Ketamine Therapy With Dr Laurie Of Awakn Clinic UK

Mind, Podcast

Next on the DOSE podcast, we speak with lead psychologist Dr Laurie Higbed and Grant Plant a patient from Awakn – the UK’s first clinic that offers ketamine therapy to benefit mental health.

Ketamine therapy in the UK

Awakn, based in Bristol, is the UK’s first clinic that offers ketamine therapy for treatment-resistant patients suffering from addiction and mental health conditions.

One in four people suffer from addiction and other mental health conditions each year. The ketamine-assisted psychotherapy treatment is administered by a qualified doctor at four of eleven controlled psychotherapy sessions. The combination of therapy (CBT – cognitive behavioural therapy) and ketamine enables the patient to access parts of themselves and consider new perspectives they have not been able to access in previous therapies.

Awakn is researching other therapeutic regimes that are currently in late-stage clinical research that includes adjunct therapy with MDMA.

In this podcast, patient Grant Plant shares his experience of ketamin therapy alongside scientific insights from Dr Laurie Higbed. Grant describes it as “a mind altering experience”, that was like “resetting his brain” – helping him get to the root causes of his drinking habits.

On the DOSE podcast, Grant discusses his experience of the KARE trial (ketamine assisted psychotherapy study into Alcohol Use Disorder) in summer 2019. He started drinking in his 30s when he was married and had children. 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 having 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 3 months, however drinking returned each time.


Grant says he saw the KARE trial advertised on Facebook and was enrolled onto study. “I was always open to alternative treatments and had an interest in psychedelic medicine”, he says.

The treatment involved 10 sessions of psychotherapy, of which three were accompanied by ketamine infusions. 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.

“Psychotherapy alongside the psychedelics were helpful and put everything into perspective for me”.

He now feels happier than ever. He looks back at the dark times in his life where he was drinking, and feels blessed he had this new treatment. He’s a passionate advocate for psychedelics and fully supports the new Awakn clinic launch in Bristol, as it will provide people who have struggled with alcohol addiction with a solution.

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Liked this podcast on ‘Ketamine Therapy With Dr Laurie Of Awakn Clinic UK’? Read ‘What Really Happens In Ayahuasca Ceremony’. This article was originally published in March 2021.

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Hettie Holmes

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