Regulate Stress & Anxiety Through Sound

The Safe & Sound Protocol helps you feel better, think better and connect better.

Learn more about Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) by watching the video below:

The Safe & Sound Protocol helps you regulate your nervous system, to decrease anxiety and stress

  • Anxiety and/or stress management

  • SSP helps emotional and nervous system regulation
  • Build connection, trust and a safe environment through co-regulation of the nervous system

  • Enables a physiological shift to align the mind and body

  • Helps accelerate lasting change and coping skills

  • For people with auditory sensitivities

  • Helps you to regulate stressors related to social situations

  • Helps people with auditory sensitivities

What is Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)?

The Safe and Sound Protocol (known as SSP) is an auditory program that was developed to help regulate the nervous system effectively, and consistently. SSP was developed by Dr. Steven Porges, of iLS. Research and experience tell us that rapid societal change and adverse life experiences are increasingly resulting in physical and mental health challenges for many people, and SSP was developed to help you respond effectively to life’s challenges, access higher learning and cognition, and build positive social relationships.

“The notion that the brain is able to change in response to stimulation, an ability known as “neuroplasticity,” is now so widely accepted it can be called fact. Unyte-iLs programs are based on this principle, providing gentle and specific stimulation in order to activate the neural pathways used in the processing of sensory information. Neuronal connections in these pathways are strengthened and new connections are established through repeated sessions of multisensory input.” – from the website

SSP offers a 5 to 15 hours auditory program, that will help you regulate your nervous system more effectively because it trains your neural network and nervous system. SSP uses music to create a sense of safety, by stimulating the vagus nerve, and calms the emotional and physiological state. This helps improve communication, stress and anxiety management, and social interactions.

Learn more about how SSP works >

SSP Programs Offered by Kate Appleton

SSP programs are for adults or children, and are facilitated through the remote listening program. Please reach out to me through the contact page if you are interested in learning more about an SSP program.

Hybrid Remote Home Program

You are able to remotely access the program, and have 3 video sessions with Kate.
See full details below.

100% Supported SSP Core Program

You are able to access the program either remotely or in-person and all sessions are monitored by Kate.
See full details below.

SSP Delivered as a 5-7 Day Retreat Program

This is the ideal method for the whole family to do together or for a rich individual “surround” experiential retreat.
See full details below.

Contact Kate Appleton for SSP Program Information

Hybrid Remote Home Program Includes:

  • Link to access listening program remotely on your device of choice (smart phone and earphones, or tablet with headphones required and supplied by you)
  • Intake session 60min: includes Intake Questionnaire, ANS Assessment, review of Polyvagal Theory and the mechanics of SSP.
  • Secure end to end encrypted account with access to your personal dashboard to record progress
  • Daily log in sheets to record your discoveries
  • 1 or 2 video monitoring 30-minute sessions with Kate Appleton, certified SSP provider to “monitor” initial ANS patterns.
  • Access to the SSP Core program
  • Access to SSP Connect program during the duration of the SSP intervention for ANS regulation
  • Access to Kate Appleton via email during your Core protocol
  • One 30-minute post session via phone consultation to process your experience
  • Access to follow-up SSP Balance program post Core program
  • An additional follow up session (a half hour) post treatment.

Limited Support Remote Learning Session Cost: $ 650 (can be divided into 2 payments to be paid within 30 days of starting the program)

100% Supported SSP Core Program (facilitated with a trained SSP provider, can be remote or in-person or hybrid of both) includes:

  • Link to access listening program remotely on your device of choosing (smart phone and earphones, tablet, computer with headphones required and supplied by you)
  • 60 min. Intake session: includes Intake Questionnaire, ANS Assessment, review of Polyvagal Theory and how SSP works.
  • Secure end to end encrypted account with access to your personal dashboard to record progress
  • Daily log in sheets to record your discoveries
  • Access to me via email during your CORE protocol
  • 60 minute sessions with SSP trained provider. The number of sessions depends on the client’s tolerance. This is most likely between 10-12 sessions depending on case and includes SSP delivery, coaching on somatic regulation tools, and Polyvagal Theory)
  • Access to the Connect program during SSP
  • Access to follow-up Balance program post Core program
  • A follow up session (a half hour) one month post treatment

Provider 100% Supported Learning Cost: Payment can be made in full at $2,000 or can be divided into 2 or 3 payments for an additional fee for processing of 10$ for each additional payment.

