Ketamine is a exciting now application of medication for mental health and mood disorders. It provides 3 distinct vehicles for possible transformation, each uniquely potent in its own right. These can work separately and in tandem with each other.
When administered 2 times a week, for 4 to 6 weeks, followed by maybe once every month to 3 months, it can help manage depression and anxiety symptoms in people who have chronic mood disorders that have never been significantly alleviated by any of the standard anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication. While it is suspected that it will prove to be quite significant for managing mood disorders in lots of folks, the current FDA trials are specific to treatment resistant depressions. This benefit can be accessed even if the medication is taken at a low dosage that does not induce a psychedelic state.
Another way ketamine can be helpful with a range of issues is making use of the trip itself to do pieces of therapy work. It allows for a lucid contact with unconscious materiel. If you have themes you are working on, places you feel you are stuck or confused, questions you have for your unconscious, you can prepare yourself for medicine sessions, try to give yourself some internal focus, and then do journaling and therapy integration work to unpack the material in the trip to move your issues forward. During the trip, you have novel neural pathways providing you with new, original thoughts not burdened by your default mode processing of material. To make good use of this component it is best practice to be in a active therapy process or some other super-focused activity where you work to prepare for the medicine session(s) before hand and to integrate the material you encounter after the session(s).
Some people have what they describe as mystical/spiritual experiences that give them a radically different perspective on themselves, others, and life itself. Many of us have very narrow world/self/other views that do much to dictate of experience. Psychedelic experiences can often open a totally new understanding.
The third way ketamine can be helpful is that in the days following a session your mind has serious neuroplasticity. What this means is it is easier for new synaptic connections to be established, and less likely that your thoughts/feelings/behaviors will be forced into the same well worn groves in your mind that have you stuck in repetition. During the days following treatments it is important to do lots of journaling, therapy, art, conversations with friends, meditation, walks in the woods, and any new behaviors/thoughts/patterns you hope to establish.