Video: Psychedelic Therapy serious – The physician portal esanum reports about the OVID Clinic Berlin

Andrea Jungaberle

Pharmacologically based long-term therapies are often the treatment of choice for depression. Augmented psychotherapy, which uses mind-altering substances such as ketamine, is a new approach to helping depressed patients. The altered states of consciousness induced in this way are then therapeutically integrated This treatment method, which is still relatively new in Germany, is the focus of Dr. med. Andrea Jungaberle and her colleagues in their clinic in Berlin Friedrichshain. Esanum visited the interdisciplinary team at the OVID Clinic Berlin and informed us about the innovative procedure.

Ketamine infusion plus psychotherapy: Berlin practice offers treatment alternative for depression

The esanum physician network has made a video report about the newly opened OVID Clinic Berlin. In it, Andrea Jungaberle, MD, Sergio Pérez, and members of the team of therapists present the concept for psychedelic-augmented psychotherapy. Augmented means “amplified, expanded, intensified”.
On their website, esanum describes the therapy as follows.

Augmented psychotherapy works with altered states of consciousness

The method is called “Augmented Psychotherapy” and shows how depression can be treated when psychotherapy and psychopharmacology are combined. This is exactly what Andrea Jungaberle, MD, and her colleagues do in their Friedrichshain group practice. We visited the interdisciplinary team and learned about the innovative procedure.

Pharmacologically based long-term therapies are often the treatment of choice for depression. A new approach to helping depressed people is “augmented psychotherapy”, which uses, among other things, mind-expanding substances. The altered states of consciousness induced in this way are then therapeutically integrated. “Augmented psychotherapy ultimately means psychotherapy plus. That is, we supplement psychotherapy with something that is added, in our case usually the administration of ketamine intravenously. Or even methods that do not pharmacologically alter consciousness, such as the Lucía lamp,” explains Andrea Jungaberle, M.D., co-founder of the “Practice for Psychiatry & Psychotherapy – Augmented Psychotherapy” in Berlin’s Friedrichshain district.

Whether ketamine-assisted therapy will be provided is subject to strict medical review

Studies from the U.S. and the general evidence base indicate that ketamine-assisted psychotherapy could achieve therapeutic success in, for example, treating major depression, treatment-resistant depression, substance use or anxiety disorders, or even burnout, she said. In her practice, however, this is mainly used to treat depression. The patient’s health condition is carefully checked beforehand, for example for previous illnesses. “That’s where we get very cautious. For patients who have had a recent stroke or heart attack, we would look very carefully to see if they are eligible.” Sebastian Gaus, M.D., a specialist in psychiatry and psychotherapy, adds, “Contraindications from a psychiatric point of view would be, for example, psychotic illness or also a bipolar disorder with frequent manic phases or also an active substance use disorder.”

Ketamine activates receptors in the brain

If contraindications can be ruled out, detailed preparation takes place in therapeutic sessions. Already in the run-up to the ketamine doses, altered states of consciousness can be achieved with the help of light or breathing techniques. Finally, ketamine is administered in a controlled setting under psychological and anesthesiological supervision. Patients experience intense alterations in consciousness as a result of ketamine administration. Neurophysiologically, receptors are activated in the brain that are normally very poorly activated in depressed individuals. This enables a different experience and sensation. Subsequent psychotherapy sessions integrate the experiences gained under ketamine.

The team expects the psychotherapeutically accompanied ketamine therapy to be particularly successful for those people for whom the classic long-term treatment with antidepressants does not bring about any improvement in the health situation. “Increasingly, we are seeing people who are not seeing improvement in their depression symptoms with long-term psychopharmacotherapy, such as antidepressants, or who are also suffering from a high side effect burden. These patients account for about one-third to 50 percent of patients taking antidepressants. And offering a new therapy alternative here is a commitment for us,” says Gaus.


Foto:esanum/e4yp Text:Lukas Höpfner mit e4yp/esanum

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Impressions from the OVID Clinic Berlin - March 2021

March 25, 2021

Esanum is an international medical platform on the Internet. Here, physicians have the opportunity to get in touch with a variety of colleagues and exchange interdisciplinary experiences. Discussions include cases and observations from the field, as well as news and developments from the medical community.