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Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) Podcast: Episode 30 – Pediatric Experts Discuss the SSP

Courtesy of the Safe & Sound Protocol Podcast and iLs Australia

On this new episode of the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) Podcast, the conversation focuses on delivering the SSP for kids. Joining host Joanne McIntyre from iLs Australia are two senior-level occupational therapists: Doreen Hunt, co-owner of Children’s Therapy of Woodinville near Seattle, Washington; and Irena Woodward, owner of Family Connections in Sydney, Australia. Each clinician brings more than 30 years of experience in pediatric therapy.

“In my work supporting families with children who are experiencing challenges, whether that be neurodevelopmental or mental health-related, I have observed significant improvements following the SSP,” says Joanne, also an occupational therapist. “I am also privileged to receive a lot of feedback from pediatric-focused therapists on the improvements they observe because of the SSP, so I wanted to help build awareness both for practitioners working with children or for any families listening who are experiencing challenges.”

Today, Doreen shares a case story about an adolescent client presenting with significant mental health challenges leading to hospitalization for self-harm and auditory hallucinations. After her first 30 minutes of the SSP, the hallucinations stopped.

Irena also discusses a young client with Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) and an eating disorder. Initially on nasogastric tube feedings, after several rounds of the SSP, this client became able to eat regular foods.

“As you will hear, the SSP offers hope and evidence-based improvements across psychosocial-biophysiological systems,” Joanne says.

Listen to the full episode for more insights.

Key Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • The impact of the SSP on:
    • The integrated social engagement system
    • Bowel and bladder awareness in a young child
    • Facial expressivity (connection to attachment)
    • Emotional intelligence and increased feelings of happiness in kids
    • Vocal quality and inflection
    • Gross and fine motor skills
  • The SSP for infants (micro preemie or failure to thrive)
  • The SSP with resulting improvements in family dynamics and global development
  • Importance for the family to nourish a sense of safety

Continue reading: Neuromodulation using computer-altered music to treat 10-year-old unresponsive to standard interventions for FND

Published in the Harvard Review of Psychiatry and co-authored by Dr. Stephen Porges and an expert medical and research team, this case study provides insight into the mechanism and impact of the SSP, specifically on a 10-year-old with FND who saw significant improvements from the SSP.

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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