The Brain Training Centre is pleased to offer the Safe and Sound protocol. This auditory program was developed by Stephen Porges, "Distinguished University Scientist" at the Kinsey Institute. The protocol can help alleviate the symptoms associated with sensory integration and arousal issues.
Many individuals suffering from autism, anxiety, PTSD, and a range of other issues have found enormous benefit from this simple protocol. It is simple, non-invasive, and can be used by individuals of any age.
WHAT IS THE SAFE AND SOUND PROTOCOL (SSP)?
Developed by Dr. Stephen Porges, the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is a five-day 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 the door is opened for improved communication and more successful therapy.
The SSP is a research-based therapy showing significant results in just five days in the following areas:
Social and emotional difficulties
Anxiety and trauma related challenges
Stressors that impact social engagement
Emotional and physiological state are critical to how we approach the task at hand. When we have better state control, not only can we be more socially engaged, but we are more open to therapy.
Better state regulation improves therapeutic outcomes.
This non-invasive intervention involves listening to 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 individual 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.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The SSP uses the auditory system as a portal to the vagus complex, which controls our physiological state. Once physiological state is regulated, we can accelerate or enhance subsequent therapy.
Based on Dr. Porges’ Polyvagal Theory, the program is derived from nearly four decades of research on the relationship between the autonomic nervous system and social-emotional processes. It is designed to stimulate nervous system regulation by exercising and systematically challenging the auditory system with specifically processed music.
The music trains the auditory pathways by focusing on the frequency envelope of human speech. As the client learns to process these speech-related frequencies, they improve the functioning of two cranial nerves that are important for promoting overall social behavior.
Cranial Nerve VII (Facial Nerve) helps clients focus on human voice and tune out irrelevant frequencies. Cranial Nerve X (Vagus Nerve) enables self-soothing and autonomic regulation.
Following successful completion of the intervention, individuals will be better able to focus in school, work, therapy, and everyday life and experience a calmed emotional and physiological state. This is based on studies that suggest that skills such as attention, state regulation and the ability to engage socially will be enhanced. Click here to read more research.
A THERAPEUTIC MODEL BASED ON PHYSIOLOGICAL STATE
The purpose of the Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP) is to initiate and access a physiological state conducive to well-being, positive engagement with others, and growth in learning and therapy.
Rooted in his Polyvagal Theory, Dr. Stephen Porges created the SSP to help people learn to attain a grounded state where they feel safe, connected, calm and social.
By helping to access a calm and grounded state, the SSP promotes a neural platform for health, growth and restoration.
Dr. Stephen W. Porges is a Distinguished University Scientist at the Kinsey Institute, Indiana University and a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
The SSP is best used together with other therapies such as neurofeedback and psychological counselling. The changes you see can potentiate neuroplasticity and functional change from subsequent therapy modalities.
Changes from the SSP can be cumulative and will be enhanced by the social support the client receives and the learning opportunities they are presented. While you may notice some very positive changes while using the SSP, it is not meant to be used in isolation.
Research for the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)
1. The SSP increased vagal regulation of the heart and normalized auditory processing in children with ASD. (Read here.)
2. The SSP enhanced social behavior in children with ASD. (Read here.)
3. Using the SSP with children who have experienced trauma. Funded by the Australian Childhood Foundation. (Read here.)
4. Assessing the effects of the SSP on behavioral regulation in children and adults with ADD/ADHD. In cooperation with: ADD Centre and Biofeedback Institute of Toronto. (Read here.)
5. Assessing the effects of the SSP on improvement of social and regulation behaviors in individuals with PWS. In addition, a new methodology for collecting and evaluating vocal samples for analyses of prosody will be assessed. (Read here.)
6. Determining if the SSP can decrease the atypical features of the Social Engagement System in adolescents and young adults with Prader Willi Syndrome. In cooperation with the Latham Centers School in Brewster, Massachusetts. (Read here.)
7. Examining the effects of the SSP on chronic pain in older adults. In cooperation with the Meadowood Retirement Community in Bloomington, Indiana. (Read here.)