Safe and Sound Protocol

The protocol, a sound-based (auditory) intervention, was developed by Dr. Stephen Proges based on his Polyvagal Theory. SSP is designed to support social engagement and emotional regulation.  The SSP involves listening to specially processed music or auditory stimuli that are designed to stimulate the vagus nerve and regulate the autonomic nervous system.  SSP can enhance or accelerate occupational, physical, speech, or mental health therapies, although the primary goal of the SSP is to improve social communication, emotional regulation, and overall well-being. It aims to reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and emotional dysregulation. The auditory stimulation used in the SSP is believed to help calm the nervous system by promoting the SES over the sympathetic and dorsal vagal responses.

Has two components

  • Structuring a safe context in which it’s given – which is managed by the provider or caregiver – for the intervention to be effective, it is necessary for the listener’s nervous system to be in a state of safety
  • Delivering acoustic features that serve as a neural exercise – which is provided by the clinician

There are a variety of reasons that might lead an individual or family to consider completing the Safe and Sound Protocol.  Here are a few examples of where listeners might see benefits: 

  • Social Communication and Engagement: By stimulating the vagus nerve through auditory stimulation, the SSP aims to promote feelings of safety, trust, and connection with others. This can lead to improved social interactions, communication, and the ability to form healthy relationships. Furthermore, some individuals may experience improvements in attention and focus as a result of the SSP. By helping regulate the nervous system, individuals may find it easier to concentrate and maintain attention on tasks.
  • Physiological States and Emotional Regulation: The SSP seeks to improve emotional regulation by helping individuals better manage their emotional responses to stressors and triggers. By promoting a balanced autonomic nervous system, the SSP can reduce emotional reactivity, allowing individuals to respond more calmly and effectively to challenging situations. Furthermore, the auditory stimulation used in the SSP is intended to calm the nervous system and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. By downregulating the sympathetic nervous system’s fight-or-flight response, the SSP can help individuals experience a greater sense of calm and relaxation.  The SSP has shown the potential to assist individuals who have experienced trauma. By promoting a sense of safety and regulation within the nervous system, the SSP can support emotional healing and recovery from traumatic experiences.
  • Sound sensitivity and auditory processing: The SSP may benefit individuals with auditory processing difficulties. By providing carefully processed auditory stimuli, the intervention aims to improve the brain’s ability to process and interpret auditory information, leading to better auditory comprehension and processing skills. The SSP may also have positive effects on sensory integration, helping individuals process sensory information more efficiently and reducing sensory sensitivity or aversion. 

Many people will ask why Safe and Sound Protocol?

We strongly believe that our clients make quicker progress and make greater gains when combining SSP with other services such as Speech and Language, Occupational Therapy, Counseling, Trauma therapy, tutoring, etc.  This protocol has made a huge difference in many of the listeners we have worked with.  

Stress, trauma, and other situations can overload our nervous system leaving us in a state of fight/flight/freeze, which impacts our physical health as well as impacting how we interact with others and our emotional well-being. There can be some improvements in:

  • Spontaneous speech
  • Hearing sensitivity 
  • Emotional regulation 
  • ANS regulation 
  • Increase in social engagement

Feedback from those who have completed the protocol has reported that their daily interactions feel different. Here are the direct things they are reporting: 

  • “I have been less reactive…”
  • “…easier time focusing in school. My concentration has improved.”
  • “I have less emotional swings of really high highs and really low lows, I feel more balanced”
  • “…improvements in speech therapy.” 
  • “I have been able to engage in EMDR therapy with my therapist”
  • “…eating with my family is less stressful” 
  • “I enjoy being around people”
  • “My child has started connecting with other children on the playground at school”
  • “…sleep has improved. I can fall asleep and stay asleep better than before.”
  • “My child is having fewer digestive issues and appears to be more regulated.  She is finally potty trained at six years old!”

Investment of Time.

Participating in the Safe and Sound Protocol is an investment in your child, their relationships, and their future. Or yourself, your relationships and your future.  

When considering Safe and Sound Protocol ask yourself the question, do we have the time to dedicate to this opportunity?   

