Research-backed & evidence-based psychedelic medicine is the latest treatment option for a variety of psychiatric and pain disorders

Our treatment models are based on the latest medical literature from leading research institutions around the world. We provide personalized treatment plans for each of our patients to meet their unique therapeutic needs.

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ketamine is used in conjunction with other therapies to improve mental health and overall wellbeing

Psychedelics like ketamine promote mental wellness and healing through a temporary interruption of the ego and suspension of the Default Mode Network (DMN) of the brain. Psychedelics can offer a path toward healing and transformation. Multiple evidence-based studies from world-class institutions have demonstrated that using psychedelics can produce profound, sustained results in as little as one session. Ongoing benefits include improved well-being, optimism, and restoration of normal brain function.


Ketamine is an anaesthetic medication that has been used effectively and safely in a multitude of clinical contexts for decades. At subanesthetic doses it can generate psychedelic effects.

Ketamine is an incredibly effective medication for depression, PTSD, anxiety, suicidal ideation, neuropathic pain, and mood disorders which have been resistant to previous treatment. Ketamine is a fast acting and effective therapy, whereas traditional antidepressants, mood stabilisers, and painkillers require weeks to take effect. Therefore, ketamine can be an exceptionally useful tool for preventing suicide, rapidly easing major depressive disorder (MDD), overcoming substance dependence, lowering or eliminating neuropathic pain, and treating PTSD symptoms. The lower doses and administration techniques utilised in our clinic do not induce anaesthesia, but they do elicit psychedelic effects.

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Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) is a ketamine-based psychiatric and psychotherapeutic medical treatment

At Vancouver Island Ketamine Clinic (VIKC), we manage "treatment-resistant" forms of the following conditions:


These conditions often coexist, and KAP has been demonstrated to be an effective form of treatment for these conditions. More information is available in the studies linked below.

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Getting treated starts with a consultation with our medical team

If you suffer from Depression, PTSD, Substance Use Disorder, Chronic Pain, Anxiety, or OCD, you may be eligible for KAP.

For a person to be eligible for KAP, these disorders must be "treatment resistant," which implies that the patient has not received adequate relief from earlier therapies, such as medication or psychotherapy.

A careful medical and psychological assessment will be conducted to obtain the best and safest outcome with KAP.


Using the latest medical research into psychedelics we have developed a road map to help direct you along the path to recovery using ketamine-assisted psychotherapy.









make a difference

As a Medical Doctor, you can help support a patient who is experiencing treatment resistance & mental distress.


Get answers to your questions

We'll help you. 905-380-6624 or info@vikc.ca.


we use technology, innovation, and the latest medical science to help our patients thrive

We are looking for like-minded, passionate healthcare professionals to join the team. Make a difference with us.


medical team

John Kristensen photo
Jesse Kristensen photo
Laura Rotz photo


Medical Director

John is a physician registered with the Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and British Columbia. He has been a multidisciplinary physician for forty years and practitioner of ketamine-assisted psychotherapy since 2018.


Nursing Director

Jesse is a Registered Nurse in Ontario and British Columbia who, with his father John Kristensen MD, has been providing ketamine-assisted psychotherapy to patients since 2018.


Clinic Manager

Laura has been actively involved in ketamine-assisted psychotherapy since 2018. After experiencing profound positive changes in her life following her own experiences with KAP she has been passionate about helping others realize its incredible benefits.


  • LJ

     Ketamine has played a central role in my recovery from a severe drug and alcohol addiction that almost cost me my life. 

  • SB

     I suffer from CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) and there are no words to explain the gratitude I have for the treatments I’m receiving from Dr. Kristensen. These treatments have provided the only pain relief thus far. I recommend these treatments to anyone in need of relief of chronic pain. 

  • DM

     Ketamine has helped me process early childhood trauma and start working through a lifelong substance abuse disorder. For the first time in my life, I feel like I can make positive changes and gain a clear perspective on my life. 

  • LZ

     Jesse and Laura have provided me with ongoing ketamine treatment for anxiety and depression for approximately two years. Ketamine has given me a lot of relief from my anxiety and depression, and I would highly recommend it to anyone that has tried more mainstream avenues of treatment but has not seen their depression and or anxiety subside. Additionally, Jesse and Laura are amazing to work with. They make the experience comfortable, are always there to answer questions and most importantly, I trust them implicitly. 

