Before, During and After

We do a lot of work before, during, and after the sessions to help clients articulate and think through their experiences; this work is equal to or more important than the session itself. Ultimately, we try to provide the right kind of container to encourage change, an environment that is suffused with warmth, attunement, and compassion.

Before: Intake interview and Medical Assessment

Before coming to us, you’ll have two intake interviews. First, you’ll meet with an intake professional who will begin the conversation about what you hope to achieve from your session/s and how we will work together to achieve it. This is how we begin the process of getting to know you and to understand your interest and intentions. We’ll share more information about our process and services, and answer your questions.

If you feel you want to continue beyond this point, you will meet with a doctor or nurse practitioner who will explain how ketamine works physiologically and who will screen you for psychological appropriateness, pre-existing mental health or physical conditions and/or potential adverse reactions to medications you are currently using.

During: Dialogics, Medicine and Sound

The Dialogue. Before your ketamine journey we join you in a “dialogic meeting” to help you conceptualize your goals for the session. Dialogic work is not a conversation. It is a form of deep inquiry in which two facilitators reflect to each other what they are hearing you say and prompt you to dive deeply into your desires and needs. Our aim is to help you deepen your intention and understanding of what you hope to get from your sessions in a way that is customized and reflective of your unique experience.

The Medicine. Following the dialogic meeting, you will enter one of our session rooms for your ketamine journey. The ketamine we use is administered through a nasal spray that is compounded in partnership with a New York State-based lab. We prefer this method because it is comfortable, easy to use, and most importantly, can be adjusted in strength during a session depending on each person’s needs.

The Sounds (it’s beyond music). At Cardea we take sound to a whole new level. We create a personally crafted sonic experience for each of our guests, many performed live by our master sound practitioners. Instead of prescribed playlists, we curate soundscapes based on the “Iso Principle”—sequences of music and tones that can modulate someone’s emotional state. Our experienced sound practitioners use bowls, gongs, bells, and other instruments to tune into each person’s real-time preoccupations, moods, and somatic experiences, with the goal of amplifying certain emotional states or providing relief from others. The experience is transformative—akin to having your own personalized DJ attuned to your therapeutic experience and skilled at plumbing your unique process of self-discovery. No other place in New York offers this incredible sound experience.

After: Recovery and Follow-Up

Recovery. Upon completion of your session, as the medicine wears off, you’ll be invited into our “recovery area,” a space crafted for restoration and relaxation. We provide a selection of fresh brewed teas and healthy snacks. We ask that you spend at least an hour with us after your session to ensure a safe and comfortable return to your home.

Follow Up. We follow up with you a few days after your ketamine session by phone, to talk and help you integrate your experience. We also offer integrations groups weekly. We believe change and growth don’t happen in isolation, but in the container of relationship. We want to promote connection between individuals, ideas, and communities. Our weekly virtual integration group is a place to breathe life into the work you’ve done at Cardea and beyond, and to be held by a collective.

We hold this weekly integration group virtually each Wednesday evening, from 7-8pm. It’s an open group available to all our clients. You do not need to sign up in advance and you can join as frequently as you want. It will be facilitated each week by Zach Rieck, LCSW, our Clinical Director.

Let’s Begin

More on our offerings and pricing here.

Further Fund

If you’re a service-oriented professional—first responders, harm reduction, social justice, public education, social services, and community organizing positively impacting their communities—interested in a Furthur Fund scholarship, you can apply here. You must work for either a non-profit or government organization to be eligible.