Ketamine Therapy: “Let the Brain Heal and the Heart Feel”

By Dr. Trish Henrie-Barrus

Trish Henrie-Barrus

Jeremy felt defective. When he was 10, his mother filed for divorce. She told his dad, “I don’t want the kids.” This devastated Jeremy, who adored his mom. After she left, he felt lonely and disconnected. These feelings evolved into hopelessness and helplessness, especially when he was sexually abused by a neighbor. His life brought little success, and he never felt “normal.”

He tried antidepressants. He tried therapy. Nothing worked. Jeremy decided that if this was to be his life, he was done. He attempted suicide but was unsuccessful: “I really didn’t want to die, but I didn’t want to live either.” Finally, he came to me for severe depression.

The first time I met Jeremy, he was negative and belligerent. He told me in no uncertain terms that he didn’t believe in talk therapy. When I suggested ketamine, he was interested but not very hopeful: “If this doesn’t work, I’m dead.”

Ketamine brings about a powerful dissociative experience. As a therapist guides the patient in exploring possible states of consciousness, the brain creates new neural pathways. This can relieve psychological pain, allowing the conscious and unconscious minds to meet and work through difficult issues in a more productive way.


Regain hope where medications have failed.
Learn more about IV ketamine-assisted psychotherapy.


Jeremy had seven sessions of ketamine-assisted psychotherapy. As we talked through his trauma, he started to feel different. His attitude softened, and he began to see life from a more hopeful perspective. Today, he has a full-time job and his family says he’s a different person.

Having worked in psychology for 20 years, I’ve seen the terrible effects of abuse, addiction, and mood disorders. I’ve seen what trauma does to a person — how they obsess and can’t forget the traumatic event. I’ve seen what physical pain can do to a person’s mood and confidence.

These experiences drew me to search for a treatment that was more effective for people who’ve suffered for years. Since I found ketamine-assisted psychotherapy, I’ve marveled at how much faster it works than regular psychotherapy. Ketamine is particularly effective for those who haven’t found relief from antidepressants or other treatments.

I love telling patients during ketamine therapy sessions, “Don’t resist the change. Just let the brain heal and the heart feel.” But more importantly, I love their responses: “This was so worth it.” And it is!