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Imagine if we told you that we could strengthen the following areas in your children:

  • Social and emotional difficulties
  • Auditory sensitives
  • Anxiety and trauma related changes
  • Inattention
  • Stressors that impact social engagement

We can by using the Safe and Sound Protocol!

Dr. Stephen Porges designed the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) to reduce help stress and sensitivity to sound. In the beginning, the SSP was used exclusively with people who had learning difficulties. However, during the 20 years of research, it was discovered SSP can also be used to treat anxiety, stress, and emotional resilience in our general population.

The Safe and Sound Protocol helps the body to feel safe and more at ease; when we are this state, we feel like connecting to other people, and we think clearer. The protocol reduces stress and auditory sensitivity, it also improves social engagement and emotional resilience.

What is the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)?

The SSP is an intervention designed to reduce stress and auditory sensitivity while enhancing social engagement and resilience. By calming the physiological and emotional state, the door is opened for improved communication and more successful therapy.

The Safe and Sound Protocol SSP includes total five hours of listening. However, this can range from 10 minutes at a time, or an hour at a time- it depends how your body responds to the time limits we set.

Participants set the pace, and with our practitioners’ support, you design the optimal way to complete your SSP program. Client’s report they are slowing down more often, feeling less stressed and calmer.

The SSP sessions can be done either at our office or remotely at home, all you need is a smart-phone and over-ear headphones, we provide the program via an app. However, this would need to be a discussion with your therapist. During the SSP sessions, you will listen to specially engineered prosodic vocal music. At first, they might sound odd and a bit quiet. The music follows a limited range of frequencies that signal your nervous system you are safe, and your body can return to a state of safety.

The Safe and Sound Theory

Some sounds tell us we need to pay attention. Traditionally, lower sounds or high-pitched noises are associated with threats or danger. Middle frequencies, however, are associated with fellow humans and safety. Yet, when our body is in a state of (high) alertness, our ears will pay more attention to those noises that are threatening. This in turn, might stop us from picking up on the signals that tell us we are safe: the voices of our partners, kids, friends, or colleagues. When we have gone through stressful, anxious, or traumatic situations, our body learns to pay attention to triggers of threat or danger. In the meantime, it becomes more difficult to pay attention to triggers of safety. Through sound therapy, we can teach our ears to listen to those safety cues once again. By training the tiniest muscle in our ear to pick up frequencies associated with safety, it becomes easier for us to do this in our lives.

People that suffer from anxiety or experienced trauma have often adopted coping mechanisms to survive difficult situations. After a difficult event, our body can struggle to return to relax. You often hear people that go on vacation say they struggle to let go of the stress of everyday life. If you have had to be alert for a long time, or faced threatening circumstances, your body might think it wise to keep its guard up. If that happens, it can become difficult to know what it is like to be safe again.

So, what Dr. Porges proposed was a specially engineered type of music. This music targets specifically the smallest muscle in our body. This muscle is located in our ear and is crucial to decide what sounds we pay attention to. Moreover, this muscle is closely integrated with the vagus nerve. By training this muscle to pick up cues of safety, our body gets the message that we can return to a state of rest, relaxation and social engagement

What’s great about the Safe Sound Protocol?

Effective:

  • Calms the emotional and physiological state by improving vagal regulation of the heart and improving auditory functions
  • Addresses difficulties in social communication
  • Increased the amount of sharing behaviour
  • Regulating behavioural state, listening, looking, and other social engagement behaviours such as spontaneous sharing

Flexible:

  • One hour of vocal music per day for five consecutive days, may be implemented up to a minimum of 10-minute segments
  • May be implemented by clinician, assistant, caregiver or self-administered in clinic or home

Efficient:

  • Quick and easy to administer
  • Accelerates subsequent therapies

If you’re going through therapy to let go of the past and embrace the future, SSP can help your body to feel safe again. The Safe and Sound Protocol is a complementary therapy. Therefore, you can perfectly combine it with more traditional therapy.

If this interests you and you would like more information, please contact us at adminteam@innatetherapies.com or 0414 480 934.

Written by

Jacqui Garrigan

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