What is the SSP?
The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is a listening therapy based on Polyvagal Theory that teaches our nervous system to feel safe and calm through a bottom-up process of training the vagus nerve.
One client saw her results this way:
I’ve done it twice now and each time have noticed a significant reduction in my stress and anxiety level — opening the door for more clarity, creativity, and peace. In addition to reducing ongoing stress — so helpful in these really intense times — it’s helped reduce the internal load I generally carry in social interactions: they’re just a lot easier. I feel less self-conscious, and so it’s easier to feel a richer connection with the other person. The “outside” might look the same, but the “inside” feels really different.
Think about using the Safe and Sound Protocol if you want help with:
Emotional reactivity or dysregulation
What the Core protocol is:
The protocol is deceptively simple: you listen through headphones to specially filtered music, for 30 minutes a day, for 10 days. That’s it. Your system will continue to process all the changes over the next coming weeks with most users indicating they felt the most significant results about two weeks after their last session.
The SSP is accessed through the Unyte app — you just need to supply your own over-the-ear headphones. Earbuds don’t work as well.
Will this work for my child?
It was originally designed for kids on the spectrum to help them with social interactions. It’s great for kids who might be wrestling with all kinds of different problems.
It works wonderfully for kids - the only trick is asking that they don't play electronic games or watch videos while doing the SSP. Too much visual and auditory stimulation at the same time could cause headaches or discomfort.
So kids can do a puzzle, for example, but not watch TV. Play with Legos, take a walk, draw, or play a card game with you.
It’s really helpful — important, actually — that you (or someone warm and loving) be there with your child, while they’re listening to the music. You want to be there when their system opens up to more connection — even if that’s just a brief moment of eye contact and a smile. That could be everything! And it helps for you to make sure they’re occupied in a way that keeps them engaged with the music — you can chat about what they’re listening to, whether they like it, what their favorite song is, etc.
And remember, less is more, so if you can only get your child to listen for 10 or 15 minutes, that’s fine. Having them willing to do it again is more important than loading them up as fast as possible.
Who should I talk to about trying the SSP?
Lisa Williams, LCSW is currently enrolling new clients in using this protocol at home. Click the button below to complete a form which will explain your goals for using the SSP. She will contact you and together you will create a plan that meets your needs using the Safe and Sound Protocol as well as any other tools that will be helpful.