How Ketamine Treatment Can Augment Treatment Plans

How Ketamine Treatment Can Augment Treatment Plans

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At Stella, we continue to innovate in trauma treatments like our lives depend on it – because they do. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, it was estimated that 6% of the U.S. adult population would struggle with symptoms following trauma exposure at some point in their lives, with 15 million suffering from trauma symptoms each year.1 At Stella, we believe the additional burden of psychological trauma beginning in 2020 is hard to calculate. 

In addition to this unprecedented health crisis, other factors –  a fight against systemic racism, intense political division, growing concerns about climate change, and economic uncertainty – created additional traumas and highly stressful experiences, which we know can cause PTSD (which Stella refers to as PTSI), anxiety, and depression.

Those seeking relief from trauma symptoms, anxiety, and depression deserve cutting-edge care. We believe in treatment plans that are practical, informed by modern neuroscience, and, most of all, effective.

To help the people we treat to achieve the best possible outcomes, we listen to each individual's needs and collaborate with their support system of skilled mental health care providers, attentive doctors, empathetic healers, and compassionate family and friends. 

Treatment by Stella is just one aspect of the healing journey. We believe that when our biological interventions – like the dual sympathetic reset (DSR), an advanced stellate ganglion block (SGB), and ketamine infusions – are paired with psychological interventions, the result can be life-changing. This is the new model of trauma treatment. It's what people in need of relief deserve. 

Stella is ushering in breakthrough treatments for trauma symptoms, anxiety, and depression. Our treatments are fast, effective, and research-backed. If you're considering DSR or Ketamine Treatment Sessions by Stella, here are some advantages. 



1. Breaking Down The Barriers To Seek Treatment

One of the primary barriers to seeking trauma treatment is overcoming its stigma. Stigma is often used in mental health conversations;  we feel it is important to define it for the purposes of this article.


a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person Shame, disgrace, and dishonor also capture the idea of the stigma around mental health. The truth is that it's ok to need help and to ask for it. This is why Stella exists. We're relentlessly committed to the care of those experiencing trauma symptoms. We'll listen to you to understand what you're going through and learn how we may be able to help. We'll never judge or make assumptions about you or your experiences.

So why is there a stigma associated with trauma, anxiety, and depression? Historically, experiencing these conditions – let alone seeking relief from them – was considered taboo. For this reason, we may have avoided or waited to seek treatment because we were worried about being treated differently or unfairly. 

Stigma is driven by a lack of information, myths, and fear. Misrepresentations of people diagnosed with trauma symptoms, anxiety, and depression add fuel to the fire.  

In addition to stigma, we may avoid seeking treatment because we think that it requires us to relive our trauma. At Stella, we'll never ask about personal trauma histories. 

To determine who may be a good candidate for treatment, we need to know which symptoms are being experienced to understand the severity, and we'll complete a health review. We can collect this information through online forms or over the phone. This helps us confirm that DSR and/or ketamine treatment are right for each unique individual.


2. DSR and Ketamine Infusions by Stella Are Effective 

Advances in neurobiological models of PTSD/PTSI allow Stella to deploy effective treatments. We know that the greatest possible relief occurs when biological and psychological treatments are used together strategically. 

The American Journal of Psychology called ketamine treatment (which Stella pairs with integration sessions) "one of the most important breakthroughs in antidepressant treatment in decades."2 Ketamine treatment caused a paradigm shift in the treatment of major depressive disorder and treatment-resistant depression because it can decrease symptoms within hours instead of weeks or months. This finding is incredibly encouraging because when we're struggling with depression, we might not be able to wait for relief. 

Research about DSR is equally compelling. Studies consistently indicate that it can reduce symptoms following trauma by 50% and that it's particularly helpful in improving symptoms of irritability, surges of anger, difficulty concentrating, and trouble falling or staying asleep.3

When we are no longer overwhelmed by symptoms, we are much more willing and able to incorporate new learnings from therapy into our daily lives. We may also discuss topics that before would have been too overwhelming. 

More than 80% of people who receive DSR by Stella experience relief from symptoms of trauma.4


3. Stella Customizes Your Treatment Plan

Treatment by Stella is a commitment to your recovery, from first contact to the moment you feel like yourself again. The Stella Standard of Care was created to meet your needs before, during, and after treatment. This is the new model of trauma treatment. 

Getting To Know You:

The first step is to speak with a licensed Advanced Practice Provider (APP). The APP will conduct a bio-psycho-social assessment, including a review of your symptoms and health history. The APP will create a custom treatment recommendation for you using this information.

Our APPs use validated measures to gauge your symptoms. These measures include the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist (PCL-5) for symptoms of PTSD/emotional trauma, the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) for anxiety, and the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) for depression.

Curated Care:

After meeting with an APP, all new and existing patients can consider a range of treatment options. Stella promotes a comprehensive approach to care that combines highly effective biological treatments with psychological support.

During follow-up appointments with their APP, patients will discuss changes in their symptoms and next steps. Designed by Stella's Chief Psychologist, Dr. Shauna Springer, our integration sessions are designed to maximize the benefits of Stella's biological treatments in a way that adds value for patients who choose to pursue long-term therapy outside of Stella.


More on Ketamine Infusions by Stella 

In our article Ketamine Treatment Sessions: What to Expect and What's To Come, we explain the benefits of Stella's Ketamine for Depression and other symptoms and conditions. The treatment is administered by trained personnel under the direction of a board certified doctor who carefully monitors dosing and makes real-time adjustments as needed. Treatment usually lasts two to three hours and is currently available in our Chicago flagship location and our Center of Excellence locations in Irvine, CA, and New York.


More on DSR by Stella 

In our article How the Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) Can Augment Treatment Plans we explain what the dual sympathetic reset, an advanced stellate ganglion block (SGB), is, highlight its benefits, and discuss how it works in combination with therapy and/or medications. The injection itself takes less than 20 minutes and is administered by trained personnel under the direction of a board-certified doctor. Plan on being with Stella for one to two hours.


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  1. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2018, September 13). How Common is PTSD in Adults? U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved February 2, 2022, from 
  2. Newport, D. J., Carpenter, L. L., McDonald, W. M., Potash, J. B., Tohen, M., Nemeroff, C. B., & APA Council of Research Task Force on Novel Biomarkers and Treatments. (2015). Ketamine and other NMDA antagonists: early clinical trials and possible mechanisms in depression. American Journal of Psychiatry, 172(10), 950-966. Available from: 
  3. James H. Lynch. Stellate ganglion block treats posttraumatic stress: An example of precision mental health. 28 August 2020. From
  4. Lipov, E., Ritchie, E.C. A Review of the Use of Stellate Ganglion Block in the Treatment of PTSD. Curr Psychiatry Rep 17, 63 (2015). Available from:; Navaie, M., Keefe, M.S., Hickey, A.H., Mclay, R.N., Ritchie, E.C., & Abdi, S. (2014). Use of stellate ganglion block for refractory post-traumatic stress disorder: A review of published cases. Journal of Anesthesia and Clinical Research, 5(4), [1000403].

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