Using talk therapy and supervised ketamine sessions to help patients battle anxiety and depression, Field Trip Health is leading the psychedelic-enhanced psychotherapy movement across the United States.
Over the past few years, polite society has become much more comfortable with recreational drug use. In California, cannabis is not only legal, but it’s one of the fastest-growing industries around, while microdosing psychedelics has become more commonplace—Michael Pollan even wrote a book about the benefits. Now, Field Trip Heath, a fast-growing Toronto-based company that tackles mental health issues like depression, anxiety, PTSD, addiction and more with ketamine-enhanced therapy, has landed in Santa Monica in the form of an airy, spalike clinic.
“Field Trip Health was born out of a huge need for mental health treatment beyond what we currently have,” says Dr. Katelyn Kalstein, ND, MSc, clinical director of the L.A. clinic. While some have negative associations with ketamine—remember the term K-hole?—Kalstein ensures that when administered to those who need it in low doses and in a safe, supervised setting, the FDA-approved psychedelic can have a profound impact. “We’re not interested in people who are simply curious,” she says. “We’re treating a pathology here.”
Before receiving any sort of ketamine-assisted treatment, patients go through a thorough evaluation, starting with a consultation. “If you’re a good match, you’d be set up with one of our psychiatrists and go through a full psychiatric history and intake,” Kalstein explains. “If approved for treatment, you’d continue on the path, and if not, there’s no money out of your pocket.”
Continuing on the path translates to following a custom treatment plan that ends with several ketamine-enhanced treatments over a period of several weeks. After receiving a dose (administered via shot), the psychedelic effects are felt in about 20 minutes, and 45 minutes after that, patients usually start to come back into their bodies. “Most people experience a lightness of body, a euphoric, very pleasant sensation where they feel like they’re floating,” says Kalstein. “They feel very expanded.” The therapist stays in the room the entire time, and patients can hang out in the beautiful space for as long as they’d like after each experience.
“If you’ve ever been depressed or anxious, you feel like your mind is tormenting you constantly,” Kalstein says. “And to have that hour of not feeling that torment is huge for people. It’s so huge, the brain can remember it way beyond the session.” 1538 20th St., Second Floor, Santa Monica
Photography by: Courtesy of Field Trip Health