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Ketamine + Therapy 'Highly Effective' in Treating PTSD

Updated: Sep 20, 2023

A February 2023 article from MedScape reports that the combination of ketamine and psychotherapy or “talk therapy” appears to be promising in treating PTSD. The article reports on new research published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology.

The research consisted of a review and meta-analysis of four independent studies conducted to investigate the combined results of psychotherapy and ketamine in treating post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Results from every study showed a significant reduction in PTSD symptom scores.

These symptom scores usually include diversified classifications for civilians and veteran, and are self-reported based on a 20-item questionnaire, corresponding to the DSM-5 definition of PTSD. For more information on diagnosis criteria, visit the National Center for PTSD from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Overall, the combination of ketamine therapy and talk therapy showed improvements over multiple symptom areas, and aligns with various international studies demonstrating the efficacy of the treatment option.

When speaking with MedScape for the article, lead author of the meta analysis Aaron E. Philipp-Muller, MSc, of, Ontario, Canada, said:

"Ketamine, when combined with psychotherapy, may present a new path forward for clients struggling with PTSD…this study suggests that these two treatment modalities can be effectively administered alongside one another."

It’s important to note that this analysis and sample size was small, and the study isn’t entirely groundbreaking - only 34 participants were included. However, after growing bodies of research continue to report on the fast-acting, long-lasting efficacy of ketamine infusion therapy, many clinics are opening around the United States to address growing mental health concerns nationwide.

Why does ketamine work?

In addition to helping treat PTSD, ketamine infusion therapy is also frequently prescribed for treatment-resistant depression, anxiety, and more. Ketamine works by focusing on a different neurotransmitter than traditional antidepressants, called glutamate. The drug blocks the receptors critical for receiving glutamate’s signals, which improves the brain’s electrical flow, resulting in reduced depression.

What you need to know

As research continues to come out about the life-changing properties of this treatment option, insurance coverage continues to lag behind the essential care patients seek. Unfortunately, insurance currently does not cover ketamine infusion sessions.

During infusions, the medicine is administered slowly through an intravenous (IV) drip, over the course of about 40-minutes. Most patients at Freedom Ketamine Treatment Centers leave their appointments without side effects, and do not experience side effects between treatments.

If you’re interested in learning more about ketamine infusion therapy, and combining it with your existing talk therapy to help treat PTSD, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, contact our offices today. With six locations in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area, our compassionate care team is ready to support the next step of your mental health journey.


The image used in this article is by Leilani Angel.

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