The process: 

  • Prior to beginning, there is an intake session with the SSP clinician.    This is to go over the history of the client, the background of SSP, expectations, good fit, etc.
  • SSP Connect
    • Provides a gentle and “safe” introduction when needed
    • The playlist is curated to be calming and grounding
    • The recommended first step for those with a highly dysregulated nervous system
  • SSP CORE
    • Traditional 5-hour listening protocol 
    • Split up into smaller listening sessions
    • If for a child: filling out our caregiver report each week on what’s going well, what they struggled with, and feedback as well as 
    • coordinating communication between the group therapist and the child’s pre-school, daycare, and/or early childhood center
  • SSP Balance
    • Listeners can begin up to 8 weeks after completing SSP Core
    • Largely unsupervised and can be used at home on one’s own time
    • Can be used for ongoing, daily support or sporadically when needed 
    • May be used as a “warm up” before SSP Core repeat

Investment of Money

SSP Individual:

  • SSP Intake/Assessment – $130  (required for everyone)
  • SSP Connect
    • Minimal support – $75/month (Unlimited access to SSP Connect protocol) 
    • With monthly session included – $130/month (unlimited access to SSP Connect protocol)
  • SSP Core
    • $350 for 5 hours (without SSP provider present) 
    • $650 for 5 hours (with SSP provider present)
  • SSP Balance
    • Minimal support – $75/month (Unlimited access to SSP Balance protocol) 
    • With monthly session included – $130/month (unlimited access to SSP Balance protocol)

SSP GROUP:

  • $450 for intake, 5 listening sessions, and group recap.
  • $75/month (Unlimited access to SSP Balance protocol)  if a group member wants to utilize that after SSP completion 

Please note:

  • Insurance will not typically cover the cost of the SSP program but will allow families to use their FSA or HSA cards.
  • There are no additional “user” fees for accessing SSP outside of the fees above.

We understand there is a financial impact of SSP on any household and can put a strain on the family’s finances.  As you know, physical and mental health conditions can have significant impacts on a person’s life, including their ability to work, form relationships, and engage in daily activities. Without proper treatment, health conditions can worsen over time and become more difficult and expensive to treat.  While it may be difficult to make financial sacrifices in the short term, the long-term benefits of treatment can be invaluable. 

Complete the form to start the conversation and explore the next steps!

Use the contact form to inquire about SSP

Due to the influx of referrals, please be patient with us, as we will respond as quickly as we can.  The messages are checked daily, if you do not get a response in 24 hours please resubmit.

We appreciate you reaching out to us, we look forward to working with you!

Acknowledgement of fee

Interested Group

2 + 2 =

Additional SSP Resources

Everyone has questions!

Have a positive experience

Additional SSP FAQ

This protocol was developed by Dr. Stephen Porges, based on his Polyvagal Theory, SSP was originally a 5-hour sound-based (auditory) intervention calming the physiological and emotional states. This is derived from 4 decades of research on the relationship between the autonomic nervous system and socio-emotional processes. SSP was designed to reduce stress and auditory sensitivity, enhancing social engagement and resilience.  This intervention can boost or accelerate other therapies such as counseling, occupational therapy, and speech therapy.  

Our brain and body’s first priority is to keep us alive. When our body or brain feels or perceives a threat, our nervous system moves into states of defense (fight, flight, or freeze). When a nervous state remains in a chronic state of defense it affects the way we feel, think, and connect with others. This can adversely affect our health and how we experience the world around us.  Our emotional and physiological states are important to how we approach various circumstances.  When we have better regulation, therapeutic outcomes are improved. The regulation or calmness brings balance to our physiological and emotional systems allowing the client to feel safe.  This intervention is known as passive, meaning that the client can benefit from just listening as long as the client feels calm and safe, focusing on the music. However, this intervention isn’t passive! Shifts are happening within the autonomic nervous system and within the vagal nerve systems. It is highly recommended that a parent or caregiver be present while the child listens and that they are actively engaging in activities together. What a great opportunity for families to have uninterrupted time with their loved ones.

