Safe & Sound Protocol – SSP

Safe & Sound Protocol – SSP

What is the SSP?

Developed by Dr. Stephen Porges, the Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP), is a five-day auditory intervention designed to reduce stress and auditory sensitivity while enhancing social engagement and resilience. Based on Dr. Porges’ Polyvagal Theory, by calming the physiological and emotional state, the door is opened for improved communication and more successful therapy.

The SSP uses the auditory system as a portal to the vagus complex, which controls our physiological state. Once physiological state is regulated, we can accelerate or enhance subsequent therapy.

The SSP is a research-based therapy showing significant results in the following areas:

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

Emotional and physiological state are critical to how we approach the task at hand. So when you have better state control, not only can you be more socially engaged, you are more open to therapy. Better state regulation improves therapeutic outcomes.

This non-invasive intervention involves listening to music that has been processed specifically to retune the nervous system (regulating state) to introduce a sense of safety and the ability to socially engage. This allows the client to better interpret not only human speech, but, importantly, the emotional meaning of language. Once interpersonal interactions improve, spontaneous social behaviors and an enhanced ability to learn, self-regulate and engage are often seen.

As a certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (trauma and stress recovery/nervous system specialist) and Safe and Sound Practitioner, I offer a trauma informed/sensitive practice and deliver the Safe and Sound protocol to individuals of various ages: children, adolescents, and adults. The SSP is initially done in my office in the Pasadena area of Los Angeles. Fees are based on my hourly rate of $125. Payment plans and limited sliding scale options are available. I offer this service to my own clients and work with other therapists to offer the SSP to their clients. SEE BELOW to review OPTIONS for receiving the SSP. Get in Touch to discuss the best option for receiving the SSP for you or a family member.

 

Safe and Sound Protocol – 5-Day Intervention

The SSP was originally designed by Dr. Porges and his colleagues to be delivered over 5 consecutive days. The client listens for one hour per day for five days in a row to the specially altered music. There is a child playlist, made up of mostly Disney songs and a song list for adults. The adult playlist consists of popular music. Older children may listen to the adult playlist if they prefer it.

It may seem like it, but this intervention is not passive!

Shifts are happening within your autonomic nervous system and the vagal nerve complex while you listen. Sometimes the shifts are subtle and other times, big change occue. This is why having a nervous system specialist like me to support you through the process is so important.

You and/or your child or other family members or loved ones will come to my office to listen. I provide various quiet activities such as coloring, modeling clay, drawing, card games, etc. for the client(s) to engage themselves while listening. The client may also choose to simply sit quietly and listen to the music. I offer support and co-regulation during the entire process. You or your child may want me to join you in coloring or playing. Either way, I am there to check in and offer support and settling for your nervous system as needed. 

This unique intervention is available to individuals, couples, and families. I recommend it (depending on family dynamics and your preferences) for clients participating in a dyad: parent/child, couples, or other family groupings. It is a wonderful opportunity for uninterrupted co-regulation time between loved ones with the support of a skilled somatic practitioner (myself). In this case, I tether two (or more) clients together – each with their own set of headphones – to listen together so that both receive the benefit of the SSP. The individuals who are tethered may play together or choose different activities. We’ll decide daily what each individuals preference is for what to do and who to do it with while listening.

Some of the growth/shifts facilitated by the SSP are improved social engagement, more connection and eye contact, less fighting, less overwhelm, and more ease. It can help lesson anxiety and depression, create more capacity and resilience, and improve issues with auditory sensitivity.

The SSP is initially done in my office in the Pasadena area of Los Angeles. Fees are based on my hourly rate of $125. Payment plans and limited sliding scale options are available. I offer this service to my own clients and work with other therapists to offer the SSP to their clients. Get in Touch to discuss the SSP for you or a family member.

 

Mosaic Journey with SSP

The Mosaic Journey is a 7-part exploration using color, sound, art, Yoga movements, personal narrative, co-regulation, and soul-exploration to create transformation and nervous system regulation. Utilizing the Safe and Sound Protocol (see above) with trauma informed co-regulation and support from Katie McClain, SEP, it provides a powerful entry point / preparation for deeper therapeutic work should that be desired by the client (or their therapist).

The Mosaic Journey is inspired by the work of Ana doValle, OTR, SEP, Anthroposophical Counselor. It enhances the effects of the SSP by following a sequence that connects body, mind, and soul. With this process, we are creating higher resilience to stress, more flexibility in the nervous system plus: embodiment, empowerment, coherence, and flow.

This unique and gentle exploration is available to individuals, couples, and families. I highly recommend this process for clients participating in a dyad: parent/child, couples, or other family groupings. It is a wonderful opportunity for uninterrupted co-regulation time between loved ones with the support of a skilled somatic practitioner (myself).

Some of the growth/shifts facilitated by the Mosaic Journey are improved social engagement, more connection and eye contact, less fighting, less overwhelm, and more ease. It can help lesson anxiety and depression, create more capacity and resilience, and improve issues with auditory sensitivity.

The Mosaic Journey is done in my office in the Pasadena area of Los Angeles. Fees are based on my hourly rate of $125. Payment plans and limited sliding scale options are available. I offer this service to my own clients and work with other therapists to offer the SSP to their clients. Since Mosaic Journey is a 7-dqy protocol, we will work together to agree on a schedule that works for all. Get in Touch to discuss the SSP for you or a family member.

Example of a client’s art while participating in the Mosaic Journey.

 

 

 

SOMATIC TOUCH with SSP: The SSP while also receiving gentle Somatic Touch is another option to consider. Somatic Touch is non-manipulative touch that supports regulation of the autonomic nervous system. I’ve found it to be one of the most gentle and effective ways to support clients in feeling better, more relaxed, and ultimately more regulated. When the client receives Somatic Touch, they are fully clothed and lying on their back on a massage table. With the client’s consent, I begin by contacting the kidney/adrenal area which is on the back near the bottom of the rib cage.

If you have developmental trauma, a diagnosis of cPTSD, or have symptoms such as anxiety, depression, or anger that interferes with your life, this option might be best for you. This option is scheduled as a minimum of 5 weekly sessions where you will listen to the SSP while receiving Somatic Touch.

Somatic Touch with SSP is done in my office in the Pasadena area of Los Angeles. Fees are based on my hourly rate of $125. Payment plans and limited sliding scale options are available. I offer this service to my own clients and work with other therapists to offer the SSP to their clients. Schedule a Discovery Session with me to discuss whether this is your best option for receiving the SSP.