Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP)


I have been offering SSP since May 2019 with ages ranging from very young children right up to the elderly, and with various concerns including brain injury, autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, trauma, anxiety, depression, misophonia, chronic pain, selective mutism, auditory processing disorders & more.

Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP)
Click here to watch me being interviewed about SSP

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What is the Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP)?

Developed by Dr. Stephen Porges, the SSP is a five-day auditory intervention designed to reduce stress and auditory sensitivity while enhancing social engagement and resilience. Based on Dr. Porges’ Polyvagal Theory, by calming the physiological and emotional state, the door is opened for improved communication and more successful therapy.

The SSP is a research-based therapy showing signicant results in just five days in the following areas:

Social and emotional difficulties
Auditory sensitivities
Anxiety and trauma related challenges
Inattention
Stressors that impact social engagement

Emotional and physiological state are critical to how we approach the task at hand. So when a client has better state control, not only can they be more socially engaged, they are more open to therapy. Better state regulation improves therapeutic outcomes.

This non- invasive intervention involves listening to music that has been processed specifically to retune the nervous system (regulating state) to introduce a sense of safety and the ability to socially engage. This allows the client to better interpret not only human speech but, importantly, the emotional meaning of language. Once interpersonal interactions improve, spontaneous social behaviors and an enhanced ability to learn, self-regulate and engage are often seen.

The SSP system is available to professionals only.  For ways you can use the SSP at home, please email carolannrowland@gmail.com.

NEW!!  In addition to the original SSP (now called SSP Core) we now have two new SSP pathways:

SSP Connect offers a slower way to approach SSP and allows time to adjust and acclimate to the listening and to prepare for SSP Core.

SSP Connect is an invitation or warm up to the SSP for those who would benefit from a slower and gentler introduction. It can help develop familiarity with the music and listening process, thereby providing a sense of comfort and safety in experiencing the music, and sets up a sense of expectancy for what is to come.

SSP Balance offers an integrating experience and the opportunity to extend the state-regulating benefits beyond the five hours of SSP Core.

SSP Balance is a pathway that can be used to extend and integrate the gains of the SSP and potentially act as a state stabilizer. It can also be used for further stabilization and integration before beginning an SSP Core Booster.

SSP Balance can be used by many on an ongoing basis to calm and ground.

Read blog entries between October - December 2019 about my 15 year old dog's response to SSP!

How does it work?

The SSP uses the auditory system as a portal to the vagus complex, which controls our physiological state. Once physiological state is regulated, we can accelerate or enhance subsequent therapy.

Based on Dr. Porges’ Polyvagal Theory, the program is derived from nearly four decades of research on the relationship between the autonomic nervous system and social-emotional processes. It is designed to stimulate nervous system regulation by exercising and systematically challenging the auditory system with specically processed music.

The music trains the auditory pathways by focusing on the frequency envelope of human speech. As the client learns to process these speech-related frequencies, they improve the functioning of two cranial nerves that are important for promoting overall social behavior. Cranial Nerve VII (Facial Nerve) helps clients focus on human voice and tune out irrelevant frequencies. Cranial Nerve X (Vagus Nerve) enables self-soothing and autonomic regulation.

Are you a psychotherapist or other practitioner who offers SSP and is looking for clinical advice?  Click here...