When the middle ear muscles are inactive, lower frequency sounds (background noise) perceive stronger than human speech.  The middle ear muscles are primarily fast-twitch and they fatigue easily.   Illness and aging also reduce the function of the middle ear muscles. When the Middle ear muscles work properly, the background noise is dampened and the nervous system is not activated as easily, thus preventing flight/fight/freeze more easily.  The listener is able to focus and hear human speech (higher frequency) easier.  Listening is connected with the vagus nerve, our body’s internal control center for processing and responding to cues and signals from our environment. The vagus nerve is the longest nerve in the autonomic nervous system traveling from the brainstem to the colon. Polyvagal suggests that we have two branches of the vagus nerve (front & back).  The ventral vagal (front) is activated when we feel safe in our environment and connected with others.  The dorsal vagal (back) is activated when we are in a life-threatening situation, or flight/fight/freeze. The vagus nerve helps to regulate blood pressure, digestion, and heart rate. As the body monitors and receives information, the vagus nerve processes these signals/cues from the environment and determines how to react. SSP brings the client from a state of hyperarousal (fight or flight, defensiveness, cautious, or nervousness) to a feeling of safety or calmness.  What you hear and how you hear it, influences how the body responds to situations. 

SSP is designed to stimulate the nervous system by exercising and systematically challenging the auditory system with specifically processed or filtered music.  This intervention uses prosodic music that has been filtered to train the middle ear muscles to focus on the frequency found in human speech…which leads to improved connection, communication, and therapies. The music trains the auditory pathways by focusing on the frequency of human speech.  At times, sometimes the music may sound quiet or difficult to hear – this is due to the filtering that occurs and that lower frequencies have been eliminated.   

As the client learns to process speech-related frequencies, they improve the functioning of two cranial nerves.   First, the Cranial nerve VII helps focus on the human voice and tune out irrelevant frequencies.    Cranial nerve X enables autonomic nervous system regulation.     When the client’s hyperarousal state (fight or flight) is decreased, their social engagement system can work properly.  In essence, SSP aims to calm the child’s nervous system so that the client can be more socially engaged.

Studies suggest that attention, state regulation, and the ability to engage socially are improved. Following the SSP Protocol, ideally, children will be better able to focus in school, therapy, and daily life as they experience a calmed emotional and physiological state.    The research of various clinical trials shows that many neurodevelopmental and mental health conditions share common behavioral features such as compromised social engagement system, over-aroused autonomic nervous system, and auditory hypersensitivity or difficulty filtering out background sounds or noises in order to tune into the human voice.

The state of calmness or self-regulation allows clients to have a better ability to listen, stay focused, and engage with others socially. These clients are able to take in and process what is needed to keep up with social situations. The polyvagal theory shares its the perception of difficulties that our children have with social interactions and processing speech. It states that when the child’s emotional state is stressed, the nervous system is working overtime to regulate or settle down.  This then affects the client’s ability to notice or learn details that accompany social interactions such as reading emotions or processing language.

SSP is a researched-based intervention showing significant results in the following areas: 

    • Social & emotional difficulties
    • Auditory sensitivities
    • Anxiety & trauma-related challenges
    • Inattention
    • Stressors that impact social engagement

SSP can be administered by a professional who has participated in the training.  Our office has one person who is qualified to do this. Please note: This protocol is not meant to replace other forms of therapy, it is designed to be used in adjunct to other therapies. 

Now, the full 3 phase digital/remote SSP versions has been launched to all providers. During the intake appointment, the SSP provider will discuss how the technology works, expectations, and logistics. There is an app, SSP provider can create and manage accounts through the app. They are able to view, track and access the process. 

What is needed for the Remote/Digitial version: 

  • Internet or Data to access the app
  • Device to access the specific app.  An account will be set up for SSP participants through an App that can be downloaded to their device.  Once the app is downloaded and activated, SSP participants will also download the playlists.  
  • When listening, SSP participants must wear circumaural (over-the-ear) headphones.  If there is a noise-canceling function, participants must be able to turn that off.  It is not recommended to have bass enhanced headphones as well.    SSP headphones or those recommended.  (ILS Adult Here, ILS Children here, here or here)  ILS is very clear that ear buds, on-ear, or noise-canceling headphones are not recommended. 
    • Some headphones will need a special adapter to connect to the device you have chosen
    • We have had some clients have frustrating experiences with wireless headphones

Interested SSP participants would need to contact our office for an intake session. During this virtual SSP intake session, the parents or caregivers will go over what SSP looks like, how to prepare for SSP, complete rating scales, etc.   After the intake session, the parent and child (or the adult client) will commit to 5 hours of listening if SSP provider & family agree that it’s a good fit to move forward. 

