You’ve reached the end of the Basics program here at Mindbloom, the introductory program that all clients are required to begin with.
What comes next?
There may be a whole host of emotions and thoughts surfacing about what to do and where to go next. Common questions include:
- Is the process fully complete?
- Do I have more work to do?
- What options are available to me if I want to move forward?
- Are there other programs, and if so, what’s the difference between them and the Basics?
- Do I have to keep moving forward right now?
- How long will the effects of this first session last?
We’ll be covering these questions in our resource below. As always, if you have any questions whatsoever, feel free to reach out to your Guide or to our team for support and additional guidance on what your unique path moving forward can and will look like. These are not decisions you need to make on your own, and working alongside your care team to make the best decision for yourself is a wise decision.
Let’s take a look at the three common paths individuals take upon completing the Basics program.
The Three Paths
As always, it is important to note that your particular path is unique to you, and may look different than the paths listed below.
With that said, after working with many clients through their completion of the Basics, there have been 3 broad paths that seem to arise as classic next steps.
The "returning home" path simply implies that you have done the work with Mindbloom that you came here to do. You have a specific healing intention/goal, and feel like it has been largely or completely resolved through your work in the Basics program.
Some clients have reached this point after only the Basics program. However, it is common to feel like things aren’t fully resolved by the end of the Basics, which leads to the additional two paths.
The second path is a brief hiatus to allow yourself to fully integrate the experiences and insights that arose throughout the Basics program.
This is a helpful step and taking care of the "homework" you receive from your experiences will help provide a sturdy foundation for the following program, and when you return to continue on with additional programs.
This hiatus may be a few weeks, it may also be a few months. This is entirely up to your discretion, and you can consult your care team if you would like additional input on this. Taking some time in between programs can let the lessons be more fully embodied, so you can see what areas or ideas you’d like to work on next, and what work remains to be done.
Some clients come in to work on depression, and then recognize that anxiety is a significant component as well. They can then continue with a secondary program focused on anxiety. Once again, checking in with yourself and working with your care team is helpful to determine the next steps in your care plan and the length of time between programs that is best for you.
Other available supplements to this integrative work include the Group Integration Circles available to you. Sharing your experience with others, and hearing others' experiences can be powerful catalysts on your own integration journey.
You can also sign up for additional direct integration sessions with your Guide to explore your experiences in more detail.
You may arrive at the end of the Basics program feeling like you are just starting to build momentum and see positive results. This includes becoming more comfortable within the ketamine experience, improvement in mood symptoms, and the surfacing of new and positively reinforcing experiences during the sessions.
As a result, after consulting with your clinician, you make the decision to continue right along into another program and maintain this momentum that you have been building.
As Mindbloom currently has 4 secondary programs available, uniquely catered to different states or desired outcomes, this is always an option. Please note that for any secondary program, you will need to check in with your clinician again and get approval to continue on. This is for your safety, as each program continues along with a prescribed treatment.
In general, these are the common paths that clients take once they have reached the end of their Basics program. They may stop ketamine treatment entirely as they feel they have gotten what they need. There may be a pause before embarking on an additional program, while others may continue directly on to a new program to support maintenance of progress made or further healing and growth.
If you take either of the latter paths, it’s helpful to note what programs are available to you. There are currently 4 secondary programs available, with new ones arriving every few months.
Additional Mindbloom Programs
There are presently four secondary programs you can move forward with here at Mindbloom.
Going Deeper is the next evolution of the Basics program with Dr. Casey Paleos. This program explores additional fundamental aspects of the psychedelic and ketamine experience.
This program explores the T.L.O. mantra, or “trust, let go, and be open.” This is a timeless and time-tested mantra helpful both within the experiences themselves, and also as principles for moving forward in your life. These are covered in the preparation meditations.
In the integration meditations, Dr. Paleos dives deeper into the neuroscience behind ketamine treatment. These meditations are focused on neuroplasticity, what this means for you, and how to use the integration periods to your greatest advantages.
Learning to Love Yourself
Learning to Love Yourself is directly focused on the most important relationship you have in your life: the one that you have with yourself.
Featuring our own Shannon Starr, it provides ideas, intentions, and practices to cultivate a deeper relationship with yourself. It’s aim is to improve your self-image, self-love, and your self-worth.
A core aspect of therapy is returning to a feeling of love and "at-homeness" with yourself, and this is the central focus of the Learning to Love Yourself program.
Overcoming Anxiety is directly focused on helping provide the skills, ideas, and practices to manage and mitigate symptoms and experiences of anxiety.
It also teaches how to work with them, and make anxiety a powerful signal that you mold into behavioral change. This is the core focus on this program, and it is led by our Lead Clinician, Kristin Arden.
Beyond Depression is the complementary other half of Overcoming Anxiety, and is specifically focused on learning how to work with, and move beyond, experiences or symptoms of depression in your life.
This is also led by Mindbloom Lead Clinician Kristin Arden, and is focused on helping individuals manage depression, while rediscovering joy, passion, and purpose in their lives: the antidote to depression.
