Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP)

What is this therapy?

The SSP uses the auditory system (how we hear) and its connection to the nervous system (how we feel) to establish the brain and body’s ability to find states of calm, safety, and regulation. I use SSP as a complimentary resource for therapy.

Please note that this is NOT a stand-alone therapy. It opens us up, stabilizes and prepares the nervous system to do the hard work of therapy and growth.

The SSP is a 5 hour, evidenced-based, non-invasive treatment to help one regulate their nervous system (and improve social engagement, as well as physical and emotional regulation). It was created to reduce stress and anxiety using filtered music that exercises and challenges middle ear muscles).

The music is composed of altered vocal music (i.e., filtered). It is specially adapted to use the auditory pathway to access the neural network that manages autonomic nervous system regulation. For more information on how this works, please see page one of this document or visit: “Nourish and awaken the nervous system. Feel better. Think better. Connect better.”
This therapy is most successful when accompanied by other therapies, such as psychotherapy, occupational therapy or somatic experience therapy.

Get started with Safe & Sound Protocol therapy today

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Where does this take place?

Over ten or more days, you will listen to the filtered music offered via the Unyte-ILS app. This is done in 5-10 minute increments (to a maximum of 30 minutes/day). The length of time depends on how your nervous system manages the music.

While listening to the music helps to engage in a relaxing activity, such as coloring, stretching, puzzles, crafting (knitting, etc.). It is essential that you use over-the-ear headphones (that are not soundproof) and that you can keep the volume as low as is comfortable (and do not change it while listening). Not to worry, you will test the volume before each session.

While it is suggested that we do this over ten consecutive days, we work from a “less is more” policy. That means that if you’re feeling dysregulated or overwhelmed while listening to the music, it’s time for us to take a break. This is a Safe before Sound protocol, and it’s essential that you feel grounded before and throughout much of your session for us to maximize success!

Given the small increments of time (5-30 minutes), working with a therapist will not always be possible, and you will be listening to the music on your own at your convenience. However, to ensure that you’re feeling comfortable with the SSP at first, we will listen at first together.

​You can do this therapy from the comfort of your home.

How does this work?

We use modulated vocal and classical music to strengthen the neural network related to listening and this incredible nerve (the vagus nerve). Our vagus nerve (which, fun fact, means wanderer in Latin) is responsible for your body’s “rest, regulation, connection, and social engagement.” It also links the body to the brain!
When our vagus nerve is working well, we can regulate our thinking and feeling, and soften our sensations of stress, overwhelm and anxiety! However, when our vagus nerve is out of sorts, our body can’t regulate, and we can experience BIG emotions, misread cues, and have heightened experiences of stress, overwhelm and anxiety!

This video has a great description of SSP and how it works:

The SSP uses “three pathways” to connect to a person’s nervous system

Each has its unique approach, but the way we offer it is the same, through specially chosen, modulated music! It sounds odd, I agree! But these “pathways” have the power to restore our ability to find out calm!

  1. Connect
  2. Core
  3. Balance

Who is this therapy for?

This is for anyone who has experienced any sort of trauma (which if we are being honest is all of us!), anxiety, auditory hypersensitivity, inattention, behavioral dysregulation, difficulty with social communication, or who is need of preparation for therapy.
When I started exploring this option as a therapeutic tool for my clients, I was told that anyone with a nervous system (aka EVERYONE) could benefit. And truthfully, I agree. However, it’s particularly fantastic for folks working through: anxiety, trauma, super-sensitive hearing, inattention, BIG behaviors/emotions, challenges with communication and even sets the stage for folks wanting to get into therapy but need some grounding before they dive in. Some folks have even found that it works well for chronic pain, hormonal dysregulation and issues with digestion!

Anyone over 18 months of age can engage with this therapy.

Including adults!

Trauma has a significant impact on one’s nervous system. Many would argue that the experience of trauma IS a dysregulated nervous system. We might choose only to do the SSP in session together (and not on our own) to ensure safety. Again, this is a case-by-case situation, and I want my clients to feel safe and supported throughout the entire journey (that means before SSP, during SSP and after SSP).
If your world is very stressful, then this may not be the time for us to do this. Ideally, you’re in an okay space to manage your mental health as the SSP is a powerful tool that can increase your symptoms during and for the first 2-to 3 weeks following treatment. Adding increased stress to your nervous system can:

Are There Side Effects?