For scheduling the 5 SSP hours the office tries to find something that is a good fit for the listener.  While the initial research on the effectiveness showed to be effective doing 1 hour a day for 5 consecutive days, current feedback is showing that there are other pacing schedules that can be just as effective. Your therapist can help find a good fit. Some listen for 30 minutes, others listen for 15, others listen for even shorter. There’s no right/wrong way, just a way that feels safer for the nervous system.  

The person having the SSP intervention is accompanied by a safe person. This can be a parent or guardian, spouse, etc.  During the intervention time, the two will not engage in any verbal conversation, but they may choose to engage in a number of creative activities together.  During sessions, the SSP provider is observed through google meet and provides feedback, guidance, or instructions when necessary through the chat function to the “safe” person in the room.

If a client is doing remote delivery, the person having SSP intervention is accompanied by a safe person AND then checks in with the SSP provider in between listening sessions. During the SSP process, we require that people stay in touch with client portal messages, e-mail, or virtual face-to-face connection updating if someone is noticing any changes in areas such as energy level, digestion, sleep, mood, focus, sound sensitivities, social skills, etc. This helps us understand how your body and nervous system are responding and to let you know if changes need to occur to the original treatment plan.  

The SSP provider is also typically available through the step-by-step counseling client portal on listening days to answer questions or concerns that might pop up after listening sessions. SSP participants are not charged more for this service. The SSP provider can provide support through the protocol:  

  • Preparation for what to expect 
  • Determining the best pacing, and adjusting the plan as needed 
  • Preparing for, noticing, and supporting changes 
  • Offering engagement and activities during the protocol
  • Offering engagement and activity suggestions for in between listening sessions 

After a listener has completed their days, the parent or caregiver will be asked to complete rating forms shortly after. 

Please note: not every client is a candidate for remote delivery of the Safe and Sound Protocol.  Some clients, especially adults with a trauma history, would need a personal presence of a therapist for safety and the best results. Those that would not be a good fit for distance / remote SSP are living in an unstable household, history of trauma, experienced a negative life event such as death, divorce, or job loss. Other reasons could be a recent head injury, or medical instability, self-injury behaviors, and/or suicidal thoughts. 

Articles or Extra reading: (click on link)

Step By Step Counseling’s posts: 

Outside resources:

What is the SSP

Integration Listening’s Research articles on SSP

What to Expect from SSP

ILS Website  

Safe and Sound Protocol –  Another provider’s blog post 

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Dramatically Reduces Inflammation 

A parent’s personal story

Life Work of Maine’s case study 
https://www.lifeworksofmaine.com/blog/2019/8/3/the-safe-and-sound-protocol-eighteen-months-on

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4117928/   (In this article, the SSP is referred to as the Listening Project Protocol – its original name.)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3610863/

Videos:

What changes can you expect?

Presentation by Heather MacDuffie

 

Parent testimony:

 

SSP can be administered by a professional who has participated in the training.  Our office has one qualified person to do this. (Jennie)

If more than one person in the home is doing SSP, we ask that we complete the protocol sequentially rather than simultaneously,  as the household or family life can get difficult if more than one person becomes dysregulated at the same time.

Not every inquiry for delivery of the Safe and Sound Protocol is appropriate. 

The safe and sound protocol is not an appropriate intervention if the following occurs: 

  • Wait until you have completed medical procedures or dental work.
  • Currently living in an unstable household (unsafe)
  • History of trauma, and not currently working with a trauma therapist 
  • Lack of stability in day to day
  • Recently experienced a negative life event such as job loss, divorce, death of a loved one
  • Lack of a support system 
  • History of disassociation 
  • Ongoing substance abuse
  • Currently self-harming 
  • Experienced a recent head injury 
  • If someone has a seizure disorder, they need to be seizure free for at least 1 year prior to starting to protocol 

It has been a challenging time for those in healthcare over the past few years. The stress that we have been assisting our clients with, while we have been going through it ourselves, has taken a significant toll on our nervous systems. A Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) group is being offered to healthcare professionals. We all know, as helping professionals, that we offer our best care when we are grounded, calm, and connected to ourselves first. This is a unique opportunity for you to support your nervous system. 

