Request An Appointment Today!

Best Ketamine Therapists in Maryland How to Find Them

Best Ketamine Therapists in Maryland How to Find Them

Written by Deborah Tan, Avesta Ketamine Wellness Co-CEO

In this post:

Ketamine treatments in Maryland offer transformative healing with or without psychotherapy. However, patients who engage with psychotherapists sometimes experience more enduring benefits. Trained professionals can enrich the treatment process, guiding patients through preparation, support during sessions, and crucial integration afterward. The key is finding a qualified Maryland practitioner who deeply understands the medicine and diverse therapeutic approaches. 

This article offers a comprehensive guide for patients seeking the best ketamine psychotherapists in Maryland. It includes Avesta’s list of vetted providers in the Bethesda area.  

The Role of a Ketamine Psychotherapist

stock image of therapist session

Ketamine psychotherapy encompasses two distinct yet overlapping practices: ketamine-assisted psychotherapy (KAP) and ketamine integration therapy. Each plays a role in enhancing the therapeutic benefits of ketamine treatments for Maryland patients. The distinction revolves around the psychotherapist’s presence during the session, whether via IV ketamine or Spravato. And their long-term engagement with patients. 

Ketamine Integration Therapy

Integration therapists help patients prepare for ketamine infusions and guide them through the transformative process between sessions. Some continue meeting with patients in the months and years following ketamine treatment. Their work is pivotal in ensuring patients derive the maximum benefit from ketamine’s dissociative and psychedelic effects.

Integration therapists serve as guides, helping patients to:

  • Prepare for the Experience: They assist in setting intentions and emotionally readying patients before ketamine treatments begin.
  • Process Insights: Following sessions, integration therapists aid in deciphering the kaleidoscope of emotions and insights that arise during sessions, crucial for mental adaptability and growth.
  • Translate Learnings: Integration therapy aims to help patients integrate these insights into daily life, fostering long-term mental health improvements.

Browse Avesta’s network directory to find an Integration Therapist who can be your ally in transformative healing. 

Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP)

KAP therapists sit by their patients’ sides during the infusion, offering immediate support and guidance. This close presence ensures patients feel secure throughout their ketamine journey. 

  • Setting the Stage: Like integration therapists, KAP practitioners help patients establish a mental and emotional framework for the session. This process involves talking to patients about their lives, conditions, and goals for ketamine therapy. 
  • In-Session Support: KAP providers offer real-time support in navigating the ketamine’s dissociative states. Others simply provide presence as a comforting anchor.
  • Post-Session Guidance: KAP therapists also engage in processing between ketamine sessions, helping patients make sense of their experiences and apply insights to their lives. However, they do not engage with patients as long-term therapists. 

KAP Limitations

Maryland patients may benefit from KAP practitioners’ emotional support and in-session guidance. At the same time, KAP adds another cost to ketamine treatment beyond the administration and in-clinic monitoring. This service can be prohibitively expensive and unnecessary because patients don’t generally speak to these therapists during sessions. Ketamine impairs speech, making articulating words and maintaining a coherent conversation difficult. 

Patients need comfort and reassurance that they are safe. That’s why ketamine clinics, like Avesta’s Bethesda location, employ trained coaches at a much lower price. These compassionate guides sit beside patients, offering emotional support and ensuring they feel secure throughout the experience. 

Benefits of Working with a Ketamine Therapist

benefits of working with a ketamine therapist infographic

Patients who work with a ketamine therapist benefit from the provider’s mental health expertise, compassionate care, and intimate knowledge of the medicine’s effects.

Easing Fears: Ketamine therapists help ease patients’ fears and uncertainties. Before treatment begins, they’ll explain ketamine’s dissociative properties and the potent mental, physical, and emotional shifts that arise during journeys. They’ll also emphasize ketamine’s safety and efficacy to ensure that the non-ordinary state is normal and therapeutically beneficial. 

