Safe & Sound Protocol

This is an evidence-based “portal to the Social Engagement System” developed over 4 decades of peer-reviewed research by the founder of Polyvagal Theory, Dr Stephen Porges. Safe and Sound Protocol is a passive pathway intervention that boosts or accelerates the effectiveness of other active pathway therapies, including psychotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and physical therapy. 

​​Developed by Dr. Stephen Porges and based on the Polyvagal Theory, the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is a five-day, one-hour per day auditory intervention designed to reduce stress and auditory sensitivity while enhancing social engagement and resilience.  The intervention uses prosodic vocal music that has been filtered to train the middle ear muscles to focus in on the frequency found in human speech.  Once human speech is properly perceived, the portal to social engagement has been opened.  SSP assists in calming the physiological and emotional state which leads to improved communication and more successful therapy.

The SSP stimulates the middle ear muscles in a unique way that helps re-regulate the Social Engagement nervous system via a complex of cranial nerves that help regulate our state of autonomic arousal. The SSP program, which is facilitated by qualified and certified professionals, employs a practical bottom-up approach to help people regulate their nervous system more consistently and independently. The SSP has proven results with emotional regulation, behavioral organization, and hearing sensitivity and listening.
The SSP is a research-based therapy showing significant results in just five days in the following areas:

  • Complex and developmental trauma
  • Social and emotional difficulties
  • Attachment disorder
  • Auditory sensitivities and auditory processing challenges (Including Hyperacusis and Misophonia)
  • Anxiety and trauma related challenges 
  • Inattention
  • Stressors that impact social engagement   

At Thrive Therapy Houston the Safe and Sound Protocol is provided by a certified SSP practitioner in office, or there is an in-home option that can be explored as well. 

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