The above fee allows access to the full SSP program (Connect, Core, and Balance) for three months. After completing the CORE program, you may use the Balance and Connect program for the duration of the three months. This covers 10-12 sessions. If you need more sessions, then there is an additional fee per session at 200$ per hour.

SSP Delivered as a 5-7 Day Retreat Program: Family or Couple, or Individual

This is an ideal arrangement for a family. The cost is much less than if paying for individual members and can be done as a family unit. This is also a wonderful gift to give yourself as a fully integrative intensive, supporting the complete Self with multiple systems integrated.

This includes art activities (gesture in color, mandala with stones, collage, beeswax modeling etc), work with animals, movement and sensory seeking activities such as work with copper, proprioception tools, vestibular supports and Sandtray. This is highly individualized. A family can come together and work 4-6 hours per day at the center over a 5–7-day period. The cost for this program averages between 5,000 – 10,000$ depending on the amount of services. There is a Guest Suite that can be rented which comes as a fully functioning apartment with kitchen, bath, bedroom and extra pull-out sofa in the living room. This is an enriching embodied experiential experience. This offers the greatest supports for integrating the Sensory, Defense and Attachment systems.

Learn more about the retreat experience here.

Contact Kate Appleton for SSP Program Information

Additional Details About How the SSP Programs are Structured

Hybrid Remote Home Program

Safe and Sound Protocol Description: from iLS

The SSP, formerly known as “The Listening Project Protocol,” is based on more than 40 years of research investigating relationships between the autonomic nervous system and social-emotional processes.

Developed by Dr. Stephen Porges, the originator of The Polyvagal Theory (1995, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2007), SSP is an auditory intervention designed to reduce stress and auditory sensitivity while enhancing social engagement and resilience.

There are three versions of SSP (see description below)

SSP Connect (Classical) – Provides a gentle and “safe” introduction when needed. Playlist consists of classical music curated to be calming, grounded. For more sensitive clients, or those with a highly dysregulated nervous system, this is the recommended first step.

SSP CORE – the traditional 5 hour listening protocol.

SSP Balance – you can begin 1 to 4 weeks after SSP core. This is largely unsupervised and can be used at home. Used to extend and integrate the gains from SSP. Same playlist as SSP CORE but filtered differently with a lighter frequency modulation algorithm. Can also be used as ongoing daily support for clients who need it, many find it calming and grounding. This is also used as a “warm up” before SSP CORE booster.

Remote SSP Guidelines:

For the remote (on your own) version of SSP, two 30 minute SSP sessions are provided to coach the client on how to track Sympathetic, Parasympathetic, and Ventral states, discharge ANS arousal, or engage the ventral vagal system. This is based on the work of Deb Dana. Ph.D (

Clients may complete the remainder of the SSP sessions on their own if appropriate or engage a “safe” person in the home such as an animal, a partner, or a friend.

Originally, SSP was given as a 5–15 day intervention (the 5-15 days can include a mixture of three different programs called Connect, Core, and Balance). Experience has now shown us that for sensitive systems, the SSP protocol can take 5-10 weeks to complete, going slowly and listening to 1-2 sessions per week. You will have access to the program for three months so that you do not feel rushed to complete it in 10 days.

Maximum listening for one dose is 30 minutes of SSP during a session. Individuals who have a sensitive ANS will need to stop after 10 or 15 minutes, take a break for an hour or two and then do 15 minutes later in the day or even the next day. And then others may require many stops and lots of time to regulate and take up to one hour to complete the 30 minutes each day. It really depends on what your ANS can handle, and the goal is to listen to the ANS and not push to complete too quickly. Listening to your system signal to you about how much is enough becomes part of the work. Too much too quickly can overwhelm your system.

Individuals who would like my services to facilitate the entire program over telehealth will attend 60-minute appointments from 10 days to 5 weeks in order to complete the program. See cost breakdown below for this version of SSP.

It is important to know that SSP is not a stand-alone therapy, but rather a platform for other therapies of your choice. It is critical to have support in place before, during, and after SSP has finished such as friends, family, other providers, or myself.