Erin Amato, MD

What Category Provider type are you? Psychiatry
What board certifications do you hold? Psychiatry; Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; Anti-Aging, Metabolic and Functional Medicine
How many years have you been in ketamine practice? 5+
What percentage of your work is clinical versus research? 100% clinical
Please describe any connections you have to major universities, research institutions and pharmaceutical companies, both financial and advisory/board? No connections to the above
What are your views regarding desirability and appropriateness of including and fostering the variety of practitioners who presently administer ketamine for mood disorders? Including a variety of practitioners can help to improve access to this treatment, but it is imperative that we establish and follow a set of standard practices for appropriate selection of patients, safe administration of the treatment, and appropriate follow up that addresses the ongoing needs of patients who come to us with complex psychiatric and medical conditions. I strongly believe that integration with therapists is essential for patients to get the most benefit from this treatment and sets them up for greater long term success.
What is your preferred route of administration of ketamine for mood disorders. What are your thoughts about the appropriateness or therapeutic value of other routes? Primarily IV and occasional IM; have recently collaborated with the therapist in my practice to do some Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy cases
How do you approach the problem of integrating the transient altered state we induce into the patient’s overall psychic economy? What is the practitioner’s responsibility in this regard? Preparation is an essential part of setting the patient up for a successful treatment and starts from the moment they visit my website or have an initial call with my team. During my initial evaluation, I spend a great deal of time explaining what to expect from the altered state they will experience and how to understand and make the most of this. In cases where I have hesitation about the patient’s readiness for this, I may also our therapist do some preparation with the patient before ever moving forward with infusions. I recommend therapy sessions within 24-48 hours of an infusion at least once per week to help patients process and integrate what they’ve experienced during the altered states. Preparation is essential for helping patients manage mindset before infusions and integration assists with meaningful changes that may come as a result of symptom improvement. To administer ketamine without attention to preparation, mindset, and integration can lead to poor outcomes and missed opportunities for a transformative, healing experience.
Please describe your present clinical practice. How will it look different in 5 years? My current clinical practice is a mix of adult and child general psychiatry in addition to TMS and IV ketamine. I also practice integrative psychiatry and work with patients to incorporate treatments that focus on the body and lifestyle in addition to the mind. In 5 years, I hope the field of psychedelic medicine will expand beyond ketamine to MDMA and psilocybin. I also hope to offer more innovations through TMS and other brain modulating therapies.
How do you envision ASKP3 growing over the next 4 years? I envision ASKP3 staying on the cutting edge of psychedelic medicines that are in various stages of research and clinical trials. Additionally, I believe the strength of this new and growing field will be dependent upon collaboration between psychiatrists, therapists, other medical specialties to make sure we are treating people from a bio-psycho-social-spiritual perspective. We need to support establishment clinical standards, training opportunities, public education and outreach, and support of ongoing research to see our organization remain relevant and to support our members and patients.