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Dr Steven Porges'

Safe and Sound Protocol

Developed by Dr. Stephen Porges, the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is a 5-hour auditory intervention designed to reduce stress and auditory sensitivity while enhancing social engagement and resilience. Based on Dr. Porges’ Polyvagal Theory, by calming the physiological and emotional state, further therapy is enhanced or even accelerated.

SSP illustration.jpg
SSP illustration.jpg

Polyvagal theory

This non-invasive intervention uses prosodic vocal music that has been processed specifically to retune the nervous system (regulating state) to introduce a sense of safety and the ability to socially engage. This allows the client to better interpret not only human speech, but, importantly, the emotional meaning of language. Once interpersonal interactions improve, spontaneous social behaviours and an enhanced ability to learn, self-regulate and engage are often seen.

An individual's autonomic or physiological state is a factor affecting the ability to listen, to extract information, and to be social. Neuroception is a term used to describe the assessment of safety from cues in the environment and our viscera (bodily organs) that occurs outside our conscious awareness. Our behaviours are affected by our physiological state. Change in the physiological state allows for different adaptive behaviours to emerge, some of which are used to protect us and keep us safe (fight or flight) and others for social engagement.

The music is filtered to train the middle ear muscles to focus in on the frequency envelope of human speech. Once human speech is properly perceived, the portal to social engagement has been opened. You will find you are (or your child is) better able to interpret not only the meaning, but also the intent in conversations. And the sense of safety that is achieved by better understanding the fluctuations in human voice calms your (or your child’s) physiological state. Once your system has been primed and your state is calm, further therapy is enhanced and behavioural regulation is improved


The SSP is a research-based therapy showing significant results in the following areas:

  • Social and emotional difficulties

  • Auditory sensitivities

  • Anxiety and trauma related challenges

  • Inattention

  • Stressors that impact social engagement

Find more info here:

Calm Sea
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