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The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)

A non-invasive listening therapy for your client’s unique journey to better nervous system regulation.

The Safe and Sound Protocol is an evidence-based therapeutic tool designed to reset the nervous system and return it to safety. Designed to work with other therapeutic approaches and modalities, the SSP features specially filtered music that stimulates the vagus nerve.

Suitable for children and adults, the SSP has demonstrated benefits for individuals with trauma, anxiety, sensory processing differences, and much more.

Want to skip the scroll and learn how the SSP can work for your unique practice? Speak with a Program Consultant.

“If you want to improve the world, start by making people feel safe.”
— Dr. Stephen Porges

Overview

What is the Safe and Sound Protocol?

Developed by Dr. Stephen Porges, founder of the Polyvagal Theory, the Safe and Sound Protocol is a non-invasive acoustic vagus nerve stimulator that helps your clients connect with themselves, others, and the world from a foundation of physiological safety.

Your client experiences the SSP playlists through over-the-ear headphones which can be delivered in-clinic or remotely.

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Engage the ventral vagal complex through the neural network associated with listening.

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Shift the nervous system into safety using the SSP’s algorithmically filtered music.

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Administer therapy to a physiologically and psychologically available client.

How Does It Work?

The Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP) is the only practical application of Polyvagal Theory, and is designed to improve sound sensitivities and auditory processing, behavioral state regulation, and social engagement behaviors through specially-filtered music.

The SSP allows for the repatterning of neural networks and improved regulation of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) for lasting change.

Based on hierarchical recruitment of the ANS, the SSP trains the middle ear muscles to tune-in to cues of safety signaled by the frequencies of human voice, which stimulates the social engagement system through the neural network associated with listening.

Learn more about the science behind the SSP  →

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The SSP interrupts chronic states of nervous system defense by stimulating the neural networks associated with listening.

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The SSP uses algorithmically filtered music focused on the frequency range of the human voice that alters the way sounds are interpreted.

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This ushers the nervous system out of a defensive (fight, flight or freeze) state and into a socially engaged (ventral vagal) state.

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Who Is It For?

The SSP is suitable for children and adults, and has been designed to work with a diverse variety of therapeutic approaches and modalities. Its effectiveness has been proven in a wide range of studies including clinical trials involving children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, along with numerous case studies demonstrating effectiveness with emotional  regulation, trauma, anxiety and more.

Research has even begun on how the SSP can effect the impact f Long Covid. Explore SSP case studies and research or purchase now to get started.

Case Studies

Case Studies & Research

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Case Study: Finding Nervous System Regulation After Long COVID

Teresa is 52 years old and a healthy, active woman. In March 2020, she tested positive for COVID-19 and since then has experienced symptoms associated with long COVID, including severe fatigue, joint pain, brain fog and impaired proprioception.

Looking for support, Teresa turned to provider Christa Hines, who delivered the SSP with the intention of regulating her client’s nervous system, which seemed to be stuck in survival mode with post-viral dysautonomia symptoms.

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Case Study: Discovering The Bonds Of Connection

AB is 12 years old and presents with autism, anxiety, sensory overwhelm, depression and irritability. A reactive child, AB often appears disconnected and hopeless, and never expresses missing her parents or seeks affection.

After seeing no progress with previous therapists, AB’s parents found SSP provider Joseph Falkner, who delivered the SSP to his client, aiming to increase her felt sense of safety, flexibility of her nervous system, and overall connectedness.

Reducing Hypersensitivities In Autistic Spectrum Disorder: Preliminary Findings Evaluating The Listening Project Protocol (A Precursor To The Safe And Sound Protocol)

Stephen W. Porges, Olga V. Bazhenova, Elgiz Bal, Nancy Carlson, Yevgeniya Sorokin, Keri J. Heilman, Edwin H. Cook, and Gregory F. Lewis

The Effect of the SSP on the Regulation of Hypersensitivity in ASD

Sonja Heinrich (autismus-dialog), Michel Ackermann (Berliner Institut für Familientherapie), Prof.Hristo Kyuchukov (Univ.of Silesia Katowice), Prof.William New (Beloit College)

Reducing Hypersensitivities In Autistic Spectrum Disorder: Preliminary Findings Evaluating The Listening Project Protocol (A Precursor To The Safe And Sound Protocol)

Stephen W. Porges, Olga V. Bazhenova, Elgiz Bal, Nancy Carlson, Yevgeniya Sorokin, Keri J. Heilman, Edwin H. Cook, and Gregory F. Lewis

The Listening Project: Tuning Into Change

Stephen W. Porges, PhD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Testimonials

Our client and her family have attempted many different therapeutic interventions over the developmental years and unfortunately were discouraged with the outcomes. The positive results of the SSP have provided this family with encouragement and hope.

Dalyce Wilson-Podesky and Julie Campbell, Therapists

Safe, sound, and simple. The level of ease and simplicity that comes with SSP digital delivery contributes to keeping the experience within reach of the nervous system’s capacity to safely engage.

Deb Dana

We have tried so many other things with minimal help – we just never got to the core of the issue – the SSP got to the core.

