low dose ketamine, accessing emotions and difficult to discuss topics is made easier while still maintaining lucidness to engage during a talk therapy session.
Ketamine has the potential to enhance and optimize the benefits of traditional forms of talk therapy including psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and motivational interviewing.
Likewise, reflecting and integrating on your ketamine experience post-session is an integral part of optimizing a sustained response.