Safe & Sound Protocol
Breathing Through Counseling & Wellness Services is proud to be offering the Safe & Sound Protocol.
The Safe & Sound Protocol is an auditory intervention developed by Dr. Stephen Porges that restores the nervous system, and is designed to reduce stress and auditory sensitivity while enhancing social engagement and resilience.
This intervention is evidence based – which means that it has been found through research to have a positive impact on individuals who participate in it. The Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP) is a result of Dr. Stephen Porges’ 40 years of research on the relationship between the autonomic nervous system, auditory sensitivities, and social emotional processes. The SSP is a 5-day sound-based intervention (using headphones) that has been found to calm physiological and emotional states. It was designed to reduce stress and auditory sensitivity and enhance social engagement and resilience by stimulating nervous system regulation through filtered music (i.e., a range of frequencies that exercise and systematically challenge the middle ear muscles). The music is computer altered vocal music (i.e. filtered music) designed to exaggerate the features of human prosody and to exercise the neural regulation of the middle ear muscles. The specially adapted music uses the auditory pathway as an access point to the neural network and, as a result, helps better regulate the autonomic nervous system and all its many functions. Through many trials the Safe & Sound Protocol has shown to increase emotional control, behavioral organization, and hearing sensitivity and listening.
This treatment is valuable for all ages and various disorders. These disorders include trauma, autism, anxiety, depression, and ADHD. Please note that the Safe & Sound Protocol is not intended as a stand alone treatment. It is best used in conjunction with ongoing mental health services or occupational therapy, based on the patient’s needs.
Below are introductory videos explaining the Safe & Sound Protocol; as well as, a deeper look at the science behind it.
What is involved in Treatment?
This method can be administered in-person or remotely. However, your therapist will evaluate your individual situation and discuss which method would be most appropriate for your needs.
In- person Treatment
You will meet with the therapist for an assessment session. In this session the therapist will discuss the concerns that you are hoping to overcome, review the autonomic nervous system, and explain the specifics regarding treatment sessions. After completing the assessment session the patient will be scheduled for 5 consecutive days of sessions that can last up to 75 mins. During your sessions you will engage in a relaxing activity or simply rest and relax, while listening to the processed music over headphones for one hour. The therapist will be available for questions, support, and feedback during your session. Although the protocol was created with the intention of 5 days of 1 hr sessions, we understand that each nervous system is different and this may not be feasible for everyone. During your assessment session; as well, as subsequent sessions you and the therapist may decide that an alternative schedule is needed.
The parent(s) will meet with the therapist for an assessment session where the therapist will discuss the concerns regarding the child, review the autonomic nervous system with the parents, and discuss the specifics regarding the treatment sessions. After completing the assessment session with the parents, the therapist will meet with the child for a 30 minute session without music to allow the child to become acquainted with the therapist. During this session the therapist will also be explaining how the sessions will work to the child. The child will then be scheduled for 10 appointments: 5 consecutive days of sessions, a two day break, then the next 5 consecutive days. For children the listening portion of the sessions last for 30 minutes each day. The sessions can last up to 45 minutes depending on how well the child is able to settle in. Breaking up the days in this manner allows for the child’s nervous system to not become overloaded. During their sessions the child will engage in relaxing activities and play. The therapist will be there to support and assist the child in regulation throughout their session.
As previously mentioned we understand that each nervous system is different and this time frame may not be feasible for each child. The schedule can be altered if needed.
Remote sessions will begin with a telehealth assessment session. In this session the therapist will discuss the concerns that you are hoping to overcome, review the autonomic nervous system, and explain the specifics regarding treatment sessions. Therapist will review the specific downloadable app needed and the type of headphones. It will be the client’s responsibility to obtain the needed supplies. The client and therapist will create a schedule of listening times that the patient is able to commit to and schedule two check-in sessions after Day 3 and Day 5 of the protocol.
Fees vary depending on the type of intervention needed (ie- adult/child/remote/in-person). Please contact Breathing Through Counseling & Wellness Services for a quote based on your individual needs.
More information about the Safe & Sound Protocol can be found at: