It’s been another busy media fortnight for Awakn as the opening of our first-of-its-kind Bristol, UK clinic continues to make international headlines.
In a major feature piece, legendary UK style and culture magazine Dazed went ‘Inside the UK’s first ketamine therapy clinic.’ There are lots of photos and an interview with Awakn’s Lead Psychologist, Dr. Laurie Higbed, who started by talking about what a patient can expect when they first come to the clinic. “We’ve got a careful preparation phase with the client,” Laurie says. “We’re really interested in getting to know that person because we need to establish the trust and rapport, so they feel prepared and ready for their ketamine-assisted session. We don't just see people as a diagnosis or cluster of symptoms. It's about what their story is, what's happened to them, what experiences they've had that shaped how they currently feel about and think about the world.”
Remarking on it being “a clean, bright space designed to make patients feel comfortable”, Dazed kept the tape rolling as Laurie talked them through the rest of our treatment process in detail. A must-read!
Laurie also features in the latest Dose podcast below alongside Grant Plant, a participant in the KARE (Ketamine in the Reduction of Alcoholic Relapse) study who is now a passionate advocate for psychedelics. “He started drinking in his 30s when he was married and had children,” we’re told. “Initially he drank a normal amount but this worsened following his divorce and his mother’s death, where he would drink up to two bottles of wine a night. After struggling to have any tangible relationships with anyone aside from his children due to his heavy drinking, he managed to have several abstinence periods where he remained sober for up to three months, however drinking returned each time. “After experiencing the ketamine infusion, Grant described it as ‘a mind altering experience, it was like resetting my brain.’ He was able to access parts of his mind and begin to process the root causes of his drinking habits. Grant has remained sober since – two years – and says he no longer has an urge to drink or any feelings towards alcohol whatsoever.”
Our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Ben Sessa, is quoted by British lifestyle hub LADbible as part of their UOKM8? mental health campaign. "For any patient locked in a cycle of prescription medication or talking therapies, with no meaningful outcome on the horizon, we offer an evidence-based and clinically sound alternative,” Ben notes. “We offer understanding and hope for a life unencumbered by a mental illness."
If you want to see and hear the team, Ben, Laurie and Awakn’s Head of Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy for Alcohol Disorder Practice, Professor Celia Morgan, all feature in the extensive Bristol Live audio-visual report. Speaking about the groundbreaking KARE study which she was leader of, Celia explains: “Ninety-six patients were recruited and we put them in four groups. What we found was really exciting – the ketamine and psychotherapy group was by far the best. They had the biggest number of days not drinking and the biggest reduction in chance of relapse.”
Finally for now, Awakn features as part of a lengthy Business Insider Deutschland report on the psychedelic medicines industry.