Ketamine infusions provide more than 70% of patients with relief from their depressive symptoms, but to get the most out of ketamine therapy, it’s important for patients to engage in other therapeutic activities in between infusions. While exercise, meditation, and art can help keep sadness in remission, more formal forms of therapy – especially cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) – can help patients bring their relief to a new level.
Unfortunately, money, time, and access oftentimes prevent people from seeing a therapist as often as they would like – or even at all, in some cases. There are many CBT practices, however, that can support a patient’s upward progression, without the intervention of a therapist or counselor.
Cognitive behavioral therapy assumes a direct correlation between a person’s thoughts and their feelings or behaviors. It teaches people to recognize the root of a problem and deal with it in a positive and productive manor. Psychology Today recently published an article, “Therapy Without a Therapist,” which makes note of the following self-help cognitive therapies:
Writing down your thoughts and emotions throughout the day can provide concrete evidence of your cognitive patterns and reveal the root of an issue. In addition, thought records help you to get any subconscious thoughts out of your head and into the open, as if you were talking with someone. This may prevent you from bottling up your emotions and decrease the chance of a negative emotional outburst in the future.
Schedule events that you know will bring you joy throughout the day. Yoga, meeting a friend for coffee, painting, a brisk hike – these small efforts can result in great happiness.
Learning to question the validity of your own negative thoughts can help you determine if they are falsely assumed, and then replace them with positive “silver lining” thoughts. Maintaining positive self-talk is key to decreasing anxiety and depression. Small changes in the way we think about ourselves can greatly impact our day-to-day happiness.
If you're interested in using self-directed CBT to enhance your formal sessions and maintain the positive effects of your ketamine infusions, then explore the techniques listed above and consider checking out a book. The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies maintains a list of books that they've given their "seal of merit.” You can find that list here.
If you'd like more information on ketamine infusions for the treatment of depression, or how you can maintain the positive results of your infusions in between visits, contact us via the brief form below: