Safe & Sound Protocol


The Safe & Sound Protocol stimulates the middle ear muscles and has proven results with emotional, and behavioral regulation, hearing sensitivity and listening

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What is the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)?

The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is a listening intervention designed to reduce stress and auditory sensitivity while enhancing social engagement and resilience. The SSP uses filtered vocal music to engage the vagus nerve through stimulation of the neural network associated with listening. The vagus nerve is the part of the nervous system responsible for rest, regulation, connection, and social engagement and is an important bidirectional pathway between the body and the brain. When the vagus nerve is stimulated, cognitive and emotional regulation is possible and states of anxiety, stress, and overwhelm are minimized. The SSP is designed to increase feelings of calm and safety, reduce sound sensitivity, support mental focus and clear thinking, and connect more genuinely with others.

What is involved in the SSP experience?

The SSP uses specially-filtered music to train the neural network associated with listening to focus on the frequency range of the human voice. As you learn to focus on the sound frequencies of human speech through the SSP program, the vagus nerve becomes stimulated and the state of feeling more safe and calm becomes accessible.

During the SSP experience you will listen to a series of filtered music delivered through a phone app using over the ear headphones. You will work with your provider to determine the best set of music and length of each listening session. The sessions are typically done at home.

There are three pathways within SSP: 

  • SSP Connect is a gentle introduction for your nervous system to the listening intervention
  • SSP Core is the standard 5-hour program designed to exercise the social engagement system part of the nervous system. This leads to a greater capacity for engagement, reduced sensitivity, and a more resilient physiological state. 
  • SSP Balance is used to continue to integrate the changes from the SSP Core to maintain a sense of calm and grounding.

Who can benefit from SSP? 

The SSP exercises the neural pathways associated with regulating behavioral state and social engagement.  If you are experiencing any of the following, you might benefit from using the SSP:

  • Social and emotional difficulties
  • Auditory sensitivities
  • Anxiety and trauma-related challenges
  • Inattention
  • Stressors that impact social engagement
  • Difficulties in regulating physiological and emotional state

What changes are possible with SSP?

The SSP is a portal to the Social Engagement System and it can have powerful effects on how  you interact with the world. As you engage your social interactions you may experience:

  • increased capacity to engage eye contact and facial expressivity
  • improved understanding of speech
  • better emotional control 
  • more reciprocal social interactions
  • increased emotional expressivity with others
  • more access to parasympathetic states leading to a sense of calm alertness

How can the nervous system help to restore feelings of calm and safety?

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is the body’s internal control center for processing and responding to the world around us. The ANS regulates the functions of our internal organs such as the heart, lungs, stomach, blood vessels, bladder and intestines. Most of this is done outside of our conscious awareness. An intrinsic component of the ANS is the vagus nerve which communicates an extensive range of signals about our state bidirectionally: from the brain to the body and the body to the brain. The vagus nerve affects facial expressions, tone of voice, heart rate and heart rate variability, breathing, and the function of the spleen, liver, kidneys and intestines. It can help to reduce inflammation and to improve your immune response. It is the care-taking nerve of the body. 

Safe & Sound Protocol

can help with the following:

  • Auditory sensitivities
  • Focus and inattention difficulties 
  • Social and emotional difficulties
  • Anxiety 
  • Traumatic experiences
  • Stressors that impact social connection



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