The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)


What is the
Safe & Sound Protocol?

The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is an evidence informed intervention developed by Dr. Stephen Porges. It is the culmination of years of research on the nervous system and behavioral symptoms based on Porge’s Polyvagal Theory. The SSP is an auditory intervention designed to reduce stress, anxiety, and auditory sensitivity while enhancing social engagement and resilience. While not a stand-alone therapy, when applied as a stabilization strategy in the context of an evidence-based treatment, it can accelerate a client’s progress. 


This research based protocol shows significant results in the following areas:

  • Social and emotional difficulties

  • Auditory sensitivities

  • Anxiety and trauma related challenges

  • Inattention

  • Stressors that impact social engagement


The SSP focuses on improving the ability to process human speech, and to calm the automatic nervous system so the individual can become more regulated, focused, and engaged. A calm nervous system supports healthy growth, behavior and development.


SSP research demonstrates significant improvement in: hearing sensitivity, spontaneous speech, listening and following instructions, behavioral organization, emotional control, regulation of heart rate by the vagus nerve, spontaneous social behaviors such as sharing, playing, and showing affection.


Clinical experience also demonstrates improvement in: learning, response to other therapies, sleep patterns, as well as anxiety and response to emotional stressors. Pain sensitivity may also be reduced.


The program is delivered in person or virtually, in a quiet environment. Specially filtered music, designed to train the ear muscles to better perceive the human voice, is played through headphones for up to one hour over consecutive days. The program may be tailored to the individual’s needs and tolerance. The program involves a total of five cumulative hours of treatment.