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Safe and Sound Protocol

What is the Safe and Sound Therapy Protocol?

The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)

Developed by Dr. Stephen Porges and based on the Polyvagal Theory, the SSP is a non-invasive listening therapy designed to help you achieve better nervous system regulation.

It is an evidence-based therapeutic tool designed to reset the nervous system and return it to safety. Designed to work with other therapeutic approaches and modalities, the SSP features specially filtered music that stimulates the vagus nerve, and more specifically the muscles of the inner ear. The goal is to reduce sound sensitivities and improve auditory processing, behavioral state regulation, and social engagement behaviors through specially-filtered music.

Suitable for children and adults, the SSP has demonstrated benefits for individuals with trauma, anxiety, sensory processing differences, and much more.

Who might be a good candidate for the Safe and Sound Protocol? 

Stephen Porges first began using the SSP with children with autism, resulting in sometimes remarkable changes. Now we know that SSP can also benefit individuals with:

  • Auditory sensitivity

  • Chronic anxiety

  • Depression

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

  • Relationship difficulties

  • Social anxiety

  • Separation anxiety

  • Behavioral acting out

  • Anger

  • Learning problems

  • Sleep problems (due to worry and ruminating)

  • Self medicating (overeating, shopping, gambling)

Reasons why SSP may need to be delayed or avoided:

Though the SSP intervention is considered to be low risk for most clients, there are circumstances in which it may need to be delayed or avoided. As one progresses through the listening protocol, the nervous system may experience heightened sensitivity for a period of time, which can feel intense or overwhelming. 

  • Living in a home or work situation that is not currently safe

  • Seizure Disorder

  • Tinnitus

  • Injury or surgical intervention to the ear

  • Current life upheaval

  • Trauma / Dissociation that has never been addressed in therapy

  • Ongoing substance abuse

  • Current self harm

How can I access the SSP?

The SSP must be delivered by a Safe and Sound Protocol certified clinician. Viesca Therapeutic Services' SSP certified clinician is Angela R Viesca, LCSW, CCM, C-ASWCM, CCFP, CART, EMDR Approved Consultant. To learn more about Angela, click HERE