  • SC

     I had my first experience with psychedelic therapy with Jesse and Laura. I was nervous at first and didn’t know what to expect but they made me feel comfortable right from the start. Their personalized approach helped me feel safe and in good hands. Besides being an unforgettable experience, the Ketamine treatments provided a much-needed relief from severe symptoms of anxiety and depression. It helped me see my situation in a different light. I now feel stronger and energized to carry on my wellness journey. 

  • AF

     I have severe PTSD that I’ve struggled to manage for many years. The treatments I’ve received from Dr. Kristensen have been one of the few PTSD treatments I’ve seen any real improvement from. I am incredibly grateful to Dr. Kristensen and his treatment of my PTSD, he’s helped me return to a somewhat normal life. 

  • KG

     The clinicians were great, they answered all my questions and made me feel very comfortable throughout the process. The experience itself was very relaxing and my anxiety is so much better. Things in my life are starting to line up and I love the person I’m becoming. I have more confidence and I’m taking action in my own life. 


What is Ketamine? Is it safe?

In the 1970s, ketamine was first developed as a surgical anaesthetic, and it is still used for this purpose today. It is a well-tolerated, safe medicine with psychedelic and dissociative effects at specific doses. It also has a rapid antidepressant effect. Ketamine has been found to have favourable mental health effects when administered in a controlled environment.

Ketamine is an FDA-approved anaesthetic that is increasingly used to treat anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. "Off-label usage" refers to the prescription of a medication that has not been formally approved for a patient's symptoms; it is legal and prevalent, with one in five prescriptions written in the United States for off-label use. The effectiveness of ketamine in treating treatment-resistant depression, PTSD, anxiety, OCD, neuropathic pain, suicidal ideation, and other related mood disorders has been demonstrated.

Ketamine is fast-acting and can sometimes be beneficial after a single dose, whereas the majority of conventional antidepressants take weeks to take action. Therefore, ketamine can be a vital tool for preventing suicide and swiftly alleviating the pain caused by major depressive disorder (MDD). Our clinic's lower doses and administration techniques do not induce anaesthesia but can induce psychedelic effects.

Psychedelic-assisted therapy using Ketamine

Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy (PAP) uses psychedelics to facilitate therapeutic breakthroughs. In the 1950s, Western medicine started using hallucinogenic treatments and procedures. Recent studies support PAP's effectiveness for depression, anxiety, addiction, and PTSD. More therapeutic options are becoming available as the legal and medical landscapes evolve.

Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) employs lower dosages of ketamine than those that have been used safely in anaesthesia for decades. Adults and children tolerate ketamine extremely well.

KAP is an approach in which psychotherapy is combined with a single or several ketamine doses. The first consists of sessions in which a low, sub-psychedelic dose of ketamine is utilised as a catalyst for the psychotherapy process; that is, it facilitates communication between the individual and their therapist. Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy is also a therapeutic method that comprises lengthier immersive sessions in which a full psychedelic dose of ketamine is provided for a more introspective, visionary experience. A series of preparatory and integrating sessions precede these meetings.

What can I expect and feel from a KAP session?

Ketamine induces a sense of disconnection from one's usual reality and self, which may induce or amplify, among other feelings, creativity, purpose, perspective, serenity, insight, inspiration, gratitude, empathy, connection to others and the world, openness to new ideas, psychological rebirth, and travel outside of oneself. Also possible are visual, auditory, and other sensory experiences.

A ketamine treatment can take between one and two hours. Clinical research indicates that peak antidepressant effects occur between 24 and 48 hours following administration, with the majority of individuals experiencing a mood improvement within hours. You should have little difficulty returning to routine activities the next day.

The subjective effects of ketamine can range from slight changes in cognition and bodily experience to full dissociative states in which one feels completely detached from his or her body and all of one's thoughts dissolve, a condition known as "ego dissolution."

According to research, ego dissolution is associated with improved treatment outcomes for depression and other disorders. These experiences are characterised as "non-ordinary states of consciousness" (NOSC), and you may have never encountered them before. The treatment setting we construct and the dosing protocol we adhere to are intended to enhance your experience.

We will give you a brief questionnaire in the days following your treatment to assess changes in your symptoms, monitor your physical and mental health, and assist our professional staff in individualising your ongoing care.

