Events March 2, 2024

Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy: A Paradigm Shift for Our Mental Health Crisis

Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy: A Paradigm Shift for OUr Mental Health Crisis
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May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, which has been observed in the United States since 1949. We’ve come a long way in the past several decades, reducing stigma and expanding access to treatments, but we still have a long way to go. Today, 1 in 5 adults in the US lives with a form of mental illness, and treatment-resistant conditions continue to increase: ~30% of people diagnosed with major depressive disorder are resistant to conventional treatments. Despite the 41+ million people in psychotherapy in the US, the treatments we have available often don’t provide lasting relief or long-term improvements in quality of life

Journey Clinical was born out of our CEO’s personal mental health struggle, and his desire to help others access the treatments that personally helped to transform his life. After struggling to find relief from his PTSD, and experiencing psychedelic medicine without any support, Jonathan started Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy with a licensed mental health professional. In conversation with Yeji Jesse Lee from Business Insider, Jonathan shared, “I started to have the ability to process these experiences…being able to work with an experienced therapist using ketamine as an adjunct is really what helped me accept that I was traumatized, and work through that trauma.” This experience inspired Jonathan to co-found Journey Clinical with his wife, Myriam Barthes, driven by the mission to expand access to transformative, evidence-based Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy to help other people living with mental health challenges find relief. Journey Clinical’s turnkey telehealth platform that safely and effectively expands access to Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) by empowering licensed mental health professionals to become KAP providers in their own practice. 

Collaborative, fully-connected care is at the heart of our approach to mental health treatment. We believe that achieving excellent clinical outcomes requires a patient-centered, team-based approach between all members of the care team: the prescribing psychiatric provider, psychotherapist, patient and broader care network. At Journey Clinical, our in-house KAP-trained medical team provides comprehensive psychiatric responsibilities for KAP (eligibility, diagnosis, prescription management, and outcome monitoring) while our network of trained, licensed mental health professionals deliver psychotherapy sessions in their own practice, including preparation, dosing and integration sessions. Our medical team is trained in both traditional psychiatric medications and frontier treatments such as Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy, for a holistic, KAP-informed care experience. Journey Clinical KAP Provider Liz Flores shares, “I had previously struggled to connect with a psychedelically-informed prescriber that understood how to work non-ordinary states of consciousness. At Journey Clinical, I feel secure that my clients are receiving quality treatment.” 

This collaborative care approach expands access to KAP treatment while providing each patient with a personalized treatment plan that fits their unique needs and preferences. Ultimately, collaborative care leads to better patient outcomes: partnering with a trusted psychotherapist throughout the patients’ treatment plan allows for better outcome monitoring, faster medication and care adjustments, and improved outcomes over time. This model of collaboration between the medical team and the patient’s psychotherapist marks a paradigm shift from the medical model of treating mental illness; As Lorna Busch, MS, PhD, a KAP practitioner from New York shares, “KAP gets to the root of mental health issues rather than merely providing tools to manage symptoms.” 

When asked about the benefits of the collaborative care model, our Senior Prescriber, Kwasi Adusei, explained, “I see Journey Clinical as having a mosaic of support, though opportunities where we can engage as a prescriber with KAP therapists for Q&As, where we can discuss protocols and cases, and be able to have a group of support provide you with that information and insight.” As a KAP prescriber, Kwasi plays a key role in delivering collaborative care, through providing medical support to KAP Patients, whom he reports have experienced opportunities to access grief, trauma, and to find breakthroughs through their KAP treatment. He shares that, “For many people who have been in therapy for years or who have tried many different kinds of medications such as SSRIs and psychotropics feel like they’ve hit a wall, and KAP seems to be the first intervention that has actually helped them.”

Since we launched our platform in 2021, we have seen firsthand the positive impact of KAP on thousands of Journey Clinical patients. One patient reports: “I realized through my KAP sessions how much I was holding back from my therapist and I thought I was being as open and honest as possible, but I wasn’t. KAP sessions allowed me to go deeply inward and see what I was hiding from, bring it to the forefront of my mind, and truly deal with it in a safe environment. Because of KAP I have begun making huge life changes and am actually following through with them, not just saying I want to and/or plan to do them, I am doing them! It feels amazing and empowering. My depression has improved substantially, I have so many more good days than I do bad. I am so thankful for KAP and the way it has given me a new life to be so excited about!”

It’s patient stories like these that bolster our hope for the breakthroughs that Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy and other forms of PAP can bring to the millions of adults suffering from mental illness. Beyond KAP, we will continue to expand our platform to include other psychotherapeutic treatments in the future as they continue to be validated, researched, and approved for broad use by the FDA, such as MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy and Psilocybin-Assisted Psychotherapy. We hope that you will join us on our mission to expand access to these transformative treatments. 

To learn more about what the KAP process looks like with Journey Clinical:

To join as a member psychotherapist and become a KAP provider: 

To see if KAP treatment is a good fit for you: