Designed for Improvisational Growth
The Cardea Method
While diverse in our backgrounds, we are aligned around the common principle that transformation and expansiveness happen more quickly and more effectively within the care of compassionate people who have been trained to provide the right space for growth. Research consistently shows that the human element is always the most powerful force in change. It’s no coincidence that great psychotherapists talk about creating a “nurturing environment” and great psychedelic practitioners use the term holding space for what they do. They are both talking about the same thing.
Holding space for people using psychedelics is essential to encouraging personal growth. With each act of expansion new routes of awareness and healing unfold, and it takes great skill to follow people as they grow. This is our expertise.
When you come to CARDEA, you work with a small team of individuals who contemplate your experience in the sessions together with you to figure out the steps in your care. The methods we have developed synthesize certain forms of psychotherapy, vibrational sound work, as well as your choice of other creative activities and bodywork.
We have devoted much attention to every aspect of the experience, including the physical location itself. We call this highly personalized approach to your care radical hospitality and you won’t find it in other similar spaces.
Before Your Session
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 journey itself. Ultimately we see ourselves as providing the right kind of container or environment to encourage change, an environment that is suffused with warmth, attunement and compassion.
Before you enter the space you’ll have two intake interviews: One with our Chief Medical Officer, who explains how ketamine works physiologically and who will screen you for pre-existing conditions and/or potential adverse reactions to medications you are currently using. This is followed by an intake with a therapist or session guide who will begin the conversation about what you hope to achieve from your session/s and how you will work together to achieve it.
The Ketamine we use is administered through a nasal spray that is compounded in partnership with a New York State-based lab. Nasal administration is unusual but 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 Dialogic Work
Before ketamine is administered you will spend an hour in a “dialogic session, a form of narrative therapy in which you will be joined by not one but two facilitators who work with you to deepen your intention and understanding of what you hope to get from your sessions. Dialogic work is not a conversation. It is a form of deep inquiry in which the facilitators reflect what they are hearing you say and prompt you to dive more deeply into your desires and needs. Intention setting before any psychedelic experience is similar to preparing the soil before planting a seed. Having a laser-sharp intention is incredibly useful for creating a positive framework for your session. It can help to ground you as waves of the unexpected might arise and can help you to deconstruct insights of your journey after it is over.
The Sounds (it’s beyond music)
Modern neuroscience confirms what ancient healers and ceremonialists have known for centuries – that sound and vibration play an essential – not an incidental – role in deepening psychedelic experiences. Combined with psychedelics in the right setting, certain vibrational sounds and frequencies “bilaterally” stimulate the brain, helping people achieve “ego dissolution” and directing them into more profound states of emotional resonance, wonder and awe. Pretty amazing stuff.
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 with different valences 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 personal ambient DJ who is attuned to your therapeutic experience, and skilled at plumbing your process of self-discovery. It is truly beyond words and no other place in New York offers it.
Next Steps (if any)
If, after an initial session, you wish to continue your explorations, we will develop a plan that invites more playfulness into your life. To that end we may bring professionals with particular expertises – artists, dance therapists, bodywork practitioners, vocalists or musicians – into further sessions.
If you’re already engaged with a private therapist, we are also prepared to stay in close communication with them, provide them with our own reflections, and learn more about how we may assist the two of you. When appropriate, we offer your therapist the opportunity to attend a session. We believe that the communication between professionals works best when the person of concern is present.
If you’re not in therapy, no problem. This method is agile and effective enough to help people on its own.
We offer a range of packages all based on your own unique intentions. The average hourly cost ranges from $250-$538. We’re happy to discuss our packages and which form of care best suits you in person or over the phone.
We offer both individual sessions and custom multi session packages, which may also include other therapeutic contacts designed in collaboration with you.
Book a free consultation with our Clinical Director directly on his Calendly!