These are the secondary programs currently available at the time of publication. If there is any confusion around which program may be the best next step, or which one might be best suited for you, you can always reach out to your Guide to open a dialogue around this, or discuss this with your clinician directly.
You are supported in this decision, and do not have to make it alone.
There are a few questions that we receive from clients around potential avenues to move forward with that are outside of the scope of Mindbloom’s platform.
A few things that Mindbloom does not offer or provide once the program is complete include:
- Microdosing: Mindbloom does not prescribe ketamine in microdose amounts for daily use.
- Different Ketamine Applications: Mindbloom does not currently prescribe or provide ketamine in the forms of IV infusions, IM injections, or nasal sprays (Spravato).
- Different Psychedelic Medicines: Mindbloom works only with Ketamine, and does not provide programs with compounds such as MDMA, psilocybin, LSD, or other psychedelic compounds.
- Daily Dosing Protocols: Similar to microdosing, Mindbloom clinicians do not write prescriptions for "daily use" or smaller, more frequent dosing sessions. All of our programs correspond with clinician-prescribed dosages tailored to each individual, and based on the number of sessions in the program.
Honoring Integration Periods
A final note on honoring integration windows as they arise, both between the sessions in your program, and in the longer windows after your program is complete.
You have likely come to work with Mindbloom to achieve some form of long-lasting positive mood/behavioral change. The integration period is essential for facilitating and supporting these long-lasting changes.
We’ve written extensively on the integration process and how to approach integration periods, and why and it’s important to honor these in yourself as you move throughout this process. Some experiences or insights may be quite straightforward to integrate and not require significant time/energy, while others may take weeks, months, or be a continued, ongoing process of aspiring and working towards more transcendental ideals.
As a result, if you are considering moving into a new program, or even if you have made the decision to pause your relationship with Mindbloom, it’s important to check in with yourself and your care team. This helps to make sure the integration period is beneficial and that it receives the attention it deserves, helping you on your way to healing and wholeness.
Showing up fully for the integration process is not an exact science, it’s not always easy to pin an exact date of completion on some of the integration tasks you may have in front of you. It’s helpful to ask yourself, and your care team, to have a sense of when you are in a good state/place to move forward with future programs and session work.
Hopefully this resource laid out some of the potential paths available to you when moving forward after the Basics program. None of them are any more correct than the others. This is a matter of tuning into yourself, honoring where you are at, respecting what you may still need, and placing importance on working with your support systems.
Your path will always be unique, and you have a community of support around you to keep moving forward and giving you strength, input, and ideas. If you ever want more direct help, you can reach out to your Mindbloom clinician, your Guide at Mindbloom, or your primary care provider outside of Mindbloom. There is a community of support here for you, all ready to be of service to your process and help you along the way in whatever way is helpful.
Regardless of what you choose, here’s to the rest of your journey towards healing and wholeness.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. If you are in a life-threatening situation, call the National Suicide Prevention Line at +1 (800) 273-8255, call 911, or go to the nearest emergency room.
Important FDA Safety Information
Ketamine is not FDA-approved for the treatment of depression or anxiety. Learn more about off-label uses here.
Side effects of ketamine treatment may include: altered sense of time, anxiety, blurred vision, diminished ability to see/hear/feel, dry mouth, elevated blood pressure or heart rate, elevated intraocular or intracranial pressure, excitability, loss of appetite, mental confusion, nausea/vomiting, nystagmus (rapid eye movements), restlessness, slurred speech, synesthesia (a mingling of the senses).
Do not proceed with ketamine treatment if any of the following apply to you:
- Allergic to ketamine
- Symptoms of psychosis or mania
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure
- CHF or other serious heart problem
- Severe breathing problem
- History of elevated intraocular or intracranial pressure
- History of hyperthyroidism
- Other serious medical illness
- Pregnant, nursing, or trying to become pregnant
Ketamine has been reported to produce issues including, but not limited to, those listed below. However, lasting adverse side-effects are rare when medical protocols are carefully followed.
While ketamine has not been shown to be physically addictive, it has been shown to cause moderate psychological dependency in some recreational users.
- In rare cases, frequent, heavy users have reported increased frequency of urination, urinary incontinence, pain urinating, passing blood in the urine, or reduced bladder size
- Ketamine may worsen problems in people with schizophrenia, severe personality disorders, or other serious mental disorders.
- Users with a personal or family history of psychosis should be cautious using any psychoactive substance, including ketamine, and discuss potential risks with your MindBloom clinician before proceeding with treatment.
- The dissociative effects of ketamine may increase patient vulnerability and the risk of accidents.
To promote positive outcomes and ensure safety, follow these ketamine treatment guidelines:
- Do not operate a vehicle (e.g., car, motorcycle, bicycle) or heavy machinery following treatment until you’ve had a full night of sleep
- Refrain from taking benzodiazepines or stimulants for 24 hours prior to treatment
- Continue to take antihypertensive medication as prescribed
- Avoid hangovers or alcohol intake
- Refrain from consuming solid foods within 3 hours prior to treatment and liquids within 1 hour prior to treatment
- Ketamine treatment should never be conducted without a monitor present to ensure your safety