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Treating Trauma and PTSD

Understanding trauma and PTSD

Trauma is the response to a deeply distressing or disturbing event that overwhelms an individual’s ability to cope, causes feelings of helplessness, diminishes their sense of self and their ability to feel a full range of emotions and experiences. While there are no objective criteria to evaluate which events will cause post-trauma symptoms, circumstances typically involve the loss of control, betrayal, abuse of power, helplessness, pain, confusion and/or loss.

When symptoms of trauma last more than a month and seriously affect the person’s ability to function, the person may be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Symptoms of PTSD can escalate to panic attacks, depression, suicidal thoughts and feelings, drug abuse, feelings of being isolated and not being able to complete daily tasks.

How Can We Help?

Book a call with one of our specialized consultants to learn more about how Unyte-iLs programs can help enhance Trauma and PTSD treatments in the clinic or at home.

Treatment Plans for PTSD and Trauma

Most trauma-informed therapists will deliver a combination of treatments and theoretical approaches when working with individuals experiencing trauma or PTSD. Some examples include cognitive therapy, exposure therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), stress inoculation training, mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), yoga, meditation, family systems, and inner child work.

But experiencing trauma can push the nervous system into a chronic state of defense (fight or flight, freeze or shutdown). In this state, the individual seeking treatment for trauma symptoms or PTSD may not be able to easily turn off their nervous system’s perception and interpretation of stimuli as threatening, including stimuli experienced during treatment. This could potentially limit the efficacy of these therapies or prolong treatment.

The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is an adjunct therapy designed to ease the nervous system out of this defensive state and into a regulated state of feeling safe and calm. In this regulated state, the nervous system is better able to participate in treatment, potentially improving its efficacy and carryover into daily life.

How the Safe and Sound Protocol Works

The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is a practical application of Polyvagal Theory that uses specially treated music to help regulate the nervous system. The SSP uses the auditory system and its direct connection to the nervous system to help calm the body’s physiological response to stress. By reducing the body’s defense response, people experiencing trauma or PTSD can be more available to participate in other types of therapy.

Close-up of headphones connected to a smart phone on a wooden background, selective focus

The SSP is delivered in several listening sessions as a 5-hour auditory intervention program that is guided by a certified health professional. Research has shown that the SSP can have significant results in the following areas:

  • Anxiety and trauma related challenges
  • Social and emotional difficulties
  • Stressors that impact social engagement
  • Auditory sensitivities
Client laying on a couch and listening to SSP or Focus

Applying the SSP in Your Practice

Developed by Dr. Stephen Porges and based on Polyvagal Theory, the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is an adjunct therapy intended to be integrated within a holistic approach to mental health treatment. The SSP can be used to support clinicians in a range of mental health practices, including: trauma counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists, physicians, psychiatrists, occupational therapists, certified autism specialists, substance use and addiction counselors and more.

This program can be administered in-clinic, or remotely through a digital delivery platform. Speak to a consultant about integrating the Safe and Sound Protocol into your practice.

The SSP For Families and Individual Use

The Safe and Sound Protocol is administered by certified clinician and is not intended for unsupervised use by families or individuals. If you are interested in applying the Safe and Sound Protocol as part of a treatment for yourself or a family member, get in touch with us to discuss your options.

We can help onboard your existing therapist to the SSP if you are already working with one; connect you to an SSP certified therapist if you are not working with anyone; or in many cases we can work with you directly.

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How Can We Help?

Book a call with our specialized consultants to learn more about how Unyte-iLs programs can help enhance trauma and PTSD treatments in the clinic or at home.

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Unyte-iLs programs are adjunct therapies intended to be integrated within a holistic approach to sensory, physical, cognitive, and/or mental health treatment.
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