In-Session Tools: Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy practitioners utilize various in-session tools to help patients remain grounded and present. They may use guided meditation and controlled breathing techniques. Additionally, they may establish non-verbal cues before sessions so patients can indicate desires like needing help or more or less medicine without trying to speak. 

Amplifying Therapeutic Outcomes: Studies show combining psychotherapy with ketamine can amplify therapeutic outcomes. Why?

  • Therapists’ skilled guidance helps patients weave psychedelic experiences into lessons they can apply to ordinary states of consciousness. 
  • The therapeutic relationship helps patients deeply comprehend and accept the unvarnished insights from ketamine treatments. The process allows patients to anchor the profound benefits over the long term. 
  • Therapists are often trained in complementary mental health approaches, like talk therapy, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), IFS (Internal Family Systems), and Hakomi, to help further patients reprocess trauma, addiction, depression, and anxiety. 

Integration Assistance: Integration therapy is crucial in the post-processing phase, focusing on applying insights to foster long-term wellness. The process helps patients set lifelong intentions, utilizing tools like guided journaling and meditation to deepen the impact. Further, integration therapists provide essential accountability, supporting patients in achieving their goals.

Ketamine benefits (with or without psychotherapy)

Maryland patients who can’t afford or choose not to pursue ketamine psychotherapy should not feel discouraged. They will still reap the benefits of ketamine’s neurological mechanisms

Ketamine is a powerful anti-depressant all on its own. It acts on the brain by blocking NMDA receptors, increasing the release of neurotransmitters, which stimulate new neural connections. This process, known as neuroplasticity, helps to improve mood, receptivity, and cognitive function while reducing fear and defensiveness. Patients consistently experience rapid relief from depression, PTSD, and other mental health conditions after ketamine administration.

Legal and Professional Standards in Maryland

stock maryland image

In Maryland, ketamine psychotherapists need a valid medical or therapeutic license. Psychiatrists, clinical social workers, psychologists, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners, and clinical mental health counselors all meet baseline qualifications for KAP and integration therapy. 

Ketamine therapists should also have a certification from a validated psychedelic training program. This recognition ensures they understand the medicine’s mind-altering effects and can employ strategies to maximize therapeutic outcomes before, potentially during, and after sessions. 

Recognized psychedelic therapy training programs include:

  • IPI Online Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy Training
  • Fluence Postgraduate Certificate in Ketamine-assisted Psychotherapy
  • The Ketamine Training Center Workshop Programs
  • Sage Institute Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy Training Program
  • Polaris Insight Center Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy Program
  • PRATI KAP Training Program
  • Psychedelic.Support Ketamine Assisted Therapy Training for Clinicians

How to Find the Best Ketamine Psychotherapists in Maryland

Maryland residents seeking a ketamine therapist can browse through directories and read recommendations and reviews. Third Wave’s Psychedelic Directory and Healing Maps feature vetted professionals nationwide with various psychedelic trainings and backgrounds. However, massive databases can sometimes feel overwhelming.

For a more targeted list, Avesta’s network directory pinpoints the best ketamine psychotherapists in Maryland. Avesta’s Bethesda, Maryland, clinicians have personally worked with these professionals and trust them to guide patients on their healing journey.

Five recommended Maryland KAP practitioners and integration therapists Include:

1. Dr. Paulo Negro, MD

Dr. Paulo Negro, MD, Psychiatrist / Medication Management / Ketamine Integration Therapy

Dr. Negro is known for his diagnostic skills and open-minded approach, offering specialized care in addiction and trauma.

  • Specialization: Psychiatrist / Medication Management / Ketamine Integration Therapy
  • Website: Potomac Psychiatry
  • Qualifications: Specializes in addiction treatment and trauma therapy, including EMDR.
  • Licensing Location: VA, DC, MD
  • Insurance: Private Pay with Reimbursement

2. Lauren Rubenstein, PsyD

Lauren Rubenstein, PsyD, Licensed Psychologist / KAP and Integration Therapy

Dr. Rubenstein is a licensed psychologist with thirty years of experience.
She’s also a yoga and meditation teacher, trained in the fields of psychedelic-assisted therapy, integration, and ketamine treatment.

