Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)

Connect to your innate resilience and wellness with in-home nervous system support

Developed by Dr. Stephen Porges and based on Polyvagal theory, the Safe and Sound Protocol is a short-term listening intervention using the middle ear muscles/vagus nerve to shift the nervous system from defensive states (fight/flight/freeze/collapse) into more regulation. This “nervous system reboot” connects you to your social engagement system, which can have a range of positive effects: from intra/interpersonal (creating the conditions for deeper healing in psychotherapy, more openness to meaningful relationships in your life, increased clarity about your needs and boundaries), to health and wellbeing (sleep, mood/anxiety, digestion, reduced auditory sensitivities, increased focus etc.), and more.

Remote SSP access for non-clients

Available to those who have a current therapist and who are residents of Ontario.

Process includes phone consultation and SSP assessment to determine best pathway and frequency of listening for your nervous system, initial SSP listening/ Polyvagal Theory education/ somatic regulation session over video, remote access to SSP Connect/ Core/ Balance programs (5 hours of music each), daily support/monitoring while listening to the SSP.

Please contact me for more information about pricing, delivery and to explore whether the SSP could be supportive to you at this point in your life.

Other details: you access the SSP through an app and listen to it with over-the-ear headphones, preferably with a safe person in the room with you or online.

Remote SSP access and

psychotherapy

Contact me about joining my waitlist for somatic and nervous-system focused psychotherapy (SSP, Brainspotting, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and Trauma Informed Stabilization Trreatment) with a gender-affirming, queer-positive, anti-racist, anti-oppressive, sex positive lens.

If you are a current client, please ask me about how we might integrate the SSP into our work together.

People with the following features might benefit from using the SSP:

  • Social and emotional difficulties
  • Anxiety and trauma-related symptoms
  • Struggles with attention
  • Emotional reactivity
  • Auditory and other sensory sensitivities
  • Auditory processing difficulties
  • Difficulties in regulating physiological and emotional state/mood
  • Chronic pain and fatigue
  • Depression
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Gut/digestive issues
  • Low resilience to life stressors

The SSP exercises the neural pathways associated with regulating emotional/physiological state, which is an aspect of the Autonomic Nervous System. Just as the brain can change based on experience, so too can the nervous system. Physiological or emotional state is at the root of all behaviour. When you posses the ability to better regulate your state you are able to be more socially engaged in a range of situations (with family, friends, colleagues etc.), which can result in more ease in daily life. Having better state control can also improve therapeutic outcomes. Please visit the SSP Clinical Results and Case Study pages for examples of the kinds of results one can hope to experience by doing the SSP.

This video is a good starting place to understand the SSP. (I wish that I had a video to link with more racial and gender diversity represented.)
A good jumping off point for understanding the nervous system/Polyvagal theory. (Content warning for almost no racial diversity in this video and for not specifically naming racism as a major source of trauma and nervous system dysregulation. This video also comes across to some as equating babies crying with trauma- this issue is much more nuanced from a nervous system lens.) If you’d like to learn more about Polyvagal Theory, Deb Dana is a wonderful source of information – she has many videos on youtube.
This video shows a client testimonial regarding the SSP for trauma and anxiety. You can check the SSP website and youtube for more testimonials and videos. Please note that SSP practice delivery guidelines have shifted considerably since the filming of video – it is no longer delivered for one hour a day over the course of five days and there is substantial clinical evidence supporting that a much slower delivery of the intervention – particularly for those with developmental trauma histories – is more effective.

Lindsay Elin (she/her)

lindsayelinMSW@gmail.com