More Information about Safe and Sound Protocol

Rewiring Neuro-Threat Responses, Polyvagal Theory, & Nervous System Education

What is Safe and Sound Protocol?
The 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.”

How Does it Work?
Based on Dr. Porges’ Polyvagal Theory, the program is derived from nearly four decades of research on the relationship between the autonomic nervous system and social- emotional processes.

The first thing to understand is the importance of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS is best described as our “personal surveillance system”, always determining and responding to the question “Am I safe?”

If our ANS is continually aroused through trauma or toxic, chronic stress, the muscles of our middle ear shift away from listening for human voice and instead listens for low-frequency background noises in preparation for the need to respond (fight or flight). This makes us much less able to be socially engaged and much more likely to be reactive.

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. The specially calibrated music in SSP trains the auditory pathways to focus on the frequency of human speech and to tune out the frequencies of background noises. Once the ear begins to work more normally, we are more available for social engagement (we must feel safe to be socially engaged) and thus can experience the safety of our relationships much more fully.

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.

The first step in the SSP process is to complete an intake to determine if SSP may be a helpful intervention. Once an assessment is complete together, we will decide which package is best suited for your specific treatment needs (Connect, Balance, Core). We will also assess resources, location and how SSP will be administered (online with provider, at home alone with nature, pet or a trusted person in your life).