By LJ Lumpkin III, LMFT
Within the BIPOC community, it is not a cultural norm to go into therapy and seek help outside of the family system. My book Climbing Out of the Box: A Path Towards Healing from Systemic Racism normalizes the process of therapy and introduces the understanding that non-ordinary states of consciousness can actually be extremely beneficial to us when we are trying to heal.
There is also an apprehension in the BIPOC community around ketamine specifically as a prescribed drug and a fear around going into treatment centers, a place where you might lose a bit of control. It’s part of our history and generational trauma where we’re known for being resilient, but we’re not able to heal. A lot of this response comes from a state of fear. It’s important for clinicians, especially those who do not identify as Black or Indigenous, to know that there will need to be a period where trust is built before going into KAP sessions.
When it comes to my sessions with clients, I don’t push using KAP as, “Hey, take this and it will make everything better”. Instead, it’s, “This will open things up and it’s a tool we can use to help you have a little bit more of a grasp and understanding of what generation trauma is, what systemic trauma is, of how it affects the body and keeps our mind from moving forward.”
I myself had my own preconceived notions about KAP before beginning my journey to become a KAP practitioner. At the time, I knew more about plant based psychedelics, so I wanted to explore this modality through Journey Clinical with an open mind and look at the research they provide as well as understand their unique collaborative care model and protocol for KAP.
At Journey Clinical, KAP treatment is always delivered via a sequence of preparation, dosing, and integration sessions, which helps me convey the potential benefits of treatment to my clients. I put a lot of emphasis into the preparation and integration elements in order to convey that the KAP medicine session is an open window where if we’ve been doing the work in the beginning and at the end phase, they can make so much more progress than regular talk-therapy.
Through KAP, we’re able to speed up progress that would’ve taken years to do otherwise. When it comes to time and cost, not everyone can go to therapy for 10 years. But if the client is well prepared and supported through integration, they’re able to do the work in a short amount of time, which in turn boosts access to these treatments.
Lastly, for diverse populations, especially for the BIPOC community, the feeling of being observed or recorded can be scary, so many are nervous to come into a counselor’s office. Sometimes people will even avoid going into a hospital to get services. Being able to use KAP has been beneficial in getting the client to want to come into the sessions and do the work—because they’re seeing changes actually occur.
About LJ Lumpkin, LMFT
L.J. Lumpkin III is a licensed marriage and family therapist practicing in California, between the Carlsbad and San Marcos area by San Diego. He has been practicing for over 10 years and specializes in trauma and anxiety disorders, mainly focused with first responders and diverse populations. L.J. is also an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University, where he works with trauma and diverse populations and multicultural counseling and practicum. In 2021, he published the book Climbing Out the Box: A Path Towards Healing from Systemic Racism.