About the Provider
Name: Stephen Roberts
Discipline/Credentials: Mental health provider, MPCC
Modalities: Brain health-directed counselor specializing in depression, anxiety, trauma, addictions and sports performance using Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP), Brainspotting (BSP), CBT, play therapy, body work
TC is a very dedicated athlete participating as a Paralympian. She presents with depression and performance anxiety, struggling to focus and return to a normal performance level when facing challenges. She is emotionally dysregulated, has poor form, and is struggling to get to the next position in her sport.
She lives with her husband and their relationship has its struggles. To date, TC has tried numerous cognitive and holistic treatments, relying mostly on body exercise and cognitive therapy.
As TC prepared for her next Olympics, the goal of treatment with the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) was to build resilience, place higher than she did in the previous Olympics, and increase focus and bounce-back time. The SSP was used in conjunction with Brainspotting (BSP).
Implementation of the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)
The SSP was delivered in the client’s home and done independently. Listening was completed over five days, for one hour per day, at the same time and location each session.
In conjunction with SSP, TC completed psychoeducation and brain work, and did a lot of BSP homework before, during and after training and competition. BSP was used eight weeks after the SSP was completed.
After the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP), TC became more emotionally regulated, her depressive symptoms decreased and her capacity to participate more fully in BSP increased, which helped with her performance anxiety and lack of focus and bounce-back.
Stephen said, “Setbacks were minimal and not as intense. I have found the combo of SSP and BSP [has] contributed to better outcomes. Per assessments, [TC] improved in all areas and after BSP, most issues were resolved.”
“I was used to the results at this point but was excited for the client,” Stephen shared. “[TC] thought these methods were weird when starting but quickly saw their value and the change they provided. [She] was excited and grateful.”
TC’s husband noticed the changes in performance and her mood at home; other practitioners and coaches saw big improvements in performance as well.
The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) helped TC’s nervous system prepare for BSP by regulating her emotions and bringing the nervous system to a safe, open position. This resulted in TC bouncing back more quickly with less intensity.
“I would have changed nothing with this client except slowing it down, which wasn’t an option at the time,” Stephen said. He also added that for this client, a second round of the SSP might’ve led to faster results.