Things to avoid on the day of treatment

Do not eat prior to your session. Patients must fast for a minimum of six hours before receiving ketamine, which is why we typically arrange treatments in the morning. The final meal should be consumed the night before therapy. The morning of your treatment, you may only consume liquids.

Do not drive following your session. After your treatment, you must have someone else drive for you, and you should not operate a vehicle, machinery or other equipment by yourself until the day after your treatment.

Who is not eligible for KAP?

The eligibility of patients for ketamine therapy is at the discretion of the treating physician. Before proceeding with treatment, our medical staff will assess your intake information, conduct a mental health evaluation, and ensure that you are medically fit for care.

How it works & what are the benefits of Ketamine?

Ketamine acts as an antidepressant in the brain, increasing neuroplasticity (neuron growth, repair, and reorganisation) via multiple brain receptors and neurotransmitters. Numerous studies have shown that ketamine therapy heals the brain and nervous system by restoring normal neural network functioning in the brain. Ketamine acts as an NMDA antagonist at the receptor level, regulating the availability of the neurotransmitter glutamate in the brain. The antidepressant effect appears to be mediated by AMPA receptors. Other receptors are targeted and contribute to the treatment's acute and long-term effects.

Ketamine has been shown to help improve a variety of mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, pain, and substance abuse disorder.

Does KAP require psychotherapy to be effective?

The combination of ketamine and psychotherapy can be more beneficial than ketamine alone.

Your ketamine experience provides additional material to work with in therapy, particularly in the setting of an extended psychotherapeutic partnership. In this treatment model, ketamine is delivered orally using lozenges or intramuscularly (IM). The therapeutic effect of treatment is maximised by increasing physical comfort in a relaxing environment. Repeated administrations of Ketamine may be required to maintain its efficacy. The number of treatments you receive is determined by your physician on an individual basis.

How long do treatments last?

Each individual's experience is somewhat unique. You will likely begin to feel the effects of the ketamine 5 to 10 minutes after administration, with the peak lasting roughly 45 to 60 minutes. The majority of individuals regain their normal level of consciousness within one to two hours after administration.

Can I use antidepressants with Ketamine?

Yes. Ketamine does not interact negatively with antidepressants or diminish their efficacy. This will be confirmed with you by your physician during your initial consultation.

How much does it cost? Is it covered by insurance?

Depending on your needs, you may receive multiple ketamine treatments for a period of several weeks or months. Each session includes an integration component. Your initial session includes a thorough consultation with our physician and a preparatory component to familiarize you with the treatment process and what you should expect. A full course of treatments is $4500 CAD. Pricing is based on providing treatments at your home or accommodations arranged by you in or near Nanaimo. Travel outside of Nanaimo can be arranged but will incur additional costs depending on your location. Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy is not currently covered by insurance in Canada or the US.

Are there any adverse side effects of Ketamine?

Adverse side effects from ketamine treatments are uncommon due to the lower doses we administer to our patients during ketamine-assisted psychotherapy, adverse side effects from ketamine treatments are infrequent, but if they do occur, they are very brief and may include the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty with coordination
  • Difficulty concentrating

How does Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy work?

If you believe you may qualify for KAP, please fill out our patient intake form and email it to us. We will contact you to explain the intake procedure, request any additional paperwork, and confirm your eligibility for treatment.

We will then schedule your first KAP session and a video consultation with a clinician. You will receive an initial psychotherapy consultation prior to receiving your first KAP treatment and will complete two or more ketamine sessions followed by virtual integration sessions with one of our clinicians.

After your initial course of treatment, you will be assessed to determine whether further treatment might be beneficial and a specific treatment plan will be created for you.

How do I prepare for my treatment?

Our clinicians will provide you with direction on how to create a happy, expanded mindset, as well as other treatment-enhancing recommendations. You will also have the option to utilise one of our cutting-edge biofeedback meditation instruments to optimize your experience.

When can I resume normal activities?

While you will be able to resume most normal activities a few hours following your treatment, we urge that you use the remainder of the day to clear your mind and begin working on integrating your experience into your daily life. In the interest o safety, we require our clients to agree not to use a car or heavy machinery until the following day.

How do I make an appointment?

To begin your wellness journey, please contact our clinic by phone 905-380-6624 or email info@vikc.ca and a member of our staff will assist you in scheduling an appointment at your convenience.