The Safe and Sound Protocol
What is the Safe and Sound Protocol?
The Safe and Sound Protocol by iLs (Integrated Listening Systems) is an evidence-based intensive 5 hour listening programme application of Polyvagal Theory, developed by neuroscientist Dr. Stephen Porges, and is designed for children, adolescents and adults who are experiencing any of the following:
- Trauma related conditions
- Auditory sensitivities
- Auditory processing difficulties
- Depressed mood
- Emotional Dysregulation
- Social communication difficulties
- Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Irritable bowel syndrome
The SSP has been created as a technology that promotes a sense of safety, calmness, emotional regulation, enhanced sleep and improved social engagement, among many other benefits.
How does the SSP work?
When the body’s nervous system is repeatedly triggered into a state of defence, the mind and body are affected – how we feel, think, and connect with others can all be negatively impacted. This can adversely affect our health, our day-to-day experience in the world and can also lead to the repeated unnecessary triggering of the state of defence (fight, flight or freeze).
During the SSP, you will listen to filtered music played through over-ear headphones for a maximum of one hour per day. This process gradually exposes your auditory system to different sound frequencies. The music exercises the facial and vagus nerves, which help to retrain and regulate the body’s autonomic state. The purpose of this is to move you out of a state of defence and into a state of calm (rest, digest and connect). Throughout your listening, you will be observed by a trained professional to guide the process.
The Safe and Sound Protocol treatment is available as an app for Android or Apple devices and you can receive the treatment remotely from your own home under my supervision.
The 3 SSP Pathways
There are 3 stages to the SSP:
SSP Connect (step one) – this is a programme that can be completed partly unsupervised in preparation for the SSP Core. Connect offers a gentle approach to the SSP and allows your autonomic nervous system time to acclimatise to the listening in preparation for SSP Core. You will be able to access this system independently through an app on your mobile phone while sending me updates on your experience.
SSP Core (step two) – this is the main programme of the SSP designed to exercise your facial and vagus nerves and promote a calm autonomic state. This is a supervised process and is delivered remotely through the app on your mobile phone. You can listen to music between 15 – 60 minutes per day, depending on how your nervous system is responding to the music.
SSP Balance (step three) – this programme is designed to further extend the state-regulating benefits you achieve from the SSP Core and integrate your experience following completion of the SSP Core.
While the SSP can independently create significant change, it is best understood as a ‘platform’ to enable social engagement and a calmer autonomic state. It is often used in addition to other therapies and can enhance engagement in these therapies. Please contact me with any questions you may have to learn more about this unique therapeutic approach.