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  • Writer's pictureJen Meller

What is the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)?

what is safe and sound protocol

Chances are, you probably enjoy listening to music in your day-to-day life. But what if it could actually repair your nervous system and strengthen your mind-body connection? With SSP, it can.

SSP, or the Safe and Sound Protocol, is a revolutionary therapeutic technique that helps people access their innate ability to heal. Through the evidence-based power of specially filtered and curated music, you can feel results from SSP in just a few sessions.

In this post, I’ll break down the basics of:

  • What SSP is,

  • What techniques are used in an SSP session,

  • Who SSP can help, and

  • Potential benefits of SSP.

Let’s dive in.


How does the Safe and Sound Protocol work?

SSP was developed by psychologist and neuroscientist Dr. Stephen Porges. It’s informed by his extensive research into polyvagal theory, which focuses on the role of the nervous system in our mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

Through methods like SSP, polyvagal theory empowers people to take charge of their wellness and use tangible skills to access their parasympathetic nervous system, the branch of the nervous system responsible for producing a sense of calm. 

In the Safe and Sound Protocol, participants listen to music that contains specific frequencies that have been shown to stimulate the vagus nerve. Through this process of stimulation, participants can regulate their nervous systems and cultivate a sense of safety and calm in their own bodies.


What happens in an SSP session?

Before beginning any type of therapeutic treatment (including SSP), your practitioner will ask you questions about the challenges you’re facing and what you hope to gain from working together. This will help clarify if SSP or other approaches are a good fit for your specific situation.

If you and your practitioner choose to move forward with using SSP, you’ll engage in listening sessions with the specially curated music from the protocol. Typically, listening sessions are one hour long and take place over the course of five days.

Often, your practitioner will integrate other healing modalities into your therapeutic work. As an SSP practitioner myself, I’ve seen the benefits of incorporating this approach alongside other mind-body techniques like somatic experiencing, Dynamic Attachment Re-patterning experience (DARe), and more. 

You can learn more about me and about the methods I’m trained in here.


person practicing ssp

Who is SSP for?

The Safe and Sound Protocol can help a wide range of different people. However, you may be an especially good candidate for SSP if you resonate with any of the following symptoms or experiences.

  • Anxiety. Feelings of worry, panic, and overwhelm all translate to a dysregulated nervous system. SSP can help you soothe your frazzled nervous system and find a sense of calm.

  • Trauma. When we live through a traumatic event, our bodies feel the effects. In fact, trauma can physically alter the functioning of our nervous system. With SSP, you can begin to reprogram the way your nervous system responds.

  • Sleep problems. Physical and mental health go hand-in-hand. If you struggle with sleep problems, this could be a sign that your nervous system isn’t properly regulated when it’s time to relax. SSP can help you tap into the soothing capabilities of your parasympathetic nervous system.

  • Chronic pain. Similarly, people with chronic pain can benefit from SSP. Some forms of pain, such as neuroplastic pain, are caused by the brain misinterpreting signals from our body. SSP allows you to find safety and regulation, which can help ease some types of pain. Learn more about pain in my blog post here.

  • Challenges with emotional regulation. If you experience mood swings or emotional highs and lows that make you feel out of control, consider SSP to help you feel more grounded.

  • Anyone interested in wellness. You don’t need specific symptoms or problems to benefit from SSP. The soothing properties of SSP can help anyone feel calmer, which can then open up your ability to foster a spiritual practice, learn more about yourself, or dive into deeper therapeutic processing.

Interested in SSP but not sure if it’s the right fit? Schedule a free connect call with me to find out more. 


How can the Safe and Sound Protocol help?

Since SSP can be applied in several different ways, it has many potential benefits. Here are just a few of the ways it may be able to help you.

  • Increase emotional regulation abilities. Through specialized stimulation, SSP helps people switch from fight or flight mode into rest and repair mode, strengthening their ability to regulate their emotions as well as uncomfortable bodily sensations.

  • Improve your relationships. A regulated nervous system is more open to connection. By helping you feel more grounded, you’ll be more likely to find a sense of safety in yourself and others. 

  • Heal from trauma. As we discussed earlier, experiencing trauma can alter the way our nervous system responds to cues in our internal and external environments. SSP consciously regulates our nervous systems, strengthening atrophied healing pathways.

  • Support ongoing healing. It’s difficult to do deep emotional processing when you’re in a state of fight or flight. It may even be retraumatizing to do so. SSP can get you to a place of calm, enabling you to do further therapeutic work.

Keep in mind that these are just some of the ways that SSP can help. As a cutting-edge treatment, further research is likely to show even more ways that SSP can be applied. If you’re not sure where SSP can help you, you can reach out to discuss your situation with me directly. 


person on couch

Find nervous system healing with the help of an SSP practitioner. 

If you’re feeling burned out, constantly on edge, or want to explore a new approach to healing, consider SSP. In my work as an SSP practitioner, I’ve seen how transformative it can be both on its own and when used in conjunction with other therapeutic approaches. 

Not sure if SSP is the right fit for you, or curious about what other healing methods might be able to help you? I invite you to schedule a complimentary connect call. Here, we can discuss your unique situation and you can get a sense of whether my practice is the right fit for your needs and goals.


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