Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP)

WHAT IS THIS THERAPY?

The SSP uses the auditory system (how we hear) and its connection to the nervous system (how we feel) to establish the brain and body’s ability to find states of calm, safety, and regulation. I use SSP as a complimentary resource for therapy. Please note that this is NOT a stand-alone therapy. It opens us up, stabilizes and prepares the nervous system to do the hard work of therapy and growth.

The SSP is a 5 hour, evidenced-based, non-invasive treatment to help one regulate their nervous system (and improve social engagement, as well as physical and emotional regulation). It was created to reduce stress and anxiety using filtered music that exercises and challenges middle ear muscles). 


The music is composed of altered vocal music (i.e., filtered). It is specially adapted to use the auditory pathway to access the neural network that manages autonomic nervous system regulation. For more information on how this works, please see page one of this document or visit: “Nourish and awaken the nervous system. Feel better. Think better. Connect better.”

This therapy is most successful when accompanied by other therapies, such as psychotherapy, occupational therapy or somatic experience therapy.

Get Started with Safe & Sound Protocol Therapy Today

WHERE DOES THIS TAKE PLACE?

Over ten or more days, you will listen to the filtered music offered via the Unyte-ILS app. This is done in 5-10 minute increments (to a maximum of 30 minutes/day). The length of time depends on how your nervous system manages the music. 

While listening to the music helps to engage in a relaxing activity, such as coloring, stretching, puzzles, crafting (knitting, etc.). It is essential that you use over-the-ear headphones (that are not soundproof) and that you can keep the volume as low as is comfortable (and do not change it while listening). Not to worry, you will test the volume before each session. 

While it is suggested that we do this over ten consecutive days, we work from a “less is more” policy. That means that if you’re feeling dysregulated or overwhelmed while listening to the music, it’s time for us to take a break. This is a Safe before Sound protocol, and it’s essential that you feel grounded before and throughout much of your session for us to maximize success! 

Given the small increments of time (5-30 minutes), working with a therapist will not always be possible, and you will be listening to the music on your own at your convenience. However, to ensure that you’re feeling comfortable with the SSP at first, we will listen at first together. 

​You can do this therapy from the comfort of your home. 

HOW DOES THIS WORK?

We use modulated vocal and classical music to strengthen the neural network related to listening and this incredible nerve (the vagus nerve). Our vagus nerve (which, fun fact, means wanderer in Latin) is responsible for your body’s “rest, regulation, connection, and social engagement.” It also links the body to the brain!

When our vagus nerve is working well, we can regulate our thinking and feeling, and soften our sensations of stress, overwhelm and anxiety! However, when our vagus nerve is out of sorts, our body can’t regulate, and we can experience BIG emotions, misread cues, and have heightened experiences of stress, overwhelm and anxiety!

This video has a great description of SSP and how it works: https://videopress.com/v/W93gM786

The SSP also uses“three pathways” to connect to a person’s nervous system: Connect, Core and Balance. Each has its unique approach, but the way we offer it is the same, through specially chosen, modulated music! It sounds odd, I agree! But these “pathways” have the power to restore our ability to find out calm!

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WHO IS THIS THERAPY FOR?

This is for anyone who has experienced any sort of trauma (which if we are being honest is all of us!), anxiety, auditory hypersensitivity, inattention, behavioral dysregulation, difficulty with social communication, or who is need of preparation for therapy.

When I started exploring this option as a therapeutic tool for my clients, I was told that anyone with a nervous system (aka EVERYONE) could benefit. And truthfully, I agree. However, it’s particularly fantastic for folks working through: anxiety, trauma, super-sensitive hearing, inattention, BIG behaviors/emotions, challenges with communication and even sets the stage for folks wanting to get into therapy but need some grounding before they dive in. Some folks have even found that it works well for chronic pain, hormonal dysregulation and issues with digestion!

Anyone over 18 months of age can engage with this therapy. Including adults!

Trauma has a significant impact on one’s nervous system. Many would argue that the experience of trauma IS a dysregulated nervous system. We might choose only to do the SSP in session together (and not on our own) to ensure safety. Again, this is a case-by-case situation, and I want my clients to feel safe and supported throughout the entire journey (that means before SSP, during SSP and after SSP).

If your world is very stressful, then this may not be the time for us to do this. Ideally, you’re in an okay space to manage your mental health as the SSP is a powerful tool that can increase your symptoms during and for the first 2-to 3 weeks following treatment. Adding increased stress to your nervous system can 1) make you feel like it’s not working, 2) become unmotivating to keep going (SSP is a little like finishing antibiotic treatment, once started, it’s helpful to finish), & 3) take away from the potential success of the tool!

Are There Side Effects?

Many clients experience heightened emotions on hours 3, 4 & 5. We’re shifting and restoring a nervous system, so releases are bound to happen. Other side effects that you might see:

  • Clumsiness
  • Ringing in the ears (Tinnitus)
  • Diarrhea or gastrointestinal issues
  • Irritability and Explosiveness
  • Increased aggression
  • Changes in the menstrual cycle
  • Headaches (tension) 
  • BIG emotion swings (lots of crying or frustration)
  • Increased anxiety 
  • Fatigue or sleep disturbances
  • Heightened sensitivity to sound/light/emotions/sensations
  • Vivid nightmares/dreams 
  • Blurred vision 
  • Feeling spaced out / brain fog
  • Heart palpitations 
  • Dizziness 
  • No improvement. 

HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?

Like all good things, SSP takes time. It’s not a quick fix and works best alongside other therapies! We can expect changes to occur 2-7 weeks after treatment, and sometimes clients will repeat the therapy 2-3 more times, depending on the situation.

WHAT DOES IT COST?

At this time, I’m offering the SSP for $499 This price includes:

  • $175 initial consultation and evaluation session
  • Subscription for 30 days of the SSP
  • Access to the Unyte-iLs app, which will allow you to listen at home.
  • Set up and first session together
  • Unlimited email support
  • Once the listening is completed, we will also have one session to complete the evaluation and final assessment (and a plan for going forward). 

Getting Started with Safe & Sound Protocol Therapy

If you’re experiencing trauma and anxiety, auditory hypersensitivity, inattention, behavioral dysregulation, or difficulty with social communication, SSP therapy may be the right fit for you. Schedule a consultation to get started. We will talk about what’s bothering you, how we can help, and how you can get back to being the best version of you! Safe & Sound Protocol is not intended to be a standalone therapy, rather it is intended as a starting point to reduce the stress & anxiety and prepare us for the hard work of healing that lies ahead. Chat with us today to begin your journey and give us a call with any questions you have about how we can help you heal!

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