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 What is the SSP?

Developed by Dr. Stephen Porges, the SSP is a five-day 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 SSP is a research-based therapy showing significant 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
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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.

The SSP is available to professionals only. View SSP training information. For ways you can use the SSP at home, please call 303-741-4544.

Highlights

Effective:

  • Calms the emotional and physiological state by improving vagal regulation of the heart and improving auditory functions
  • Addresses difficulties in social communication

Flexible:

  • One hour of vocal music per day for five consecutive days, may be implemented in 30-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

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Client and Therapist Testimonials

“My stomach has a bit of a smile, with eyes that blink very happy. That’s why I am very happy. I feel free.”

– Bente, 6 year old girl

“This girl and her family have attempted many different therapeutic interventions over the developmental years and unfortunately were discouraged with the outcomes. The positive results on the SSP have provided this family with encouragement and hope.”

– From the therapist of a 15 year old with ASD

I want to let you know that I feel that the SSP seems to have rebooted my emotions relative to grieving for my sister. My face feels more expressive, there is more modulation in my voice, and I feel less of a wall between me and the world.”

– From a therapist who did the SSP herself.

“There seems to be a better sense of control about my emotions and a sense of balance and calm. It has been extremely rewarding to be more deliberate and aware of my reactions. This change has improved the communication and conflict resolution in some of my most important relationships.”

– From a 53-year old client struggling with sleep, attention and motivation problems following the death of her husband 1 ½ years ago

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How does it work?

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.

Read the Research

Selected Research and Publications on the SSP and the Polyvagal Theory by Dr. Stephen Porges

Completed Peer-Reviewed Studies (involving 292 subjects)

Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia and Auditory Processing in Autism: Modifiable Deficits of an Integrated Social Engagement System?

Reducing Auditory Hypersensitivities in Autistic Spectrum Disorder

5 clinical trials in progress to evaluate the effectiveness of the LPP/SSP in:

  1. Children with a trauma history. Funded by the Australian Childhood Foundation.
  2. People with ADD who have difficulties with autonomic and/or behavioral regulation. In cooperation with: ADD Centre and Biofeedback Institute of Toronto.
  3. Emotionally disturbed and learning-challenged young people who have difficulties with autonomic and/or behavioral regulation. Funded by the Reiss-Davis Child Study Center of Vista Del Mar, California.
  4. Decreasing the atypical features of the Social Engagement System in adolescents with Prader Willi Syndrome. In cooperation with the Latham Centers School in Brewster, Massachusetts.
  5. Reducing chronic pain in a sample of older adults. In cooperation with the Meadowood Retirement Community in Bloomington, Indiana.
Dr. Stephen Porges

Dr. Stephen W. Porges is a Distinguished University Scientist at the Kinsey Institute, Indiana University and a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

The SSP is a Patent Pending intervention.

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