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Anxiety Help

Understanding stress and anxiety.

Stress and anxiety provoke a physiological response in the body. Anxiety is often used to describe feelings of worry or fear in response to real or perceived threats. Anxiety is often triggered by stress. Stress is a normal part of life and symptoms typically fade when the situation is over. Sometimes, when a person has difficulty coping with external pressures or in cases of chronic stress, the anxiety may last much longer and interfere more significantly in our personal, social, and professional lives.

Some symptoms may include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Sleeplessness
  • Restlessness
  • Easily fatigued
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Tension
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Low energy
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness

How Can We Help?

Book a call with one of our specialized consultants to learn more about how Unyte-iLs programs can help enhance Trauma and PTSD treatments in the clinic or at home.

Although people experiencing both stress and anxiety might respond to difficult situations by entering a defensive state of fight/flight or freeze/shutdown, those with anxiety can remain in this debilitating state for much longer periods of time.

Common Anxiety Treatment

People experiencing stress or anxiety may seek help in the form of a variety of therapies, medications or lifestyle changes. Non-medical examples include talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, breathing techniques, practicing mindfulness and even listening to certain soothing music. These approaches are designed to help the individual learn strategies to cope with their stress or anxiety symptoms when they appear.

But it may be difficult to benefit from these therapies or employ the effective strategies when the nervous system remains in a chronic defense state (fight or flight, freeze or shutdown). In this state, the individual may not be able to easily turn off their nervous system’s perception and interpretation of stimuli as threatening, including stimuli experienced during treatment. This could potentially limit the efficacy of these therapies or prolong treatment.

The good news is, an approach that has helped ease the nervous system out of this defensive state has been developed on the basis of Polyvagal Theory, which looks at the role of the vagus nerve in emotion regulation, social connection and fear response.

The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) for Stress and Anxiety Management

The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is a practical application of Polyvagal Theory that uses specially treated music to help regulate the nervous system. The SSP uses the auditory system and its direct connection to the nervous system to help calm the body’s physiological response to stress. By reducing the body’s defense response using the SSP, people experiencing stress or anxiety can be more available to participate in other types of therapy.

Close-up of headphones connected to a smart phone on a wooden background, selective focus

Listening to the treated music used in the SSP can also alleviate some of the other symptoms of stress and anxiety, including

  • Increased heart rate
  • Sleeplessness
  • Restlessness
  • Easily fatigued
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Tension
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Low energy
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness

Ultimately, the SSP helps calm and ground the nervous system by sending the body cues of safety. The specially filtered music activates the social engagement system, bringing the body from a defensive state to a calm and grounded state.

Client laying on a couch and listening to SSP or Focus

The SSP In Mental Health Practices

Developed by Dr. Stephen Porges and based on Polyvagal Theory, the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is an adjunct therapy intended to be integrated within a holistic approach to mental health treatment. The SSP can be used to support clinicians in a range of mental health practices, including: trauma counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists, physicians, psychiatrists, occupational therapists, certified autism specialists, substance use and addiction counselors and more.

This program can be administered in-clinic, or remotely through a digital delivery platform. Speak to a consultant about integrating the Safe and Sound Protocol into your practice.

The SSP For Families and Individual Use

The Safe and Sound Protocol is administered by certified clinician and is not intended for unsupervised use by families or individuals. If you are interested in applying the Safe and Sound Protocol as part of a treatment for yourself or a family member, get in touch with us to discuss your options.

We can help onboard your existing therapist to the SSP if you are already working with one; connect you to an SSP certified therapist if you are not working with anyone; or in many cases we can work with you directly.

header-ssp


How Can We Help?

Book a call with one of our specialized consultants to learn more about how Unyte-iLs programs can help enhance trauma and PTSD treatments in the clinic or at home.

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Unyte-iLs programs are adjunct therapies intended to be integrated within a holistic approach to sensory, physical, cognitive, and/or mental health treatment.
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