Psychedelic Science 2020 Webinar Series – Ketamine Therapy: Current Applications in Mental Health Treatment (Online)

April 9, 2020

From the event website:

Ketamine Therapy: Current Applications in Mental Health Treatment

Featuring Raquel Bennett, Psy.D., Veronika Gold, M.A., M.F.T., and Gita Vaid, M.D.

Thursday, April 9, 2020, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM Pacific

Ketamine is a unique and beautiful medicine. It was originally developed as a human surgical anesthetic, but in recent years, ketamine has become known for its rapid-acting antidepressant and anti-suicidal properties. In addition, ketamine is highly psychedelic under certain circumstances, producing a strange, dissociative, and expansive psycho-spiritual experience. In this presentation, three experienced ketamine clinicians will talk about the legal uses of ketamine in psychiatry and psychotherapy. First, Dr. Bennett will describe several different approaches to ketamine treatment: the medical and biochemical paradigm, the psychotherapeutic and relational paradigm, and the psychedelic and shamanic paradigm. Next, Dr. Vaid will present some of the clinical indications for ketamine treatment, including severe depression, bipolar disorder, ruminative suicidality, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and more. She will also talk briefly about some of ketamine’s side effects, and the importance of physical and psychological safety in ketamine treatment. Finally, Veronika Gold will present on the power of combining ketamine treatment and psychotherapy. She will also speak to the importance of preparation, guided work, and psychedelic integration. The panelists will also talk about the current controversy around esketamine (a.k.a. Spravato), which is an outrageously expensive filtered ketamine product that was awarded FDA approval in 2019 for the treatment of refractory depression. This introductory level presentation will contain helpful information for clinicians, ketamine clients, and the community at large.

Raquel Bennett, Psy.D., is a Ketamine Specialist from Berkeley, California. Dr. Bennett is fascinated by the antidepressant and anti-obsessional properties of ketamine, and has been studying them for over 20 years (since 2002). She also has a long-standing interest in the psychedelic and mystical properties of ketamine, and the potential for this medicine to be used for spiritual exploration. Dr. Bennett is the founder of KRIYA Institute and KRIYA Conference, which are both devoted to the use of ketamine in psychiatry and psychotherapy. She has given hundreds of lectures and trained thousands of clinicians worldwide on the safe and legal use of ketamine in clinical practice. In addition, Dr. Bennett is the author of several papers which are considered foundational in the field. You can learn more about her work at: She can be reached at

Veronika Gold, M.A., M.F.T., Co-Founder of Polaris Insight Center, earned her M.A. in Clinical Psychology in 2000 from Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, and her M.A. in Integral Counseling Psychology from California Institute of Integral studies in San Francisco in 2009. She provides Ketamine Assisted Therapy and has trained other therapists in this modality. She is currently a Sub-Investigator, Co-Therapist, and a Supervisor-in-Training on the MAPS-sponsored clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. Veronika’s hope is to contribute to the shift in the way Western Society relates to healing and help facilitate wider understanding of the possibilities and challenges presented by working with non-ordinary states of consciousness.

Gita Vaid, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist and psychoanalyst practicing in New York City. She completed her residency training at NYU Medical Center and her psychoanalytic training at the Psychoanalytic Association of New York. Dr. Vaid is on faculty at The Ketamine Training Center, where she teaches and practices ketamine-assisted psychotherapy as well as at her practice in New York City. She is a co-founder of the Center for Natural Intelligence, a multidisciplinary initiative whose focus includes psychedelic psychotherapy, establishing theoretical frameworks, clinical implications and the development of treatment protocols.

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