Listening can be used as a pathway to tell our nervous system EVERYTHING is OK.
The Safe & Sound Protocol or SSP is a five (+) day listening intervention that provides neural exercises via the vagal nerve that results in reduced stress and auditory sensitivity while enhancing a person’s social engagement and resilience. The SSP, by CALMING your physiological and emotional state, allows the door to be opened for improved connection, communication, and more significant results from other therapies.
The SSP uses a passive pathway to restore balance to an out-of-balance autonomic nervous system.
The SSP shows significant results in just five days in the following areas:
- Social and emotional difficulties
- Auditory sensitivities
- Anxiety and trauma-related challenges
- Sleep issues
- Inattention and
- Stressors that impact social engagement
Practitioners who have been using the SSP over the last decade with children also report that children are:
- happier and more engaged
- more self-regulated
- have greater expressive language
- have a greater ability to understand incoming directions
- less sensitive to touch
- have less oral/food aversions, less picky eating
Notably, clinical research of the SSP on children with Autism Spectrum Disorder found significant improvements in:
- Hearing sensitivity
- Spontaneous speech
- Listening and
- Emotional control
The SSP is an auditory music program developed to train the neural network associated with listening. The process of listening provides a unique portal into the nervous system that can be used to provide cues of safety which helps the body return to a parasympathetic or relaxed state. You may have heard this state referred to as rest and digest. Its when our body is most relaxed, free from anxiety, and important functions such as digestion can happen smoothly and easily.
Let’s face it, it’s hard to engage with the world well and consistently if you find yourself regularly in an anxious flight/fight state or if you are going into shut-down mode. SSP uses specially filtered music focused on the frequency range of the human voice to stimulate the vagus nerve, CALM your physiological and emotional state, introduce a SENSE OF SAFETY, which in turn helps individuals improve their communication and social engagement.
SSP is a non-invasive application of Polyvagal Theory, based on decades of research and developed by Dr Stephen Porges. The SSP uses the auditory system, which controls our physiological state. Once the physiological state is regulated, gains in subsequent therapy are accelerated.
SSP is a research-based intervention requiring listening to specially selected music that is designed to help the nervous system better receive, process, and respond to the cues and signals from the world around us. SSP must be completed in a quiet space to minimise external noise, using over-ear headphones, and the listening schedule (which your SSP practitioner will develop with you) can be completed over 5 or more days.
Following successful completion of SSP, individuals will be better able to focus in school, therapy, and everyday life with a calmed emotional and physiological state.
SSP can be completed over 5 or more days (the length is determined with your practitioner) and it is suitable to complete at home via the Unyte-iLS digital platform. SSP pricing starts at $450 and is dependent on the music programs and time frame required.
The following video provides an overview of the science of feeling safe, understanding our body’s response to the world around us, and Polyvagal Theory.
An overview of the Safe and Sound Protocol: bringing the science of safety to life from the bottom up.
Presentation by Joanne McIntyre, director of Integrated Listening Australia, on the Polyvagal Theory and the Safe and Sound Protocol at the 3rd Annual ACF Conference.
I am forever grateful for Dr. Porges and all the work he has done that lead him to develop the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP). The therapy has been completely LIFE CHANGING for my son! My son has experienced complex developmental trauma and we were told by every professional to expect and look into residential treatment facilities. He used to be in a pretty constant state of fight or flight. This looked like extreme aggression, little to no emotional regulation, extreme non-compliance along with being extremely hyperactive and impulsive. The diagnoses my son has are MANY and now no one would ever believe he has any of them. We now have a pretty typical little guy who is able to regulate his emotions, talk about his feelings, process the world around him and he is HAPPY. I highly recommend this book and if you know someone with PTSD, attachment disorders, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, ASD, SPD or anxiety… I hope you will research the SSP and what it could potentially do to help. (Testimony provided in Safe and Sound Facebook Group).