Recently, Frshminds had the pleasure of talking with Eric Milbrandt, MD, MPH CTP, a ketamine therapy provider in Ocala who owns The Infusion Clinic of Ocala, to find out how he got into the field, how he sees psychedelic therapy evolving in the future
What got you interested in using ketamine in practice?
After working 16 years as an ICU specialist, I was looking for a way to help people that allowed me to spend more time with my family. I have personally struggled with depression most of my adult life. When I found out how much ketamine was helping those with treatment-resistant depression, I knew this was the path for me.
What makes your practice special?
We have a heart connection with our clients. We understand what you are going through. From the moment you walk into our clinic, you feel love and support, from the front desk greeting to the all private infusion rooms. Less like a clinic and more like a spa retreat.
How do you see psychedelic medicine and therapy evolving in the future?
This is such an exciting time to be involved in mental health. Finally we have the promise of medicines to heal and grow our minds and spirits, rather than just covering up symptoms and numbing out. Plant medicines, like psilocybin and ayahuasca, and others such as MDMA and LSD, offer real hope for healing when used responsibly with an experienced provider and the right set, setting, preparation, and integration. I am currently doing advanced training in this area at the California Institute for Integral Studies in their Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research program, the first academically accredited post-graduate program in the field. Between the anticipated FDA approval of MDMA and psilocybin for therapeutic use and the ongoing drug policy reform we are now seeing at the state level, I anticipate we will have broad access to these essential medicines in the next 1-3 years.
What’s the one piece of advice you would offer to patients considering ketamine to help them manage their mental health?
Just jump in and give it a try. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. With the right kind of set and setting, even those who are highly anxious and fearful can be safely guided through the experience.
What are the most remarkable changes you have seen in patients who have taken ketamine to manage their mental wellness?
Seeing clients move from the pit of despair, unable to look you in the eyes, and ready to give up to becoming full of life, smiling, and hopeful about the future is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever been privileged to witness. For the three out of four clients that ketamine works for, the change is dramatic and sudden, such a night and day difference that it is difficult to even describe. I’ve witnessed clients rediscovering their true selves, finding long lost passions, and re-engaging with others. The change is almost magical.
Frshminds’ “A Ketamine Clinic Near Me” series profiles mental health professions involved in the administration of ketamine for mental health and wellness.