You’ve made the decision to embark on a healing journey with Mindbloom — congratulations! This is a big step forward, and the decision in itself is worth acknowledging in yourself. Take a minute to give yourself your love and credit.
As you will have covered with your clinician, you will need a Peer Treatment Monitor (PTM) present at each one of your virtual dosing sessions. This article will cover the specifics of a PTM: What they do, what the requirements are, who is best suited for being a PTM, and why they are necessary to this process.
If you have any questions about your PTM that are not covered by this piece, please reach out to your Guide or your care team to address this. PTMs are a critical and required part of your experience here with Mindbloom, so we want to ensure that you feel knowledgeable and prepared.
Defining Peer Treatment Monitor
What exactly is a Peer Treatment Monitor? They are a trusted adult (18+ years old) who is present with you throughout your dosing session. They help to ensure your physical safety, and provide a comforting presence if it’s beneficial to your experience at any point throughout the session.
As a treatment requirement, they will need to be present in the space with you during the dosing session. They do not have to be in the exact same room as you, though they will need to be present in the same living space throughout the entire part of the process. We call them PTMs for exactly this reason: they are a peer, whose role it is to physically monitor your dosing treatments.
This is an essential component for your safety, but a PTM serves a secondary purpose of helping instill a sense of safety and security. Knowing that there is someone here to help and assist you allows you to relax more into the experience, and fully embrace the dosing sessions.
What Does a Peer Treatment Monitor Do?
The primary purpose of a PTM is to ensure your physical safety. To do this, they are coached by your Guide to know the safety protocols and expectations required of them before the dosing session. During the session they will check in on you to ensure you are safe and secure.
If all goes smoothly in your session, as we expect it should, the PTM is there to ensure things continue to move along smoothly. They will check in every 15 minutes to ensure you are safe and healthy, and at the end of your dosing session they will come in to help bring you back to a waking and lucid state. They are a facilitator, helping move the process along safely and securely.
And should anything challenging arise for you throughout your session, your PTM is also there to help be a positive supportive presence. They can come sit in the room with you, assure you that you are safe and secure in your space, and be a grounding presence if the experience is challenging or intense for you. If you need to go to the washroom, the PTM can help guide you there during or just after your session.
In more serious edge cases, the PTM is there to contact your Mindbloom guide, or call for additional emergency services should the need arise. Although these situations are rare, your safety throughout these experiences is paramount, and this is why having a PTM present for each session is a requirement to adhere to our protocols.
Overall, your PTM has the following general responsibilities:
- Ensure your physical safety by checking in every 15 minutes, and escorting you to the washroom if required
- Being a supportive, positive presence if you need any support or company during the session
- Being a direct line of contact to your Mindbloom guide or to emergency services if the need arises
What Does a Peer Treatment Monitor Need to Know?
There are no specific requirements, training, or certifications that PTM needs to have in order to be eligible to help you with your experience. They will have direct coaching and guidance from your Mindbloom Guide before the first session you have together, so they will have all the information and resources they need to fulfill the responsibilities listed above.
There are some qualities that are extremely helpful to be a PTM, these include:
- An empathetic, compassionate, calm, and supportive personality
- Understands the basics of psychedelic therapy and are aware of what situations may arise throughout a dosing session
- Stays calm under pressure, and follows the directions given by the Mindbloom guide
- Able to be present and available throughout the entirety of the dosing session.
The specific reminders, information, and guidance that a PTM needs will be covered with your Mindbloom Guide before the first session.
A few timeless reminders that are helpful to share with your PTM include:
- When in doubt, you can contact the Mindbloom Guide for a secondary opinion. They are on call and available throughout the session.
- If the individual requests your presence, try not to intervene or influence, sometimes just being a strong presence is enough. Let the individual be in their experience as fully as possible.
- There may be associated side-effects that are expected for the client: dizziness, nausea, elated moods, confusion are all possible. If you have concerns, you can contact the Mindbloom Guide.
How Do I Choose a Good Peer Treatment Monitor?
Over and above everything, the best criteria for determining a good PTM to work with is to find someone that you feel safe and supported by. Optimally, this is someone who loves and cares for you. This is the foundation for a good relationship with your PTM.
The psychedelic experience is a sensitive experience, you can feel quite vulnerable, uncertain, exposed, while also feeling joy, love, compassion, or other strong emotions. Having someone you feel safe around to support you throughout this process is essential and can be beneficial to the process.
An important point is that you want your PTM to be supportive of the work you are doing. It can be challenging to have someone supporting you who does not believe in the power and potential of the healing path you’ve chosen. You want to feel supported and cared for throughout your sessions, rather than judged or put down, or unsafe.
This may seem obvious, but it does impact your own mindset and setting when going into a session. It’s important to be fully transparent with your PTM about the nature of this experience, what may arise throughout the process, and get their confirmation that they are able to be the support and PTM that you need and want throughout this process.
Peer Treatment Monitor FAQ
Can I do a session without my PTM?
No, PTM’s are required to be there in the physical space with you for the dosing sessions. This is for your safety and security, and is a requirement to continue treatment with Mindbloom.
Can I change my PTM?
Yes, you can change PTMs. Just ensure that they have the supportive information they need, they have the contact information for your Guide or the Mindbloom Support number.
Does my PTM need to be in the room with me?
No, they don’t need to be in the same room, though they do need to be in the same dwelling for the duration of your session, and do check-ins every 15 minutes during the dosing session. They do not need to stay in the room the entire time, unless this is something you request.
What if I don’t live with anyone?
You can ask a friend or family member to be present in your space just for the dosing session. You are also able to have your session at another location. The PTM must be present with you for your dosing session.
Does my PTM need to appear on video?
Yes. During the initial preparation call with your Guide before your first session, your Guide will ask to see and speak to your PTM. They must be present and available to speak at this time in order to move forward with your dosing session.
Peer Treatment Monitors are an essential component of the Mindbloom psychedelic therapy process and protocol. They help ensure safety, security, and powerful healing experiences for you.
If you ever have any questions about the PTM process, please reach out to your Mindbloom Guide or to our Support Team. We are here to help, and the PTM is an essential part of Mindbloom treatment, so we want you to feel safe and supported throughout this process.
As you prepare to embark on your Mindbloom healing journey, we hope this piece was helpful, and that you have a beautiful experience in your first programs.
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