What is the Safe and Sound Protocol?

The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is a therapeutic intervention developed by Dr. Stephen Porges, the scientist who developed Polyvagal Theory.

The SSP helps individuals with sensory processing difficulties, autism spectrum disorders, anxiety, and trauma-related issues by enhancing their ability to engage in social interactions and regulate their autonomic nervous system.

The primary goal of the Safe and Sound Protocol is to stimulate and exercise the “smart vagus” or social engagement system. It involves listening to specially filtered music that has been modified to emphasize specific frequencies found in human speech and to reduce frequencies associated with threat cues. This special music is experienced through headphones during therapy sessions and is used for children, teens, and adults.

Here’s how the SSP generally works:

  • Assessment: Before starting, an individual’s auditory system is assessed to determine sensitivity to specific frequencies and how they are being processed.

  • Listening sessions: during therapy, the individual listens through headphones for a prescribed number of minutes. The therapist may lead the client to talk or do other therapeutic activities while the music plays.

  • Progress monitoring: the therapist monitors responses and adjusts the program as needed based on reactions.

Through the use of this modified auditory input, the nervous system can be re-tuned to better process social cues, reduce hypersensitivity to certain frequencies, and improve the client’s ability to engage in social interactions. Feeling safer and more connected to others may also reduce feelings of anxiety and stress. 

To schedule a consultation or SSP session with Miranda Thornton, please call 770-771-6900.

Safe and Sound Protocol

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To schedule a safe and sound session, please call our office today.