At West Rock Wellness, we have a deep reverence and respect for the power of psychedelic medicines and the many indigenous traditions that have cultivated expertise and tradition in their use over millenia. Acknowledging their complexity, we view psychedelic medicines, including ketamine, psilocybin, MDMA, mescaline, and ayahuasca, from an interdisciplinary perspective as acting on multiple layers of being, including biological, psychological, and spiritual realms. Rather than suppressing symptoms, we understand that psychedelic medicines often illuminate root causes of distress and illness, bringing them up for healing.
West Rock Wellness currently offers ketamine-assisted psychotherapy (KAP) as well as psychedelic integration services. Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy refers to the supported use of ketamine as part of a broader course of treatment. In this paradigm, ketamine not only produces beneficial neurobiological changes (e.g. neuroplasticity), but also engenders an altered state of consciousness which can facilitate therapeutic growth and healing. Critically, this occurs within the contexts of a therapeutic relationship and safe, comfortable environment here at West Rock Wellness.
In approaching this work, we humbly seek to facilitate clients’ own healing processes and recognize the need for different levels of support. Given the richness and depth of these experiences, we believe that for many clients, the full potential of psychedelic medicines is unlocked when utilized in the context of psychotherapy and integrated into a broader approach to wellness and mental health. This may include elements such as diet, exercise, herbal medicines, supplements, somatic therapies, nature therapy, and psychosocial interventions.
Given the novelty of our treatment approach as well as our training backgrounds in academic medicine, we endeavor to incorporate emerging research on integrative and psychedelic-assisted therapies into clinical practice and help generate evidence to guide best practices.
What To Expect:
All clients interested in KAP will first undergo a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation to determine if KAP is a safe and prudent treatment option. If appropriate, we will work with each client to tailor a course of KAP that meets their needs. In order to support each client's unique needs and also promote accessibility of this treatment, we offer KAP through several treatment models: individual treatment with 1 or 2 therapists, and in small groups (note: the first dosing session is always individual). We also offer KAP through both sublingual and intramuscular routes of administration. All of these elements affect the nature and length of the ketamine experience, as well as cost. All KAP models involve preparatory psychotherapy sessions prior to dosing and integration sessions after dosing. Critically, these sessions help ensure safety and that clients get the most benefit out of each treatment session.
Our staff will be happy to discuss KAP options and pricing with you. For an informational overview of ketamine and KAP, see: https://psychedelic.support/resources/ketamine-treatment-guide-for-mental-health/
PSYCHEDELIC ASSISTED THERAPIES
Training and Experience
in Psychedelic Therapy
Our clinical team is uniquely trained across a variety of psychedelic-assisted therapy modalities. Drs Sloshower, Kilpatrick, and Hokanson have all completed training in psilocybin-assisted therapy at Yale University where they have served as investigators and therapists in multiple trials of psilocybin-assisted therapy. They have also all completed training in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).
Dr Sloshower and his colleagues developed and published The Yale Manual for Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy of Depression (using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as a Therapeutic Frame). Drs Sloshower and Hokanson received further training in psilocybin therapy from the Usona Institute, where Dr Sloshower currently serves as a trainer. Dr Sloshower has experience treating patients with ketamine in both hospital and clinic settings. His approach to ketamine treatment is informed by his experience with psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy, and involves harnessing the power of altered states of consciousness to facilitate therapeutic work when combined with psychotherapy.
Selected Publications and Talks
Sloshower, J, et al. (2023). Psilocybin-assisted therapy for major depressive disorder: An exploratory placebo-controlled, fixed-order trial. Journal of Psychopharmacology;0(0). https://doi.org/10.1177/02698811231154852
Sloshower, J. “The Promise and Perils of Psychedelic Therapy.” The Tom Ficklin Show. WNHH. 17 March 2023.
Sloshower, J., Guss, J., et al. (2020). Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy of Major Depressive Disorder Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as a Therapeutic Frame. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science. 15:12-19.
Guss, J., Krause, R. & Sloshower, J. (2020, August 13). The Yale Manual for Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy of Depression (using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as a Therapeutic Frame). https://psyarxiv.com/u6v9y/
Sloshower, J. (2018). “Integrating Psychedelic Medicines and Psychiatry: Theory and Methods of a Model Clinic.” Plant Medicines, Healing and Psychedelic Science: Cultural Perspectives. Eds Labate, Beatriz and Cavnar, Clancy. Springer.Sloshower, J. (2017). “Is Psychiatry Ready for the Psychedelic Healing Paradigm?”
Chacruna online magazine. http://chacruna.net/is-psychiatry-ready-for-psychedelic-healing
Psychedelic substances and plants are critical tools that point us toward a more integrated and holistic way of conceptualizing human suffering and, accordingly, its treatment. Their lessons argue against narrow approaches or those based on fear, avoidance, and passivity. Rather, they help bring into focus our profound and nearly incomprehensible existential condition as impermanent beings intimately connected with all other forms of life, matter, and energy.”
– from Sloshower (2018). “Integrating Psychedelic Medicines and Psychiatry:
Theory and Methods of a Model Clinic.”