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CANNABIS-ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY (KAP)

Cannabis-Assisted Psychotherapy (CAP) is a form of therapy that combines the use of psychotherapy and various techniques of trauma therapy with the controlled use of cannabis to enhance the therapeutic experience.

 

Although most people associate cannabis with recreational or medicinal purposes, if it is used with psychotherapy modilities that have been specifically designed to work with the unique somatic/neurological/psychological effects of this medicine, it starts exhibiting radically different properties than in recreational settings.

This is, of course, true for all psychedelic substances!

Cannabis - with the right therapeutic guidance - opens pathways to an altered state of counsciousness that is very far from our rational, linear, verbal, narrative-oriented waking consiousness.

With cannabis, the visual experience is less pronounced than with psillocybin or LSD. Instead, it seems to take us deep into the body, into the autonomic nervous system (ANS), and into an almost physical and visceral level of emotionality.

Cannabis tends to facilitate a somatic, ANS-level exploration, processing and releasing of traumatic events and memories that are stored in the deep biochemical coding systems of the body, and that are far out of the reach of verbal psychotherapy modalities that focus on understanding, insight, narrative, or coping techniques.  

As with all other psychedelic substances, please remember that cannabis in itself is no magic bullet! In Cannabis-Assisted Psychotherapy, the cannabis is "only" used as a tool to facilitate the psychotherapeutic process!

Different protocols for Cannabis-Assisted Psychotherapy 

It is very important to remember that there is no "one" or "standard" way of doing Cannabis-Assisted Psychotherapy (CAP).

CAP sessions can be conducted in-person and online, both in the psychedelic and the psycholytic realm, and various methodologies can be applied in each one of them.

In my practice, the use of cannabis is often connected to the modality of Psychedelic Somatic Interactional Psychotherapy (PSIP).

However, what matters in psychotherapy is never the medicine or the modality, but what seems to offer the best support for the client at any given moment. 

Please check out my notes about ""Psychedelic" vs. "psycholytic" therapy?" and ""Sitter-model" vs. interactive facilitation?" here:  Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy 

What happens in a Cannabis-Assisted Psychotherapy session?

The individual typically takes a dose of cannabis that is low enough to induce a state of altered consciousness, but not to the extent that the individual loses touch with reality.

The individual then engages in an active psychotherapeutic process - under the guidance of an experienced therapist - exploring their thoughts, feelings, somatic sensations and experiences in a deep and introspective way.

As cannabis has a disruptive effect on our usual thought processes and on the functioning of the Default Mode Network, our conscious rational censorship and our usual defense mechanisms also relax and provide access to significantly deeper layers of our unconsious memories, personal and transgenerational traumas, and other repressed emotional contents. 

The therapy session typically lasts for 2.5-3 hours and is followed by a period of reflection and integration. The therapist provides support and guidance for the individual to make sense of their experiences and to incorporate them into their everyday life.

My Practice

Length of sessions:  

2.5 - 3 hours

In-office sessions:

Please bring your ...

- medicine

- eye-mask

- comfortable clothes.

 

Online sessions:

Please have your ...

- medicine

- comfortable clothes

- eye-mask

- head-set

- laptop camera ... ready.

Online (Zoom) sessions are of the same duration as in-person sessions.

Person-with-an-eyemask-sleeping-on-a-couch.jpg

Medicine (cannabis):

In my practice, I only use smoked or vaped forms of Cannabis. No edibles, please!

Please bring your own medicine to the sessions, and make sure that you are familiar with the specific kind of cannabis that you are using. 

Prescription:

Cannabis is a legal substance in NY State, it does not need to be prescribed.

However, I suggest you ask your medical practitioner to register you for a Medical Marijuana Certificate and Card.

This way you can get the best-quality products from the official dispensaries.

 

Insurance:

I am an out-of-network practitioner, take out-of-pocket payment, and will provide you with a "super-bill" after each session.

If your insurance plan covers out-of-network services, your insurer will reimburse you to the extent of your out-of-network coverage. 

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