Amy R., Parent

Thankful to be able to offer such a powerful treatment for our kiddos and their families!

Julie Kurrasch, Therapist

Delivery

Empower Your Clients to Better Connect with Themselves, Others and the World Around Them

The “safe” you provide is just as important as the “sound” in your clients’ path to positive outcomes.

The SSP is delivered through an app-based platform, available on Android and iOS, that empowers therapist, clinicians, educators and healthcare providers to easily and conveniently provide this life-changing therapy.

Delivered either in-clinic or remotely, the client experiences the SSP through over-the-ear headphones conveniently connected to the Unyte-iLs app. The clinician manages client access and monitors listening on the MyUnyte Platform.

Many clinicians have noted results after one session, and after completion of the full program (which can be titrated based on individual client need and receptivity), the ability for their clients to better regulate and connect as a result of physiologically retuning their nervous system toward safety.

Help More Clients, Easily and Seamlessly

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Accessible
Listen to the SSP playlists anywhere, anytime on any Android or iOS device

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Flexible
Deliver the SSP in clinic or remotely using your own or your client’s device

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Control
Create and manage client accounts and invite clients by email

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Customizable
Assign who can listen to what playlists, and for how long they have access

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Attuned
View, track and accompany your clients’ listening; gain insights from their experience

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Easy
Intuitive app makes it easy to start, stop and pause listening

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Limitless
Create multiple client accounts to help many clients simultaneously

MyUnyte Digital Delivery

MyUnyte

Manage Clients and Programs Online

Easily set up each individual client’s program, manage, track and report on listening sessions, administer intake forms and assessments, and access a vast library of resources and training all from a central ‘hub.’

The Unyte-iLs App

Game-Changing Digital Delivery

The Unyte-iLs app allows you to easily deliver the SSP in clinic or remotely, enabling clients to access assigned programs and easily manage their listening directly from their phone or tablet.

Over-the-Ear Headphones

Ideal for Vagus Nerve Stimulation

Over-ear headphones are recommended for the best outcomes with the Safe and Sound Protocol. Providers may also combine listening with minor movement activities.

Training

Safe and Sound Protocol Training & Certification

SSP Training includes Foundational SSP Certification, which covers methodology and implementation of the SSP, and Remote SSP Certification.

Who it is for
A variety of professionals such as mental health professionals and occupational therapists can see the positive effects of the SSP in their practice.

Eligibility
Licensed clinical professional with a masters level degree or higher in your area of specialty. Prior to registration you will be asked for verification of your license/designation.

Length of training / Expected time to complete
Foundational SSP Certification (required for subscription): 3-5 hours
Remote SSP Facilitation (recommended supplemental guidance): 7-8 hours

Delivery of training

  • Online. On-demand.
  • Complete anytime. Anyplace. At your own pace.
  • Registration gives you unlimited access to the course as well as subsequent additions.

What to expect
Upon completion of the course, you will receive a Foundational SSP Certificate and Remote SSP Certificate, and are eligible to purchase an SSP subscription so you can start using this powerful intervention tool with your clients.

Course Details

The Foundational SSP Certification course includes three sections:
  • Part I: Understanding the science behind the SSP, includes instruction on Polyvagal Theory, the neural network associated with listening, the face-heart connection, research, and clinical trials.
  • Part II: Delivering the SSP includes training in safety and co-regulation, listening progression, special precautions, and the SSP Pathways
  • Part III: Integrating the SSP supports clinical delivery for unique disciplines and modalities and prepares providers for integration with their practice.
The Remote SSP Certification course includes four webinars:
  • Anchoring in Ventral with Deb Dana, LCSW
  • Autonomic Mapping with Deb Dana, LCSW
  • Remote SSP for Adults and Adolescents with Liz Charles, MD
  • Remote SSP for Children and Families with Tracy Stackhouse, OTR/L
Training modules each have a breadth of support resources and tools including:
  • Videos from Dr. Porges, Deb Dana, and other skilled clinicians working with diverse populations
  • Strategies for integrating the SSP with other therapeutic modalities
  • Case studies and quizzes
  • SSP delivery manuals
    • A Polyvagal Informed Guide to Delivering SSP to Those Who Experience the Effects of Trauma
    • Delivering SSP to Children and Adolescents
    • Remote Delivery Guidelines
Please note that the SSP Training does not include a subscription for the SSP. You can learn more about subscription offerings here.
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What Our Providers Have to Say:

“[The SSP] has allowed me to work with clients, children and adults, through a very short period of time and achieve results that normally would take me six months or more in a regular therapeutic process.

I see trust, I see connection, I see safety being kindled at a level that the therapeutic process can flow without barriers.”

— Ana do Valle, OTR, SEP

WATCH THE WEBINAR: Simplifying the SSP with Susanna Coss
Join Susanna Coss, Specialized Program Consultant, in an exploration of Dr. Porges’ Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) and how professionals can integrate it in their practice. Learn about the science behind the SSP, the training and certification we offer, how to use the MyUnyte platform to manage clients, and much more.

Access more useful resources here.

GET STARTED WITH THE SAFE AND SOUND PROTOCOL

Discover how the Safe and Sound Protocol can create lasting change for your clients.

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