Many clients experience heightened emotions on hours 3, 4 & 5. We’re shifting and restoring a nervous system, so releases are bound to happen. Other side effects that you might see:

  • Clumsiness
  • Diarrhea or gastrointestinal issues
  • Increased aggression
  • Headaches (tension)
  • Increased anxiety
  • Heightened sensitivity to sound/light/emotions/sensations
  • Blurred vision
  • Heart palpitations
  • No improvement.
  • Ringing in the ears (Tinnitus)
  • Irritability and Explosiveness
  • Changes in the menstrual cycle
  • BIG emotion swings (lots of crying or frustration)
  • Fatigue or sleep disturbances
  • Vivid nightmares/dreams
  • Feeling spaced out / brain fog
  • Dizziness
How long does it last?

Like all good things, SSP takes time. It’s not a quick fix and works best alongside other therapies! We can expect changes to occur 2-7 weeks after treatment, and sometimes clients will repeat the therapy 2-3 more times, depending on the situation.

What does it cost?

At this time, I’m offering the SSP included for FREE with weekly 1:1 clients. For those who wish to only do the SSP, we offer it a la cart at $499 This price includes:

  • Initial consultation and evaluation session
  • Subscription for 30 days of the SSP
  • Access to the Unyte-iLs app, which will allow you to listen at home.
  • Set up and first session together
  • Unlimited email support
  • Once the listening is completed, we will also have one session to complete the evaluation and final assessment (and a plan for going forward).

My 6 year old has a language processing delay as well as ADHD. She has some anxiety too, but we wanted to try this program to help promote more balance and focus in her life. She first struggled to sit even 5 minutes calmly to listen – by end of week two she was asking to sit all on her own 15-20 minutes . I was blown away- never in the 6 years we have had her was she ever able to sit calmly for that long of a period of time. We noticed her reading was improving in school- and her therapy
sessions- because she was able to focus better on the material! She went through some testing recently and was getting 100 percent on all the material being taught in Kindergarten. I was really blown away!

Paisley's Experience

We have done this therapy 3 times now and each time we see improvements! Some of my son’s sensitivities seemed to be resurfacing with sensitivity to light. After this last round we saw a turnaround in this and he is now comfortable going out in the sun. He also was getting very ‘stuck’ on wearing certain shirts and telling me that shirts were bothering him. After a few days with SSP this began to fade thankfully and his flexibility returned. As a fun side effect that I wasn’t anticipating, language also improved within the weeks following the treatment and he started to talk about more abstract concepts out of nowhere! 

Luke's Experience

My ten year old is chronically anxious about everything in her life and struggles with executive dysfunction and getting needed tasks done. She also has a very hard time with her emotions. She was wanting to try herself to see if it would help her- within only a week of starting, she noticed a difference. She verbally was telling me how much less anxious she was- we saw how she was starting to better control her emotions and not always resort to crying immediately- fast forward a few weeks later and we have seen such a difference in her. She actually puts herself out there now, even auditioning for a role at school which she never would have done in the past. We are able to have many conversations now without it ending in crying or shutting down. I’m incredibly happy we gave this program a chance and would really recommend it to anyone who has a child who really is struggling with any type of emotional dysregulation.

Savannah's Experience

Olivia is very friendly and extremely engaging with my daughter. My daughter has a fear for doctors and nurses in general or even family members sometimes but the from the moment Olivia walk in I don’t think there’s any time where she cried or didn’t want to do her therapy. My daughter has progressed a lot in the little time span and that’s all thanks to the hard-work of Olivia.. She has a way to make feeding interesting and she takes her time with my daughter… I can’t recommend her enough…

Anisha Seewoo

Getting Started with Safe & Sound Protocol Therapy

If you’re experiencing trauma and anxiety, auditory hypersensitivity, inattention, behavioral dysregulation, or difficulty with social communication, SSP therapy may be the right fit for you. Schedule a consultation to get started.

We will talk about what’s bothering you, how we can help, and how you can get back to being the best version of you! Safe & Sound Protocol is not intended to be a standalone therapy, rather it is intended as a starting point to reduce the stress & anxiety and prepare us for the hard work of healing that lies ahead.

Chat with us today to begin your journey and give us a call with any questions you have about how we can help you heal!


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