We had the good fortune of connecting with Tim & Susie Mills of Cathexis Psychedelics and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tim & Susie Mills, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
It is an exciting time in the mental health community as an increasing body of research is showing Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy to be a powerful tool in the fight against treatment resistant anxiety, depression, PTSD and suicidal ideation. Psychedelic therapies promise hope for those struggling with these conditions; however, the cost of such treatments can be prohibitive for many in our community.
When we began laying the framework for Cathexis Psychedelics, it became clear that we would not be able to find joy in the endeavor unless accessibility of services was prioritized. While we certainly understand the importance of financial sustainability, profit is not our primary objective. Instead, we choose to focus on finding ways to make our services accessible and affordable to as many people in our community as possible. For instance, in 2023 we plan to offer group Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy retreats which will greatly lower the cost of treatment.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
In 2016, we started our sister company, Cathexis Tucson, with the goal of making affordable, high quality psychotherapy accessible to everyone in our community. We worked hard to create a therapeutic environment that more closely resembles a private practice rather than a community mental health center. We believe that client care begins the second they step into our office, which means the environment must allow them to feel safe, comfortable, hopeful, and supported. We also believe that our employees should feel valued, trusted, and respected as both professionals and individuals. To this end, we are committed to paying competitive salaries, promoting true work/life balance (e.g.; allowing therapists to set their own hours and work loads, and offering a generous paid leave benefit), and by holding quality of care as the primary measure of performance rather than utilizing profit driven productivity quotas (which inevitably lead to burn-out).
Because of these strategies, Cathexis Tucson has enjoyed healthy growth year over year, and there was no question that we would incorporate these practices into the Cathexis Psychedelics business model.
In 2019, Tim became curious about research in Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy, and he became increasingly aware of the potential the therapy could have for those struggling with treatment resistant mental health issues. Beginning in early 2020, we began traveling to California and Colorado to visit with providers who were already involved in such work and to learn about their practice/business models. The more practitioners we met with and business models we studied, the more certain we became that this was a worthy endeavor. In 2020 we enrolled in the PRATI Business of Psychedelic Training program, and the vision of Cathexis Psychedelics came into focus.
In 2021, we assembled our team of therapists and medical professionals and each began the journey of becoming trained in the specialized treatment of Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy. In 2022, Tim also became MAPS certified in anticipation of one day expanding our services to include MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy once that treatment is made legal for therapeutic use.
It was a long road with many setbacks, but with perseverance we finally opened our doors and accepted our first client in November of 2021. Since then, we have enjoyed a manageable growth and continue to be amazed at the benefits our clients receive from their ketamine treatments.
What we would like people to understand about this therapy is that psychotherapy integration is just as important as the ketamine medication for best outcomes. Metaphorically, ketamine opens the door to the subconscious while psychotherapy integration helps clients sort out what they discover on the other side. Unlike most IV infusion centers, our treatment includes a Licensed Professional Counselor who serves as a guide during the experience and offers integration immediately after each treatment. We believe this is a good practice to help ensure clients receive the optimal benefits from their treatment.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
One of our favorite areas of Tucson is the Mercado District. The Mercado San Agustin and the MSA Annex provide a wonderful sample of the flavor and character of Tucson. We also love showing off 4th Avenue and Congress Street so that visitors can get a sense of the diversity offered in our community.
And we always love to introduce visitors to our favorite local restaurants including Zemam’s Ethiopian Cuisine, Locale Neighborhood Italian, Smokey Mo’s (for some AMAZING barbeque!), Opa Greek Cuisine, and EXO Coffee.
So that guests can appreciate all the beautiful nature available to the Tucson community, we take them on a drive up Mt. Lemmon and a visit to the Sonora Desert Museum.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We would like to dedicate our shoutout to the remarkable staff of Cathexis Psychedelics and our sister company, Cathexis Tucson. Running two businesses is a constant roller coaster of excitement, tension, joy, and heartache. However, it is easy to stay inspired when surrounded by such dedicated and exceptional people and to witness the healing they provide to their clients everyday.