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Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy at CBT Niagara

KAP is an emerging form of treatment using ketamine to assist with a more involved psychotherapy process. KAP's most fundamental notion is that the drug alone is not what brings about relief; rather, it creates the optimal conditions for psychotherapy to unfold, thus accelerating relief. Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy requires a physician and psychologist to work together. They each bring unique and specific knowledge to the treatment gained through formal training. The physician brings the knowledge of how the drug acts in the body, the most suitable route of administration, and the appropriate dose for specific goals. The therapists bring knowledge on how to position the mind in relation to what the body is experiencing and in a manner that serves pre-set psychotherapy goals.

Abstract Horizon


What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is a rapid-acting general anesthetic discovered in 1962, patented in 1963 & FDA-approved since 1970. The anesthetic use of ketamine has been around for decades, and emergency room physicians (especially anesthetists) have a good understanding of how it works medically. Beyond its primary application for anesthesia, ketamine is used as an analgesic, anti-obsessional, and antidepressant. It may also possess neuroprotective and neuroplastic properties. 

At the brain level, ketamine is a non-competitive NMDA antagonist and interacts with several other receptors. Its rapid antidepressant effects work on a different neurotransmitter than traditional antidepressants like SSRIs. Ketamine also stimulates BDNF production (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), often referred to as "fertilizer for the brain." Oxford's professor McShane gave ketamine a solid reputation by saying that BDNF boosts result in neurogenesis (growth of new brain cells) and synaptogenesis (new connections between brain cells).

About KAP at CBT Niagara

Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) at CBT Niagara aims to create lasting change using brief treatment courses in conjunction with psychotherapy. Our KAP team includes two Psychologists, a Nurse Practitioner, and a Psychiatrist. Our combined expertise lets clients complete all assessment and treatment steps in-house. Below is a step-by-step guide to our KAP program:

Step 1: Suitability Assessment

Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy at CBT Niagara aims to create lasting change using brief treatment courses in conjunction with psychotherapy. Our KAP protocol involves:

Confirmation of Psychiatric Diagnosis

A psycho-diagnostic appointment with one of our Psychologists to confirm you meet the criteria for at least one of three qualifying diagnoses.

Medical Clearance

An appointment with our Nurse Practitioner to ensure that you are medically fit for the treatment and that no counter-indicated conditions are present.

Psychiatric Clearance & Ketamine Prescription

An appointment with our Psychiatrist to ensure the highest level of clearance (ex. Ketamine interactions with other medications).

Step 2: KAP Program

Unique to our service is the hybrid delivery of individual and group sessions. While the preparation and integration are conducted one-on-one with a psychotherapist, all medication sessions happen as a group (max. six persons). 


Three individual psychotherapy appointments where you and your therapist will work together towards a shared understanding of challenges, set clinically relevant intentions for the medication session and discuss the effects of ketamine in the body and techniques to navigate uncomfortable somatic sensations.


Dosing sessions will occur on weekends at our Court St location and require a 3-hour commitment. Participants will complete physical vitals and paperwork and receive the medication simultaneously in a shared space. Our KAP team will assist as required during the dosing sessions.


Integration sessions will be scheduled on the day following each dosing session. The content of the experience will be discussed in relation to the intentions set during preparation. Talk therapy following ketamine amplifies its neurobiological properties, allowing access to underlying psychological structures with more fluidity.

For questions or more information about registering for the Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy program at CBT Niagara, email

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