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 In Case Studies, Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP), Stress

About the Provider

Name: Magda
Discipline/Credentials: Psychologist, psychotherapist, mindfulness trainer and supervisor
Modalities:
Method Eline Snel, Internal Family Systems (IFS), breathwork, integrative psychotherapy (SSP), Focus System, VoicePro, Interactive Metronome, neurofeedback


Client Background

Name: Ola (pseudonym)
Age and Gender: 38 years old, female
Program Delivered: Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)
(SSP Core, Hours 1 through 5)

Ola is a medical emergency worker. She is healthy, lives near the forest and works various shifts. However, she is often suddenly called to work, where she encounters human suffering every day. Meanwhile, at home, Ola’s son explodes with anger every morning, often refusing to get dressed and is shy at school. Ola is anxious and in constant mobilization, and says that there is a lot of arguing happening in the home.

Ola sought help from Magda, her provider, because she wanted to help her son be calmer.


Implementation of the SSP

The SSP was delivered remotely through a group program on Zoom. Magda held six meetings with her clients, starting with individual consultation, followed by group online workshops that included mindfulness, breathwork and mindful movement practices, as well as creating a map of the autonomic nervous system.


Continue your learning
Autonomic Mapping with Deb Dana, LCSW, is included in the Remote SSP Certification course as part of the SSP Training and Certification


The client listened to the SSP during group meetings, but mostly at home, for about 10 to 15 minutes a day with breaks throughout about two months. Delivery and supporting activities included mindfulness, breathwork, visualization, mindful movement (qigong).

Response

Magda says that “the best answer is the recommendation of the client,” and shared the following from Ola:

“During and after listening to the program, I noticed that I became a more patient and less impulsive person. Previously, every failure made me angry, frustrated and reluctant to continue,” Ola said. “Today, I repeatedly look for the positive sides of any difficulties, and I am more eager to find constructive solutions. Relationships with people — especially at home — are better. My son has become more mature, calm and understanding. The frequency of physical and verbal aggression has decreased. The number of situations that used to irritate him has decreased. Above all, he is able to concentrate on his task — he focuses.”

Magda also reports several benefits for Ola: her speech has become calmer, she seems less stressed, her facial expression is much more relaxed, and she has a “twinkle in her eye.” Ola’s husband claims that he “cannot quarrel” with her anymore because she no longer reacts with anger.

Her son is also much calmer: when he doesn’t find clothes in his size, he simply picks out clothes that he got from his cousin instead and folds the sleeves to fit him. When he finds a hole in his sock, instead of reacting with rage, he calmly asks his mom, “Mum, can you mend this?”

Observations

“I have learned that focusing directly on resources [and] self-regulation can help, even if the patient has a very stressful lifestyle,” Magda says. “It teaches the client to also focus on the good things. When her son was listening to SSP, he could finally draw for more than five minutes, even for 30 or 40 minutes. He was proud of himself — his mum was taking his pictures to work and showing him photos [of] how she keeps his work in [her] sight, even if she is far away.”

“More calmness in the mother created more safety in the relationship,” she added. “Change in one member of the family creates change in the whole family.”


Continue your learning

An auditory intervention developed by Dr. Stephen Porges, the SSP restores the nervous system, and is designed to reduce stress and auditory sensitivity while enhancing social engagement and resilience. Learn more.

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