The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)
Feel Better. Think Better. Connect Better
The Safe and Sound Protocol by iLs (Integrated Listening Systems) is an evidence-based intensive listening program. It is a revolutionary sound-based therapy designed to help those with stress, anxiety, social communication difficulties, and trauma. The SSP is a non-invasive application of Polyvagal Theory that works specifically with the vagus and facial nerves, helping to regulate the autonomic nervous system, improving concentration and social engagement.
The Safe and Sound Protocol works by playing music through over-ear headphones, which has been specially filtered in order to gradually expose the auditory system to different sound frequencies. SSP calms the physiological and emotional state by activating the muscles in the middle ear. By activating the muscles in the middle ear, it enables the person to hear the sounds of safety, helping the nervous system regulate and enabling engagement with others and the world.
Prospective clients often ask me why the Safe and Sound Protocol is so different from other auditory integration programs. In a nutshell, the Safe and Sound Protocol is the only auditory intervention that directly retunes and regulates autonomic state, moving a person out of fight/flight/freeze and into a rest and digest/parasympathetic state.
Who can the Safe and Sound Protocol help?
Now more than ever the world is a busy place filled with uncertainty. When faced with what the body perceives as threats or danger, it responds by re-tuning the nervous system into states of defense – either “fight or flight” (sympathetic) or “freeze” (dorsal vagal). The brain and body’s first priority is to keep us alive.
When the nervous system remains in a chronic state of defense, it affects both the mind and body – impacting how we feel, think, and connect with others.
This can adversely affect our health and day-to-day experience in the world. A proven solution is to look from the bottom up.
Safe and Sound Protocol has been proven to help reduce stress and auditory sensitivity while enhancing social engagement and resilience in the following difficulties and challenges:
Social and emotional difficulties
Auditory processing difficulties
Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
School /exam anxiety
Work-related anxiety and/or burnout
Couples/partners who are experiencing stress in their relationship
Pre/Postnatal anxiety and depression
How do I access the Safe and Sound Protocol?
The first step is to get in touch to understand what your needs are and if this therapy would be helpful, or you can book an assessment.
The assessment is a verbal handshake so that we can go through your screening forms together and you will know whether we can work together, as well as to create a plan for how your program with me will look.
While I have standardized pricing, it is imperative to spell out that these prices can vary, in particular for adults with trauma.
It is also important to emphasize the fact that if your default autonomic state is “freeze”, it is likely that I will not be able to work with you remotely, so please keep this in mind. This is for your own safety, and because I have been working with the SSP for long enough to get a sense of whether remote work is possible with a client or not.
If you are considering SSP for your child, I can only work with you if you do a round of SSP for yourself first. I have learned, through experience, that only working with a child without first working with a parent, produces limited success.
The success of the SSP rides on our relationship and open communication.
What can I expect following the Safe and Sound Protocol?
The Safe and Sound Protocol has been described as a “portal to the Social Engagement System”, and can have powerful impacts on how adults, teens, and children interact with the world around them.
Feel Better: feel more safe, calm, grounded and resilient; feels less anxious, irritable and overwhelmed
Think Better: think more clearly, attentively, and creatively; think less rigidly, be less disorganized and distractable
Connect Better: connect more openly, genuinely and wholly; connect less guardedly, distantly, and oppositionally.
Social and emotional difficulties, auditory sensitivities, anxiety and trauma-related challenges, and inattention can all be reduced along with enhanced ability to learn, self regulate and engage.
More successful therapy:
By calming the physiological and emotional state, the SSP opens the door for improved communication and more successful therapy. Emotional and physiological state are critical to how we approach the task at hand. So when a child/teen/parent/couple/human has a better state control, not only can they be more socially engaged with less anxiety, they are more open to therapy. Better state regulation improves therapeutic outcomes.
I am a trauma-informed therapist, holding the CCTS-I. This training is essential for the safe and successful delivery of the Safe and Sound Protocol.
Dr. Porges Q+A about Freezing, Fainting, and the 'Safe' sounds of music therapy.
Dr.Porges explaining the acoustic features