Details:

  • Virtual Group
    • Cost: $450 (Individual is 780 with intake+5 listening hours) 
    • Virtual intake with group 
    • 5 listening sessions in two weeks, each listening session is around 1.5 hours
    • 2 weeks later, a group re-cap where group members can ask questions, share their experiences, etc
  • In-person Group
    • Cost: $450 (Individual is 780 with intake+5 listening hours) 
    • Virtual intake with the group
    • 5 listening sessions in person, in two weeks, each listening session is around 1.5 hours
    • 2 weeks later, a group re-cap where group members can ask questions, share their experiences, etc. Will give group voting privileges of whether in person or virtual

Frequently Asked Questions

What age can SSP be used with?

In our office we can use SSP with anyone over the age of 18 months, to adults.

Can my child only complete part of the protocol?

This is not recommended. Families will not see the benefit of the protocol if they do not complete the entire 5 day sequence.

What are some of the areas that can be improved?

Symptoms of:

  • Social & emotional difficulties, emotional regulation difficulties
  • Auditory sensitives
  • Anxiety and trauma-related challenges
  • Inattention
  • Stressors that impact social engagement
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Down Syndrome
  • Mild TBI
  • Misophonia
  • Sleep problems (due to anxiety)
  • Learning problems 
  • POTS
  • Adrenal dysfunction
What are characteristics of common clients?
  • Difficulty in regulation behavioral state
  • Difficulty listening and following directions
  • Speech & language delays
  • Sound sensitivities (including misophonia)
  • Difficulty with giving or understanding facial expressions
Is it true that you can have stomach issues during or after SSP?

There is a possibility that some clients might report physical symptoms during or right after the protocol. While this isn’t uncommon, this is not a regular occurrence with all clients.  Some adults will report some bowel changes or feeling gassy.  Children might report their tummy doesn’t feel well.   Typically, turning down the volume helps relieve symptoms.

Essentially, when the nervous system perceives a threat, it produces too much stomach acid.   When stressed, our bodies release adrenaline, cortisol, and histime (along with others…).  While not completely understood, the enmetic system has connections to the vestibular and stomach systems, both of which are involved in Safe and Sound Protocol.  We also know that when we are feeling anxiety, our bodies produce histamine which might be what the reflux or nausea could be a result of.

Quick stress lesson:
– When our body is under stress, stress hormone cortisol is released, which calls the nervous system into action.
– Hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal is stimulated by the nervous system which puts the body into ‘fight or flight’ mode.
– Our bodies, stressed, feel like they are under attack, all resources are poured into conserving energy – which shuts down areas such as digestion.
– ADDITIONALLY, the sympathetic nervous system is triggered; releasing neurotransmitters (adrenaline, noradrenaline and dopamine) which sharpens the senses and put your body on high alert.  The sympathetic nervous system also triggers histamine into the bloodstream.

Can the protocol be repeated?

Yes, it can.  Some families might do another round of the protocol in 3-4 months.

Can the protocol make behaviors worse?

With some clients, there may be an uptick in negative behaviors for a short time.  While this is not uncommon, for parents this can be scary. The child is most likely experiencing emotions bigger than what they have experienced before.    Many times children who have never been in a settled state feel different, not knowing how to feel given that their bodies and brain have to learn the new normal.  As time passes, these children eventually  settle into their new state. Suggestions could be increasing physical movement such as going to the playground.  Another suggestion would be remaining conscious of how calm and connected the caregiver is to the child, the co-regulation piece is very important.  

We also encourage families to experience the protocol when the children are not under alot of stress…avoiding yearly triggers, beginning of the school year, etc.

I have heard of SSP horror stories, having an extremely rough time during the protocol. Does that happen for everyone?

SSP is an experience that a listener does with the guidance of a trained SSP provider.   The best experiences are when a listener is actively listening and noticing their body, and speaking up to the provider as to what’s going on.   Listeners should be connecting with the provider regularly to check in with symptoms and ensure the protocol is going smoothly.   

Our office hears of the most challenges with SSP experiences when a listener is paired with a provider who does not understand the polyvagal theory and the importance of monitoring your own nervous system.  Thankfully, during our intake session, we go over the polyvagal theory and discuss why we do what we do, and how listeners can get the best experience.   