  • Specialization: Licensed Psychologist / KAP and Integration Therapy
  • Website: Psychedelic.Support
  • Qualifications: Expert in clinical holistic psychology, author, and certified yoga and meditation teacher.
  • Licensing Location: MD, VA, DC
  • Insurance: Not Available

3. Dr. Benjamin Bregman, MD

Dr. Benjamin Bregman, MD, Psychiatrist / Integration Therapy

Dr. Bregman advocates for a holistic approach to mental health, specializing in a wide range of psychological difficulties.

  • Specialization: Psychiatrist / Integration Therapy
  • Website: Washington IMH
  • Qualifications: Over 15 years in integrative mental health care, focusing on depression, anxiety, and trauma.
  • Licensing Location: MD, VA, DC
  • Insurance: Not Available

4. Raphaelle Cuenod, LCSW, Trauma Therapist 

Raphaelle Cuenod, LCSW, Trauma Therapist / KAP

Raphaelle Cuenod, LCSW, is a dedicated Trauma Therapist skilled in assisting individuals, couples, and families with complex trauma and PTSD. 

  • Specialization: Trauma Therapist / KAP
  • Website: Nour Therapy
  • Qualifications: Licensed therapist with training in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy (PAP), Internal Family Systems (IFS), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Somatic Therapy, and trauma-informed yoga.
  • Licensing Location: VA, DC, MD
  • Insurance: Not Available

5. Divine Mind

Divine Mind Clinic offering ketamine-assisted psychotherapy program

In collaboration with Avesta’s Bethesda, MD clinic, Divine Mind Therapeutics offers a cutting-edge ketamine-assisted psychotherapy program designed to forge a path to holistic transformation. 

  • Specialization: Licensed Therapists / Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy
  • Website: Divine Mind Therapeutics 
  • Qualifications: Stefanie Jackson, LMFT, and Shannon Johnson, LCPC, LPC-MFT, bring extensive experience, specialized training, and a genuine commitment to their clients’ well-being and personal growth.
  • Licensing Location: DC, VA, MD
  • Insurance: Out-of-network

Visit Avesta’s directory to find a Maryland KAP practitioner or Integration Therapist who can be your ally in ketamine healing. 

Questions to Ask a Potential Ketamine Psychotherapist

Patients should ask therapists several questions during the initial consultation to gauge their fit. The conversation should provide insights into the therapist’s education, experience, therapeutic approaches, patient outcomes, and pricing models. 

  • Qualifications and Experience: “Can you share your qualifications and experience with ketamine-assisted psychotherapy?”
  • Training: “What specific training or certifications have you completed in ketamine or psychedelic-assisted therapy?”
  • Approach to Therapy: “How do you integrate ketamine into your therapeutic practice? What does a typical session look like?”
  • Patient Outcomes: “Can you share general outcomes or feedback from patients who have undergone ketamine therapy with you?”
  • Safety and Support: “How do you ensure patient safety during sessions? What support is available to patients after a ketamine session?”
  • Logistics: “What are your policies regarding fees, cancellations, and emergency contact between sessions?”

The Bottom Line

Maryland’s ketamine therapy landscape offers a spectrum of support tailored for patients seeking mental health breakthroughs. Integration therapists, often working behind the scenes, prepare patients before and guide them after their sessions, ensuring insights translate into meaningful, daily life improvements. Meanwhile, ketamine-assisted psychotherapists provide real-time support during infusions, offering techniques to help patients navigate the experience with clarity and calm. These approaches enrich the therapeutic journey and broaden the accessibility of care. 

Get Avesta’s list of trusted KAP practitioners and integration therapists to guide your healing journey.

IV Ketamine infusions for depression anxiety ptsd chronic pain fibromyalgia CRPS Bethesda MD McLean VA Washington DC

Latest Posts

Text Us