The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is a type of therapy that helps people regulate their nervous system and improve their ability to process sensory information. This therapy was created by Dr. Stephen Porges, a neuroscientist, and psychophysiologist who has spent decades studying the nervous system and how it responds to different stimuli.
What is The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)?
The nervous system is a complex network of responses that are influenced by many factors, including our environment, our emotions, and our past experiences. The SSP uses a unique combination of auditory input and focused attention to help activate the vagal brake, which is a mechanism that helps regulate the body's stress response by slowing down the heart rate and reducing muscle tension.
During a typical session, the individual listens to a series of specially-designed music tracks through headphones. These tracks provide a range of auditory stimuli, including high-frequency sounds, low-frequency sounds, and vocalizations. The music is accompanied by a series of exercises that help the person regulate their breathing and focus their attention.
How Does the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) Work?
The idea behind the SSP is that this combination of auditory stimulation and focused attention can help activate the vagal brake, which can lead to a reduction in anxiety, improved social engagement, and greater emotional regulation. By activating the vagal brake, the SSP can help people feel calmer and more grounded, which can be especially helpful for individuals who have experienced trauma or are dealing with anxiety.
The Research Behind SSP
Studies have shown that the SSP can be helpful for a variety of conditions, including autism, anxiety, and trauma. For example, one study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders found that children with autism who underwent the SSP showed significant improvements in social communication and sensory processing. Another study published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry found that children with anxiety who received the SSP showed improvements in anxiety symptoms and attentional control.
Despite the promising results of these studies, there are still some questions about the effectiveness of the SSP and how it works. It is not yet clear why some people respond better to the therapy than others, or how long the effects of the therapy last after the sessions have ended. However, many individuals who have tried the SSP have reported feeling calmer and more centered, with an improved ability to process sensory information.
Is SSP Right for You?
If you are considering trying the Safe and Sound Protocol, it is important to talk to a qualified therapist or healthcare provider who can help guide you through the process. The therapy typically involves a series of sessions over a period of several weeks, with each session lasting about an hour. During the sessions, you will listen to the specially-designed music tracks through headphones and practice breathing exercises and other techniques to help regulate your nervous system.
It is also important to remember that the SSP is not a cure-all for every condition and that it may not be effective for everyone. However, for those who are struggling with anxiety, trauma, or other issues related to nervous system dysregulation, the SSP may offer a new and innovative approach to therapy that can help promote healing and growth.
We are proud to have providers that offer the Safe and Sound Protocol in conjunction with other therapies for the treatment of a variety of conditions. Contact us today to see if the Safe and Sound Protocol may be right for you or your loved one.