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Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) Podcast: Episode 28 – Somatic Experiencing®, Polyvagal Theory and SSP for Trauma

Courtesy of the Safe & Sound Protocol Podcast and iLs Australia

The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is a powerful listening therapy that targets the nervous system, shifting it out of a state of defense and into a state of safety. Somatic Experiencing® (SE™), meanwhile, is a mind-body therapy that offers a lens to expertly track and guide the nervous system as it shifts, completing necessary responses so that it can fully land in its inherent capacity for homeostasis, a steady state of internal physical and emotional balance that allows us to function at our best.

Separately, these approaches are impactful. But when brought together, they fit like a glove to support and elicit the best out of each other.

Learn how combined delivery of the SSP and SE™ has the capacity to create the conditions for restoration individually, intergenerationally and collectively.

In this episode of the Safe and Sound Protocol Podcast, you’ll gain insight from six skilled Somatic Experiencing® Practitioners (SEP), as host Joanne McIntyre expertly guides the exploration across expansive terrain, including SE™ and the SSP’s impact on the nervous system’s capacity to expand and somatic patterning of early attachment.

Guest speakers include Paula Scatoloni, Unyte Clinical Advisory Board member and lead author of the SE™ and SSP combined delivery guidelines, as well as guideline contributors and SSP providers Laura Moorehead, Kate Appleton, Melinda Cornish, Katie McClain, and Leah Dawang. 

Key Topics Discussed in This Episode: 

  • What is Somatic Experiencing®
  • Shock trauma explained, and exploring the somatic completion of an event that was not completed in trauma
  • The SSP’s capacity to expand the “relational field” to help the nervous system work through stored stress
  • The SSP’s resourcing the nervous system to enhance expansion
  • Somatic patterning of early attachment and bonding
  • SE™, SSP, and touch work
  • And more

Learn more: Transform Your SE™ Practice by Restoring the Felt Sense of Safety

Combined delivery of Somatic Experiencing® and the Safe and Sound Protocol create the conditions to support individual, intergenerational and collective trauma restoration.

About the Speakers

Paula Scatoloni (she/her) is a Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner and certified Safe and Sound Protocol provider in Durham, NC.

She is a licensed clinical social worker and has led clinical teams at institutions such as Duke University. She has co-developed training programs, including The Embodied Recovery Institute, and co-created the Ai Pono Outpatient Treatment Center in Hawaii. Paula has been involved in the field of embodiment for three decades and integrates contemporary neuroscience, physiology, interpersonal neurobiology, and transpersonal psychology with non-Western models of health.

She is a consultant for Unyte and is the lead author of the Combined Delivery Guidelines for the SE™ and the SSP. Paula offers experiential workshops for somatically oriented individuals utilizing the SSP in the facilitation of individual, intergenerational, and collective healing.

Laura Moorehead, LMT, CST-D, SEP, has been involved in the field of bodywork and somatic awareness for over 30 years. She is a Diplomate Certified CranioSacral Therapist, Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner and long-time provider of the SSP and Focus System programs. Much of her work is focused on children with learning challenges or those with a history of trauma. She offers an integrated program for children to address learning challenges composed of CranioSacral, SSP, Focus and HANDLE (Holistic Approach to Neurodevelopment and Learning Efficiency). The guiding principle of her work with children is based on the truth that a child in stress is not able to learn and thrive. The stress can be physical, emotional or both, and once it is relieved, the child is free to flourish developmentally, academically and socially. Easing these stressors often involves the whole family, as that is the blueprint that the child draws from. 

Laura runs a private practice in two locations on the Big Island of Hawaii and also works with families over Zoom. 

Kate Appleton’s work is informed by somatic-based approaches to healing, addressing early developmental patterns, attachment, traumatology, sensory integration, energy healing arts and archetypal narrative exploration. As a psychotherapist, she integrates multi-modes of healing: SE™, SSP, Transforming Touch, TEB, Embodied Recovery, IFS, Karmic Astrology, Family Constellation and Ancestral pattern mapping. Kate values the inclusion of Expressive Art Therapy, Centering Prayer and Spiritual Emergence for awakening the Soul. Kate developed sensory techniques designed to support practitioner training, provide greater resourcing for client support, and minimize defensive reactivity and risks of overwhelm.

Training includes: BFA Art/Dance, Kent State University; M.Ed. Special Ed, Lynchburg College; M.Ed. Counseling, Lynchburg College; Licensed Professional Counselor (VA) and Anthroposophical training as a Waldorf teacher. She holds a wide range of advanced training across various modalities.

Melinda Cornish, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, has an undergraduate degree in psychology and biology. Weaving the body, mind and soul together has been her focus for many years. Her background includes bodywork, clinical practice in inpatient hospital settings, addiction treatment centers, and outpatient clinical practice focused on complex trauma. Her expertise as both a psychodramatist and somatic practitioner, has cultivated a mosaic use of modalities into her practice, including the SSP. She utilizes her resonance as a means to facilitate healing within the biofield of an individual. The result of her practice brings about deeper healing that awakens and heals the wounding from trauma and epigenetics, leading to change with thoughts, feelings and behavior. The outcome leaves individuals feeling a shift in his or her internal states of consciousness with more expansion, ease and joy within.

Katie McClain, SEP, TST, SRR, TIST (she/her, white, cis), is a coach and offers the SSP since 2018. Since 2016, she’s offered Somatic Experiencing® and uses Touch Skills for Trauma Therapists, Somatic Resilience and Regulation, and Trauma Informed Stabilization Treatment with her clients. The focus of her practice is clients presenting with syndromal issues and C-PTSD, typically from early trauma. She works with adults and children. A teacher at heart, Katie also provides sessions encompassing her training and experience to Somatic Experiencing® students and new SSP practitioners. Katie assists through the Advanced level for Somatic Experiencing International and provides personal SE™ sessions for beginning and intermediate-level students. She also assists for TST and SRR trainings. Katie works online via Zoom and in person in her Pasadena, CA area office.

Leah Dawang serves as Unyte’s Partnership Cultivation Manager, envisioning all members of the helping and healing communities linking arms in love and transforming the world. As an SSP provider with a background in Somatic Experiencing®, IFS and interpersonal neurobiology, her human restoration practice, Clear The Way, is devoted to creating the conditions for healing and clearing the effects of trauma blocking one from receiving unconditional love.

To learn more about Somatic Experiencing visit traumahealing.org.

About the Host Joanne McIntyre

Joanne McIntyre is an Occupational Therapist with over 30 years of clinical experience. She completed her Master’s of Science, majoring in psychology, while residing in the U.S. for 23 years, during which she founded a therapy practice including speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists and psychologists, in addition to being an instructor for Integrated Listening Systems.

Joanne pursued specialty training in various clinical interventions and treatment programs that identify and address the underlying neurological causes of state regulation, learning and behavior, versus focusing on symptomology. Her training included Board Certification in Neurofeedback and Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback training, Neurodevelopmental (NDT), SIPT Certification, Interactive Metronome and Advanced iLs Pro training, EMDR, and Intro IFS training.

Joanne returned to Australia in 2015 and is Clinical Director of Integrated Listening Australia, providing practitioner training and clinical support to clinicians and families in the SSP, Focus System, Pro-System and iom2. Joanne commenced Ph.D. studies at La Trobe University within the School of Psychology and Public Health, investigating the neurobehavioral underpinnings of the Safe and Sound Protocol intervention developed by Dr. Stephen Porges, supported by the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre (OTARC).

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