The Safe & Sound Protocol

The Safe & Sound Protocol, or SSP, is an auditory music program developed to train the neural network associated with listening to help people regulate their nervous system more consistently and effectively.

SSP uses specially filtered music focused on the frequency range of the human voice to stimulate the vagus nerve, calm the physiological and emotional state, introduce a sense of safety, and help individuals improve their communication and social engagement.

SSP is a non-invasive application of Polyvagal Theory, based on decades of research and developed by Dr Stephen Porges. The SSP uses the auditory system as a portal to the vagus complex, which controls our physiological state. Once the physiological state is regulated, gains in subsequent therapy are accelerated.

SSP is a research-based intervention requiring listening to specially selected music that is designed to help the nervous system better receive, process, and respond to the cues and signals from the world around us. SSP must be completed in a quiet space to minimise external noise, using over-ear headphones, and the listening schedule (which your SSP practitioner will develop with you) can be completed over ten to 30 or more days.

Results from SSP have shown significant improvements in the following areas:

  • Auditory sensitivities
  • Anxiety and trauma-related challenges
  • Social and emotional difficulties
  • Inattention
  • Stressors that impact social engagement

Following successful completion of SSP, individuals will be better able to focus in school, therapy, and everyday life with a calmed emotional and physiological state.

SSP can be completed over ten to 30+ days and it is suitable to complete at home via the Unyte-iLS digital platform. SSP ranges from $450 to $600 depending on the music programs and time frame required.

An overview of the science of feeling safe, understanding our body’s response to the world around us, and Polyvagal Theory.

The Safe and Sound Protocol: bringing the science of safety to life from the bottom up.

Joanne McIntyre, director of Integrated Listening Australia, presents the Polyvagal Theory and the Safe and Sound Protocol at the 3rd Annual ACF Conference.

Read more about Dr Porges’ SSP research