Patients Prefer Their Existing Therapists; Journey Clinical Provides The Ketamine

Journey Clinical’s model for ketamine-assisted therapy is one that allows patients to work with their existing therapists rather than being referred out. “This also protects the therapeutic alliance between them and their patient. We thought it was a better way to administer it [ketamine].”

When Journey Clinical looked at the barriers to entry of treatments, the team saw access to a medical team or prescribing physician as the most prevalent issues.  

Jonathan Sabbagh, along with his co-founder (and wife), Myriam Barthes, built a telehealth platform that empowers independent psychotherapists to offer psychedelic therapies in their own practice.

Their two revenue streams are such that psychotherapists pay Journey Clinical a $200 monthly membership fee which gives them access to a number of services including and guaranteed access to their prescriber, an EHR (electronic health record, achieved through a white label), ketamine-assisted psychotherapy training materials created by a specialized training company, a profile on their directory, and a community of peers. Patients pay Journey Clinical for medical services, which includes $250 for the intake consultation and $150 for follow-up consultations.

“We’re not a ketamine dispensary, but a care-management system,” says Sabbagh. “We work with psychotherapists to support a collaborative care model, which allows us to build bespoke treatment plans at scale. You can’t take a cookie-cutter approach. You can’t tell someone it will be six treatments and they’re cured. We can meet people where they’re at.” 

Is Journey Clinical Part Of The Integration Process? 

“The psychotherapist does the preparation, sits with the patient when they self-dose, and offers integration work. We take on the medical aspects, working with the psychotherapist to make sure the patient is eligible, that the treatment plan makes sense, and to support a variety of modalities.” 

Are People Taking To Ketamine Therapy As Quickly As They hoped?

Sabbagh says that, in their experience, they have a big waitlist of patients and psychotherapists. “There is more demand than we can cater to.”

Psychotherapy Zoom Sessions Have Exploded During The Pandemic

“What we thought might be dangerous or problematic in the past, has proven not to be,” he says on the topic of telehealth. “This is the world we live in. It’s not going away. It’s propelled us into a new era—whether we like it or not. It turns out that we are capable of a lot with the technologies that we do have.”

When The Market Is Down, Is That An Indication That The “Psychedelic Renaissance” Is Waning? 

“I spent 20 years of my career working in finance, so I have a little bit of an understanding of financial markets. I worked in hedge funds mostly. This is not my first crisis. I don’t think it’s specific to psychedelics. It’s hard to assess if it’s a bear market, a bubble that’s popping, or a faster cycle. There is also a difference between private and public markets. Riskier assets get taken off the portfolio faster when people go from aggressive portfolio allocations to more defensive portfolio allocations. When people talk about growth, they will have more risk appetite.”

Compare It To Crypto?

“It’s standard that riskier assets get removed from portfolios when there is less risk appetite. Will this stop the psychedelic renaissance? I seriously doubt that. I think what’s going on is there is less speculation in the public market that might impact the private markets. The need for mental health reform and solutions hasn’t changed because the market has. There are millions of people who are in dire need of this help. Some companies might restructure, some might survive. Crypto is a place you can look. In 2019 there was a huge correction in Bitcoin. People thought crypto was over. But here we are. The dot-com bubble was the same thing. They thought it was the end and internet companies would never come up…but good companies survive.”

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