We also come across listeners who report difficulties with the protocol when they are with a provider who is not tracking their progress and creating an individualized lane for listening, including volume, length of each listening session, time in between listening sessions, etc. Sometimes small adjustments in this area can make a dramatic impact.  

Can I listen to the music at the same time as my child?

Yes, and No.

The short answer is that it “IS” possible to utilize a slitter and use allow both the child and the parent to listen simultaneously.   When doing the protocol together, professionals have seen positive results.    On the other hand, for many clients this may not be a good idea because each person is dealing with their own emotions, and at times, the person listening may need a “safe” or regulated person. We would not want the child to be the “safe” or “regulated” person for the adult. This is the case, with many families.

Is this protocol appropriate for those who have experienced trauma?

Yes!

In the case of early childhood stress, the middle ear does not become attuned to human vocalizations; the child’s ear focuses on low frequency sounds, of which are associated with danger.  As we will notice, these children are distracted by background noises and do not respond to the human voice and miss out on social engagement opportunities.

Recent advances in the area of brain interventions for toxic stress and trauma have led to innovative treatment strategies.   One of which is the Safe and Sound Protocol.

Can SSP fix my child's learning disability?

Many people wonder how SSP will impact their child’s learning disability.     Each child’s response is unique.  It can be hard to separate the social impact of the disability from the disability itself.  Learning is partly a social process, thus improving the social engagement system, this can help some kids who struggle to learn.  For example, while SSP cannot “fix” the disability itself, it can lesson the times they shut down when they are confronted with a challenge or decrease the emotional reactions that the child might have to  the way they approach school or academics. Some children we have seen improvement in their ability to stay on task with an assignment, or their regulation when completing an assignment.

Can you expand the science behind SSP?

Most families want to know more about the science behind the intervention. The Polyvagal Theory states that in mammals, the regulation of the autonomic nervous system centers around listening and vocalization.  Mammals are different than reptiles because 2 bones in the ear are detached allowing us to hear low amplitude and high frequency sounds in the human voice.  The bones in the middle ear are a direct entry to our autonomic nervous system.  Muscles (Stapedius) in the middle ear provide input to the brain through vegus nerve stimulation.  When the stapeduius muscle is weak the brain struggles to attend and interpret sound & facial cues, as well as other dysregulation issues.   These are outside of our conscious control.  SSP exercises this muscle increasing the range of input the client can take in. When the way we take in sound is distorted, it disrupts the entire autonomic nervous system, interfering with the social engagement system.

The Polyvagal Theory addresses the origins of the difficulties some children have with social interactions and processing speech. The theory continues that if the child’s emotional state is stressed or confused, the nervous system is working overtime on trying to calm down. This heightened behavior state makes the child unavailable for noticing or learning the subtleties that come with social interactions such as reading emotions and processing similar words correctly.

Which cranial nerve is effected?

The music trains the auditory pathways by focusing on the frequency envelope of human speech. As the client learns to process these speech-related frequencies, they improve the functioning of two cranial nerves that are important for promoting overall social behavior.

  • Cranial Nerve VII (Facial Nerve) helps clients focus on human voice and tune out irrelevant frequencies.
  • Cranial Nerve X (Vagus Nerve) enables self-soothing and autonomic regulation.
Why is the effect stronger in adults than children?

It has been noticed among practitioners that some adults who have completed the protocol can experience some intense emotions for a short time after SSP.   The thought is that these adults feel emotions or begin to process  in a way that they are not used to experiencing prior to SSP.  SSP can be beneficial for children AND adults, however it’s not always the best option for an adult to do it alone without support if they have a trauma background.  After SSP, clients will notice that changes take place in their social engagement system,  the ANS is more regulated, and the individual can start to process their world in a different way, as well as their past experiences or traumas.  As one can imagine, this can be overwhelming, which is why there is a therapist available to help provide support.   While parents or caregivers will more likely be able to provide or seek out support for their children, many times adults will not have the supports or will attempt to push through.

If my child does not like a song can we skip that portion of the music

Short answer: no.
Longer answer: They do not want people to skip over songs because each song is an integral piece to the protocol. The special modulation to the music is what makes this different, and should not be altered.

