Stephen Porges designed the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) to reduce stress and sensitivity to sound. He first used the method to work with people who had learning difficulties. During 20 years of research, he discovered he could also use SSP to treat anxiety, stress and emotional resilience in general. In short, the safe and sound protocol learns the body to feel safe again. When the body feels safe, we feel like we can reach out to other people, think clearer and we’re back in control.
How Does the Safe and Sound Protocol Work?
We are happy to be the first to offer SSP In Belgium. The safe and sound protocol takes a minimum of five hours to complete. It reduces stress and auditory sensitivity. The protocol also improves social engagement and emotional resilience. Depending on your situation, it might take five 1-hour sessions to complete, or a higher number of shorter sessions. You set the pace, and together with your provider, you can work out your optimal rhythm.
You can follow SSP either at home or in our office in Brussels. In order to do SSP at home, all you need is a smart-phone and over-ear headphones. During the SSP sessions, you will listen to specially engineered tracks of music. At first, they might sound odd and a bit quiet. The music follows a limited range of frequencies that signal your nervous system you are safe and your body can return to a state of safety. The SSP is a research-based therapy that shows significant results in the following areas:
- Anxiety and trauma related challenges
- Auditory sensitiveness
- Stressors that impact social engagement
- Social and emotional difficulties
- Attention difficulties
The Safe and Sound Protocol and Polyvagal Theory
To explain the theory behind the safe and sound protocol in a few words, SSP tells the body “you are safe”. SSP does this through specially engineered music. Throughout the program, the music teaches your nervous system to shift states. So, if you struggle with anxiety, stress or have survived trauma, the protocol might help. In these situations the body is too often in a state of alertness. As a consequence, our body’s ‘default’ state might be one of (high) alertness or even dissociation. When we try to recover, SSP can help to teach our body to make ‘rest and digest‘ our new normal.
If you’re going through therapy to let go of the past and embrace the future, SSP can help your body to feel safe again. The safe and sound protocol is a complementary therapy. Therefor, you can perfectly combine it with more traditional therapy. If you want to read more on Polyvagal theory and sound therapy, read all about it here.
Why the Safe and Sound Protocol?
SSP helps to improve focus and attention.
We often get distracted by sounds around us. The SSP activates the neural network in charge of listening and reduces sensitivity to sound. By training what we pay attention to, we can improve focus and attention.
SSP makes it easier to learn and improves memory.
When we feel stressed or anxious, we struggle to think clearly. This is because when we are in an unbalanced state, our body struggles to access higher cognitive functions. The Safe and Sound Protocol balances your physiological and emotional state, making it easier to learn or recollect things.
SSP reduces auditory sensitivity.
The protocol trains our ear to pay attention to the important things, and focus less on distractions. When we are sensitive to background noise, it can make it more difficult to listen, or even to just be in a good mood. The protocol trains the ear to reduce background and harmful noises. It further helps us pay attention to the sounds that matters, like the voices of the people we care about.
SSP enhances emotional resilience.
Through direct stimulation of the nervous system, SSP balances the body’s physiology. The protocol guides us back to a state of rest and digest where we have the space to regulate our emotions and impulse control.
We’ll Be With You Every Step of the Way
Before we start SSP, you’ll be invited to fill in some questionnaires. This helps us to get an idea how to best help you. Afterwards, your answers can also be used to see how you have improved with SSP over time.
During the sessions, you’ll check in with your provider when you start. Or you might be asked how you have been doing. We encourage you to keep track of how you are feeling throughout the sessions, before and after. And if you need any help, or have any questions, we’ll be with you every step of the way.
After SSP, we’ll evaluate how you have improved. In order to consolidate your progress, you might be invited to repeat the SSP again three months after the first time. Throughout the whole process, you can continue any other form of therapy. If you are not currently doing any other form of therapy, you can always talk to us if anything might come up during the sessions.
Frequently Asked Questions SSP
If you have any questions about SSP, read our list of frequently asked questions by clicking on this link.
Read Experiences of Others
On the website of iLS, people have gathered case studies of people that have gone through SSP. You can read all about it on this website. If you want to read what other’s have experienced at Therapy Brussels, read our Hugs page!
Fees Safe and Sound Protocol
If you are interested and would like to know more on SSP, including the fee for the program, please contact us.
Contact Us for More Information or Book a Session
Research and More Information
If you haven’t read our general web page on sound therapy, read it here. Alternatively, you can find more information on the treatment on the website of iLS. You can also read the research on the treatment, and read more about PVT on Stephen Porges website and on the iLS website.
If you’re interested in sound therapy and you’re looking for something else than SSP, we suggest you have a look at Focus System.