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EMDR Therapy + SSP: Scaffolded Experiences of Safety for Greater Reprocessing and Healing

EMDR therapy aims to help clients recall and reprocess traumatic events without experiencing intense and emotional reactions. This may be difficult to achieve when they’re stuck in a chronic state of defense, however, until they’re able to feel safe and connected.

By integrating the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP), EMDR therapists can develop a foundation of safety at the neurophysiological level, giving their clients greater capacity to engage in the healing process.

Learn more and download free SSP + EMDR resources below.

Pioneered by Dr. Stephen Porges, The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) helps shift the nervous system to be more present and regulated, empowering therapists to improve client capacity for connection and EMDR therapy receptivity.

Reprocessing and Nervous System Regulation

When clients aren’t progressing or struggle to complete treatment, it may be because their nervous system is in a state of chronic defense. When this happens, typical exercises of Phase 2 of EMDR therapy can be painfully inaccessible.

As safety can be both subjective and elusive, some EMDR therapists may move through Phase 2 too quickly, risking retraumatization or becoming stuck.

As an evidence-based and trauma-informed therapy that engages the vagus nerve through the neural network associated with listening, the SSP shifts the nervous system into safety using algorithmically filtered music.

It has shown to be a vital tool to support and scaffold experiences of safety, building adaptive information that can be accessed in later phases of EMDR therapy and help your clients heal.

More successful outcomes,
fewer setbacks

  • Support and scaffold experiences of safety in Phase 2 at the neurophysiological level without requiring direct or active participation from the client.
  • Enable clients to access, experience and tolerate change via a regulated physiological state.
  • Repattern the nervous system, and give greater access to emotional regulation and the ability to shift through affective states with greater ease, diminishing the possibility of flooding and retraumatization.
  • Use throughout EMDR Therapy, interweaving the SSP listening therapy throughout a client’s treatment model for holistic regulation support.

On-Demand Webinar: Integrating Polyvagal Theory into EMDR Therapy with the Safe and Sound Protocol

This webinar brings together three special guests: Dr. Stephen Porges, originator of the Polyvagal Theory and creator of the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP); Rebecca Kase, LCSW, Approved EMDR Consultant and Trainer; and Rotem Brayer, M.Ed., LPC, and Approved EMDR Consultant.

As leaders in Polyvagal Theory and EMDR, they discuss how the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) can work alongside the EMDR model to support safety and increase treatment readiness.

Want to learn more? Speak with one of our Program Consultants, many of whom are practitioners, to learn how to integrate the SSP into your unique practice.

Hear from the Experts

“Part of the art and science of EMDR Therapy is in pacing the experience to avoid overwhelm. The SSP gives us an effective, empowering client tool and an informative therapist gauge to help increase both the safety and quality of the work.”
Laurie Belanger, LCSW-R, EMDRIA Approved Consultant

“The SSP offers a space to relearn and reconnect to the experience of inner ease, both within the self and within relationship to other, allowing for deeper healing and growth to occur.”
Jillian Hosey, MSW RSW

EMDR Therapy and
SSP Summary


Use this visual tool to help communicate with your clients and colleagues the benefits of integrating the SSP into EMDR therapy.

EMDR + SSP Combined
Delivery Guidelines

Guideline Excerpt

A clinical resource guiding EMDR therapists who are also SSP providers on safe delivery. Become an SSP provider to access the full guidelines!

The Foundation of the Safe and Sound Protocol


Discover The Science of Safety by downloading this short overview of the SSP that you can share with your clients or colleagues.

DOWNLOAD THE EBOOK: A Polyvagal Approach to Setting the Foundation for EMDR Therapy
Learn why unlocking the nervous system is the key to your client’s regulation and engagement in EMDR therapy.

Access more useful resources here.


Discover how nervous system regulating therapeutic solutions can create lasting change for your clients.

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