How Meg Tobin Built a Thriving KAP Group Practice in Just One Year

Community Stories
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May 23, 2024

Meg Tobin, LMHC joined Journey Clinical a year ago to integrate Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy into her practice, seeking a more effective therapeutic approach for her clients struggling with complex trauma. Since joining Journey Clinical, Meg is opening a significant portion of the group practice to KAP treatment. All licensed therapists under her practice, Breathing Space Psychotherapy, are trained KAP providers through Journey Clinical. 

We sat down with Meg to discuss how adding KAP to her practice has helped her grow her KAP practice. 

How did adding KAP to your practice change your practice? 

The first major change was growing the number of therapists in the group practice and making sure everybody was trained in Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy. By integrating KAP into the practice, Meg shared that she was able to become more intentional about who she hired and how they fit this new model. The team meets regularly; “We have staff meetings every week, and case reviews often. I feel good about knowing what my clinicians are doing.”

Breathing Space Psychotherapy specializes in body-based therapy with a focus on complex trauma. Clients facing complex trauma make a great fit for KAP treatment, so the team began by introducing KAP primarily to existing clients, and now also selectively accept new clients who are seeking KAP as an adjunct to their therapy with another practitioner:

“We're not taking any new KAP clients unless they are in a therapeutic relationship and it feels like a good fit. We're getting referrals from other therapists and doing a lot of adjunct work, where the client goes through the KAP preparation, dosing, and integration process with us while staying in collaboration with their original therapist.”

Meg reserves designated days of the week for integration and dosing sessions, and has recently started offering weekend-long KAP retreats, inspired by another Journey Clinical member, Lorna Busch:

“We've organized two retreats so far and we're gearing up for another one in February. The programming is holistic, with a mix of nature walks, art, delicious meals, and KAP. I've learned so much from Lorna, attending her webinars and seeking her consultation. If I could, I'd have these retreats every weekend. Every time I'm guiding someone through their KAP journey, it's incredibly moving. The power of these moments brings me to tears, reaffirming how monumental this work is.”

How did adding KAP to your practice impact your revenue?

Breathing Space Psychotherapy’s revenue has consistently increased since adding KAP. In just the past 6 months and with only two therapists offering KAP, revenue has increased almost 10%. This growth comes from the increase in clients, and the extended nature of the dosing sessions. Some clients can utilize insurance for preparation and integration, while dosing sessions are cash-based. To maintain a focus on KAP and manage clinical caseloads effectively, the practice has opted to engage in adjunct work, ensuring the team can continue to accommodate more KAP clients:

“There was a significant amount of educating that the practice had to do before the referrals began coming in. The practice has been growing and has become known for offering KAP.”

What kinds of Patient Outcomes and Results have you witnessed from KAP?

Meg shared that her KAP clients have demonstrated a capacity to dive deeper into our therapeutic work more rapidly than in traditional therapy sessions:

“There is a space that opens up that is often hard to get to over the course of an hour. These clients are able to go deeper more quickly and utilize the time better than they had in the past. Previously, it felt like I was driving that boat and trying to pull them deeper and now I feel like it's just much more of a natural unfolding and there's that desire and capacity to deepen much more quickly. 

For the clients that I have done the adjunct work with, their therapists are amazed at the shift and their newfound capacity, desire, and motivation to do the work.

I had an adjunct client facing lots of complex trauma who, during preparation, struggled to bring to mind a safe time or safe space. We decided to make my office into the safe space, and he shared that this experience of KAP was the first time he ever felt safe. Now in his therapy with his therapist, his grounding resource is going back to the time that he was under the medicine and felt safe. 

I have one client who through KAP has been able to access and have compassion for younger parts of herself. She was very closed off emotionally, and she cries now. 

It's such an honor and a privilege to watch people access parts of themselves that they didn't know it was possible to access in such a deep way. My clients experience shifts in self-awareness, compassion for internal parts, and even unexpected outcomes like reduced alcohol consumption.”

What drew you to psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy?

“I was raised on the just say no to drugs mentality, and I really had to work through my own deprogramming of what it meant to use medicines like this and to really shift the way I thought about them, to think about them as medicines, not drugs.

I did lots of research and began reading about Ketamine and how much benefit there could be for my clients. I read a study about Ketamine helping people with addiction, and that's not my wheelhouse at all, but it's definitely part of the symptoms that some of my clients present with. Getting off of Opioids or alcohol and really having a dramatic change in depressive symptoms and PTSD symptoms were impressive results of KAP to me. It was the Opioid piece that sold me, even though that's not my wheelhouse, because that's such an intractable addiction, to read that there's something that could help in this dramatic way was really powerful.”

Why did you choose Journey Clinical as your partner? 

Meg shared that once she knew she wanted to add Ketamine into her practice, she began exploring companies with whom she could partner, ultimately choosing to join Journey Clinical. 

“After having three or four different interviews with different companies, I chose Journey for several different reasons. The magnitude of support was a huge piece of me feeling safe and comfortable moving into this new arena. The training, the amount of weekly meetings that I can avail myself of was just kind of blew me away.

It also made financial sense to me. The cost to me as a practitioner feels very fair.

This feels like every dime is very well spent. I get so much more back than I feel like I pay for.

Lastly, I felt an alignment with your mission of collaborative care. With all of the pieces in these puzzles, being a part of a team is extremely comforting. Clients get to have agency in that. I feel a sense of safety in referring my clients to Journey Clinical.”

How did you train to start offering KAP in your practice?

“While I had completed other training programs, I found the training through Journey Clinical incredibly enlightening. I had done a lot of research, but there was a lot that I didn't know. 

Journey Clinical provided resources that I never would have known to ask for. Between completing the training, going to meetings, and hearing from other members, I started to feel more and more and more confident to have my first sessions.

I did my own journeys first before I worked with any clients. I did two of the group KAP experiences that were offered, which were incredibly powerful. I know not every therapist is eligible, but I found it a critical piece of my training to utilize the group KAP to really understand and be able to, I guess, sell it — to really explain to my clients why I thought this was beneficial and to be able to say I would not send you in a direction that I haven't already walked.

I also had someone come here to train my staff around how indigenous plant medicine is served and how that ceremony is built and how to sit for people who are under medicine. Not because I'm doing that medicine, but because that's the energy I want to bring to Ketamine.”

What advice would you give other group practice owners? 

Meg encouraged therapists to familiarize themselves extensively with the benefits and workings of psychedelic therapies before implementing them, and especially before presenting this as a treatment option to clients, in order to create an environment of trust and confidence.

“I think it's really critical to do your research and to come to a place of some solidity around your thoughts and beliefs around Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy, because that will come through.”

She reassured practitioners who may not feel ready yet, “It doesn't mean you can't be nervous. It’s essential to have a grasp of how psychedelic therapy is beneficial so that you can fully jump on board, but you can iron out all the pieces that may feel like loose ends afterwards.”

Breathing Space Psychotherapy specializes in body-based and psychedelic-informed therapy, with a focus on complex trauma. Meg is based in Syracuse, New York, but is licensed in the States of Connecticut, Florida, New York and Vermont.