We've heard that SSP can be useful with clients who have experienced trauma, is that true?

In our experience, yes.   Porges explains through his Polyvagal theory that individuals who have experienced some sort of trauma have difficulty connecting with others and forming relationships. As we know our physiological state dictates our behaviors. Additionally, clients who have experienced trauma have nervous systems that are on alert or heightened, assuming danger is near. They are constantly in a state of arousal and struggle to regulate.    SSP has been helpful in both of these areas, both allowing clients to be in a state of calm, which effects their ability to connect with others and regulate their own emotions and behaviors.

What types of therapies does SSP help with?

Safe and Sound Protocol can increase the effectiveness of counseling or psychotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.

Who is my practioner and what do they do?

The Practioner is the clinician who faciliates the entire process.    The Clinician meets with the client’s family (in person or virtually), provides the equipment in office (or access virtually), determines the best course of action or treatment plan for the client and their family, as well as directives of what to be doing during SSP sessions.    There should also be pre & post evaluations. At Step By Step Counseling Jennie Wilson is our practioner or clinician who has been through the training and is qualified to administer the protocol.  She is a Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, Autplay certified and EMDR certified.  She is passionate about SSP and promoting it to anyone who could benefit from it.  

What is considered a stressful life event?

I was asked if I have any upcoming stressful life events that my provider should be aware of or that we should schedule around. What are some examples?

  • dental procedures
  • surgeries (even outpatient) 
  • big exams 
  • recent loss 
  • moving (houses, offices, etc)
  • big life change 
  • extreme occupational stress (end of the fiscal year, releasing a new product, start of a new school year, etc)
What are some ideas for resourcing after SSP?

After SSP it’s important to have activities that will be grounding.  Here are some suggestions clients have done: 

  • Creative outlets 
  • Breathing exercises
  • Going to the park/playground to swing or play 
  • Playing with pets, taking dogs for a walk
  • Praying or spiritual practices
  • Being outside in nature
  • Singing 
  • Mindfulness or yoga 
  • Bike ride

Who is a reliable person for you? Who can you spend time with or connect with after SSP?

What are some ideas for resourcing after SSP?

After SSP it’s important to have activities that will be grounding.  Here are some suggestions clients have done: 

  • Creative outlets 
  • Breathing exercises
  • Going to the park/playground to swing or play 
  • Playing with pets, taking dogs for a walk
  • Praying or spiritual practices
  • Being outside in nature
  • Singing 
  • Mindfulness or yoga 
  • Bike ride

Who is a reliable person for you? Who can you spend time with or connect with after SSP?

How long do improvements last?

The length of time that improvements last varies from listener to listener.  Some listeners report that they see long-term, impact, while others report that they might see an increase of symptoms when they reach a different developmental life stage or life stressors.  

Some listeners might report some improvements fading after a few months, which is a sign that the listener might need to repeat SSP.  For some listeners, they might see some improvements in some areas, and when repeating, they might see additional improvements in other areas.   

How long before I start seeing results or improvements?

It depends.  No one has the same experience.

There is no definitive answer to how long before a listener starts seeing results or improvements.   Some families will report results while they are listening to the protocol, and yet other listeners might see changes after the protocol ends, upwards to 6 weeks later!  There have been cases in the office where some clients make huge shifts after 1-2 hours of listening, and yet others we see improvements start shifting around 5-6 weeks after the protocol has been completed.  

What does the SSP music sound like?

There are 3 different playlists.  

  • Adult mix of rock, pop and country.
  • Child intended to appeal to children. some Disney songs.
  • Classical Flow is classical music.  Created for those who English might be their second language, or others who might be triggered by different songs in the other two playlists. 
How long do improvements last?

This is different for each listener.   For some listenders, some improvements coming out of SSP, can last long term.    However, remember, that we are humans, and when we reach a high level of stress or a different life stage, we may see that symtoms may resurface or different concerns might pop up.  

On the ther hand, some listeners report their improvements begin to fade afte ra few months, and after repeating SSP, they     see the imrpovements  come back, with the improvements lasting lnger and longer each time.   

Sign up for our mailing e-mail list

 

Want to keep up to date on all that is happening at Parent Hub? Sign up for our e-mail list!