Ketamine-augmented psychotherapy to treat Depression


Depression as an indication for a treatment with ketamine

Depression is often characterized by a losses of joy, zest for life, and motivation. Affected individuals often report a lack of drive, self-doubt, or feelings of guilt. Whereas temporary phases of such feelings are usually normal, they often last for a long time in people suffering from depression. Then, negative feelings and thoughts overshadow everyday life. (1) There are several options for treating depression, including ketamine therapy. We will Introduce this form of treatment for depression on this page.

We have compiled more information about depression. Here you can read more about symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.


Ketamine therapy as a new option to treat depression

There are various options for treating depression. These include psychotherapy (for example, behavioral therapy) and medication. If antidepressants or psychotherapy have not shown sufficient therapeutic success in the treatment of depression, using the benefits of ketamine in the context of Augmented Psychotherapy can be a treatment option.

Augmented Psychotherapy can initiate a process of change through altered states of consciousness, even after a long course of illness. We also take advantage of the direct and fast-acting antidepressant effect of ketamine. You can find more information on the following pages.


Ketamine for treatment-resistant depression

Augmented Psychotherapy is based on multiple modes of action. Ketamine’s immediate antidepressant effect allows for psychotherapeutic work with a diminished burden from depressive symptoms. Additionally, ketamine catalyses a period of enhanced neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to change and reorganise itself, and this can facilitate progress in therapy. And in altered states of consciousness, it is not rare for people suffering from depression to gain important insights and knowledge about themselves and their environments which can be valuable for the treatment of their psychological disorders. For these reasons, Augmented Psychotherapy is a viable treatment option even after a long period of illness.


Ketamine to treat depression in palliative care

In palliative care, people are often confronted with existential questions, and these can lead to anxiety and depressive symptoms. In such cases, experiences with altered states of consciousness are often particularly helpful. In Augmented Psychotherapy, these experiences can take place in a safe manner and with psychotherapeutic guidance. Scientific studies have shown that this not only reduces depressive symptoms and anxiety, but also enables people to develop a different, more positive way of dealing with their life situation (2).


Ketamine therapy for depression due to pain

Pain syndromes are often accompanied by depression, and depression can worsen physical pain. In Augmented Psychotherapy, we take advantage of ketamine’s pain-relieving and antidepressant effects. Through experiences with altered states of consciousness, it isn’t uncommon for patients to find a new perspective on and way of dealing with pain symptoms. Afterwards, integration psychotherapy is beneficial for helping you to shape these processes in a lasting way.

Published on 05.05.2021

1) – is a website of IQWiG. Visited on 05.05.2021. at

2) Reiche et al. (2018). Serotonergic hallucinogens in the treatment of anxiety and depression in patients suffering from a life-threatening disease: A systematic review. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry, 81:1-10. DOI: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2017.09.012