NuVista Psychedelic Assisted Therapy
Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy targets ‘treatment-resistant’ cases
By: Savannah Awde – The Daily Gleaner
Some people living with severe mental illness won’t respond to typical treatments, such as antidepressants or psychotherapy – and that’s where a new psychedelic-assisted therapy clinic in Fredericton hopes to come in.
Dave Muise had been manager of a similar clinic just outside of the city, run by Field Trip, before the company decided to shut the location down. But Muise said that left a gap for Atlantic Canadians with treatment resistant forms of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. So he teamed up with eVisitNB CEO and co-founder Dr. Hanif Chatur, and psychiatrist Dr. Mark Johnston who owns the True North Therapy clinics, to open NuVista Psychedelic Assisted Therapy.
It will debut in the capital region next week, with the six-dose, six-session “entry point” for treatment priced at about $4,000. Muise noted that is cheaper than what was offered at Field Trip, and believes it is more aligned with the Atlantic Canada market.
The treatment uses ketamine, frequently used as an anaesthetic in operation rooms. At low doses, he said, it’s been shown to have a psychedelic effect that can allow a client to open up more easily during therapy.
Having been a psychiatrist for 20 years, Johnston said he’s seen clients put up “walls” than can interfere with therapy work in a variety of ways.
“If you take the example of someone with PTSD, maybe they were in a village in Afghanistan, and they saw a child killed. And it was devastating for them, and now they can’t even actually talk about it,” he said. “Drilling down and uncovering those emotions that are tied to it sometimes it’s extremely difficult…Even though you kind of know you should, you still can’t quite go there. And as soon as someone tries to go there, you get anxious and you shut down. “You don’t want to talk about it, you change the topic, you leave the room. I’ve seen it all, in terms of how people respond to questions that start to really dig at the core issues.”
What clinicians are finding with ketamine, he said, is that many patients who receive a low dose find it easier to discuss emotionally difficult topics. “What therapists who have done with with both non-psychedelic treated patients and the psychedelic-treated patients, they’ll generally say, it’s a heck of a lot easier to get at the meat of the problem when you’re dealing with someone who has received ketamine.” That’s why, unlike some other clinics in the industry, the Fredericton facility pairs ketamine doses with therapy sessions within 48 hours.
Eventually, Muise said, the clinic hopes to travel around the province and meet the patients where they are to avoid logistical and travel barriers.
Doubling Down on Donation Drive
Valley Businessman giving boost to summertime cycling fundraiser for childhood cancer research.
By: Carole Morris-Underhill (email@example.com)
The owner of a Valley-based clinical research and psychology firm was so moved by a Hantsport’s teen’s fundraiser that he’s looking to donate thousands to help combat childhood cancer.
And, he’s challenging fellow Nova Scotians to do the same.
Mark Johnston, the owner and medical director of True North Clinical Research and True North Psychological Services, said he will match, dollar for dollar, funds raised by Brett King between July 5 and August 31.
“Rather than just donate, what I’d like to do is say “hey, if somebody else donates $1, we’ll match that dollar,” said Johnstons.
“The idea is to try to spur more people to donate.”
He’s prepared to donate up to $10,000.
Brett King, a grade 10 student at Horton High School, signed up for the Breakaway Cycling Adventure for Kids with Canada fundraiser earlier this year. He’s doing so in memory of his mother, Heidi King, who died May 18 due to esophageal cancer. AS a child, she had successfully battled neuroblastoma.
King was invited to join Breakaway Cycling Adventure for Kids with Cancer by his Horton High School Grade 12 friend Mark Wilkie, who also lives in Hantsport. Joining them on the NS Strong team is Asa Hood, of Port Williams. Wilkie battled childhood cancer and participated in the challenge last year.…..Read More
Annapolis Valley company’s matching challenge leads to huge success for Make-A-Wish radiothon
An Annapolis Valley family that was touched by Make-A-Wish has paid forward the support that was shown to them – in what turned out to be a big way. True North Clinical Research medical director Mark Johnston said his son, Ewan Johnston, was diagnosed with metastatic cancer three years ago on Dec. 21. Ewan was 15 years old at the time. The Port Williams resident said his son’s diagnosis would have been fatal five years earlier, but fortunately, he received some cutting-edge therapy and Ewan won his battle. He’s now been cancer-free for two-and-a-half years. Johnston said he knew a little about the Children’s Wish Foundation (which has since amalgamated with and is now known as Make-A-Wish Canada) at the time of his son’s diagnosis but he wasn’t intimately familiar with the charitable organization. That would soon change. In December 2018, a year to the day after Ewan was diagnosed, his wish of a family vacation to Atlantis in the Bahamas was granted… Read More
True North supports the Caleb’s Courage Fund
A cancer diagnosis in Dr. Mark Johnston’s family was the inspiration behind a $25,000 donation to the Caleb’s Courage Fund, from True North Clinical Research.
After hearing about Caleb’s Courage and the work that is being done in Cape Breton, Johnston, who has been practicing psychiatry for over 15 years and is the principal investigator at True North Clinical Research, a research company based in Halifax and New Minas, decided his business wanted to help sick children in Cape Breton… Read More