Safe and Sound Protocol
The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is a powerful listening therapy designed to help regulate the nervous system, so you can better connect with yourself, others and the world around you. It is a non-invasive intervention that involves listening to music that has been processed specifically to retune the nervous system to introduce a sense of safety and the ability to socially engage without conflict.
Listening is connected with the vagus nerve, which is the main nerve involved in our automatic response to cues and signals from the world around us. Specially treated music helps ‘prime’ the nervous system by exposing it to different sound frequencies. Listening to this music through over-the-ear headphones helps the nervous system to more readily achieve balance, or “homeostasis.” , Often people say it helps them feel calmer. But for people who have a trauma background it helps them become more open to therapy.
Is SSP right for you?
People with the following features will most likely benefit from using the Safe and Sound Protocol.
People who find they react quickly to others and wish they didn’t, and often don’t know why
People who are very sensitive to loud noises or find it hard to hear in crowded places
People who often feel anxious with no known reason
People who suffer from inattention, lack of focus and ADHD
People with a trauma background
People who find their emotions and energy go up and down with no obvious explanation
People who have been unable to get benefit from previous attempts at therapy
The Core SSP consists of 5 hours of music. After the initial setting up appointments, you will begin by listening to the music while Melanie is present with you, to gauge your response and to work out the best schedule of listening for you. This could be anything from a few minutes every few days up to 15 mins per day. There is no limit as to how slow you can listen to the program, but there is a recommended maximum of 15 mins per day and for many people it is much less than this.
You will always listen to the first part of each hour in session with Melanie. Some people need their therapist available for the whole hour of listening over separate days. If deemed suitable, you can listen to the remainder of that hour in short segments each day in your own time outside of the therapy session. This will be discussed with you in your appointment.
In addition to listening to the SSP we map your nervous system and develop resources that you can use beyond therapy to regulate in times of challenge. If warranted, Flash Technique is also incorporated into these sessions.
The SSP is not a stand alone program and is offered as an adjunct to people in therapy. However, it is also offered by EMDR Voices Therapy as a solo therapy if you are receiving therapy or support elsewhere. This can be anywhere in Australia as long as you have access to a good internet connection, an email address and a smart phone. Please discuss this with your therapist first.
SSP is also offered in a group format in person – see here.
Requirements for SSP
- A laptop or desktop computer for the telehealth sessions in a private space where you will not be disturbed
- A smart phone so you can download the music and listen from your phone (while having the telehealth session on computer – you cannot do both on a phone at the same time)
- A set of over-the-ear headphones that have no noise-cancelling feature or it can be turned off.
SSP sessions are offered for 50 mins weekly or fortnightly (or sometimes more often) with the amount of listening time in that session determined by your nervous system’s response to the music. As everyone’s nervous system will respond differently it is not possible to determine this prior to the first listening session.
SSP sessions are $215 per session via telehealth.