Meet Toni Kim
What is your professional background?
I am a licensed psychotherapist with a Masters in Social Work (MSW) from New York University. I have been practicing Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy with Journey Clinical since June 2021.
Where are you and where do you practice?
I currently have a hybrid-practice with preparation/integration offered virtually, and the option to have a KAP dosing session virtually or in-person in Manhattan. I also offer virtual and in-person group KAP.
Why did you choose to be a KAP practitioner?
I have witnessed firsthand how psychedelics, when part of an integrative approach, can be a powerful tool for healing, growth and transformation. I am passionate and committed to helping people get to the root of their suffering and distress, so that they can be in a state of creation rather than reaction to their lives. This has been such a transformative and powerful tool to add to my toolbox with my work with my clients.
Why did you choose to partner with Journey Clinical to offer Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy?
I would not be able to offer this type of tool to the community if Journey Clinical was not around. Before Journey Clinical, there was an unmet need of providing therapists access to prescribers for ketamine-assisted psychotherapy and psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.
How has Journey Clinical helped you become a better psychotherapist/improve patient outcomes?
I have profound gratitude to Journey Clinical and its commitment to making Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy accessible. I know how difficult it would be for me as a therapist in a solo private practice to establish a relationship with a trusted prescriber. Clients I have referred to Journey have spoken highly of the quality of their interactions with Journey and their prescribers. Journey Clinical has also generously offered invaluable trainings, support and community.
What is your favorite part of Journey Clinical?
The community of experienced therapists that I can access through Journey Clinical has given me abundant opportunities for learning, growing and deepening my own practice. There’s so much collective wisdom that’s consistently shared within the community. There’s also a sense of support as we’re all working towards a greater mission of making these treatments accessible while also being able to practice in a way that feels authentic to us.
What are some of the biggest mental health challenges you’ve observed within the community that you serve?
Most of my KAP clients are dealing with complex trauma and attachment trauma.
How has KAP supported your clients in their mental health journey?
One client in particular has had incredible results with Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy. This client was experiencing severe depressive and anxiety symptoms. They had found some relief through ketamine IV clinics but they felt like they needed a little bit more support in a more therapeutic setting, and so we established a relationship. After KAP, their depression and anxiety symptoms have been significantly reduced and their level of functioning has improved. They have also successfully tapered off of antidepressants that they had been on for most of their adult life. They are currently thriving and have reported that KAP, and specifically the music component, has been a critical component in their healing journey.
What orientations or areas of expertise have you found synergistic with KAP?
I frequently integrate sound/music, breathwork, attachment-focused EMDR, ego-parts work, and mindfulness into my Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy work with clients.
What is the role of music in a Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy dosing session?
I think of music as the carrier wave for a client’s intention in the work that we do together. Using music during a KAP dosing session supports and guides their journey. Many of my clients have reported back that the music has been an important part of their experience.
Curating the playlist for the client is an intuitive process of relating back to the client and having a sense of their needs for the experience, established in preparation sessions. I typically model the playlist on a hero’s journey, with a crescendo and then music that suggests a coming back home to themselves and to their body, which helps the client feel grounded enough to come back into the room.
How do you hope to evolve or grow your Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy practice over the next few years?
I am looking to invite in more group and retreat experiences for my Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy practice. I look forward to working with different psychedelic medicines as they become available. I also look forward to continuing to explore the intersection of sound, consciousness and psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.
What would you tell a therapist assisting their first Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy client?
You are more prepared to offer KAP than you probably realize.