Is Safe and Sound Protocol Right For You?

Is Safe and Sound Protocol Right For You?

In today’s fast-paced world, many people face challenges related to stress, anxiety, and sensory sensitivities that impact their ability to connect with others and navigate social interactions effectively. The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP), developed by Dr. Stephen Porges, offers a new approach to addressing these issues by harnessing the power of neurobiology and auditory intervention (sound) to promote social engagement and resilience. 

The Safe and Sound Protocol is a non-invasive auditory intervention designed to enhance social engagement, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being. At its core is the Polyvagal Theory, a neurobiological framework proposed by Dr. Stephen Porges, which emphasizes the role of the autonomic nervous system in regulating social behavior and physiological responses to stress.

Sorry, what? 

Ultimately, the SSP consists of a series of specially filtered music and sound frequencies delivered through headphones in five-hour-long listening sessions over the course of five days. These carefully designed auditory stimuli target the neural circuits involved in social engagement, calming the autonomic nervous system and promoting a sense of safety and connection.


Key features of Safe and Sound Protocol Therapy

  1. Neuroception: The SSP works by engaging the neuroceptive mechanisms of the autonomic nervous system, which continuously monitor cues of safety and danger in the environment. By providing specific auditory input that signals safety and social connection, the SSP helps recalibrate neuroception, fostering a sense of safety and trust in social interactions.
  2. Polyvagal Theory: Central to the SSP is the Polyvagal Theory, which posits that the autonomic nervous system has evolved to respond flexibly to environmental demands, shifting between states of social engagement, fight-or-flight, and shutdown. Through targeted auditory stimulation, the SSP activates the ventral vagal complex, the neural pathway associated with social engagement and relaxation, promoting feelings of calmness and connection.
  3. Individualized Approach: The SSP is tailored to each individual’s unique needs and sensitivities, allowing for personalized adjustments based on factors such as age, sensory preferences, and therapeutic goals. This individualized approach ensures that the intervention is safe, effective, and well-suited to the individual’s specific challenges and strengths.


Southwest Counselling Services offers the Safe and Sound Protocol as part of their comprehensive range of therapeutic interventions aimed at supporting our community in achieving their mental health and well-being goals. By incorporating the SSP into their practice, Southwest Counselling Services provides clients with access to a transformative intervention that addresses core challenges related to social communication, emotional regulation, and sensory sensitivities.

Through this modality, our clients often see: 

  • Improved Social Communication: By enhancing social engagement and reducing stress, the SSP can help individuals communicate more effectively, form deeper connections with others, and navigate social interactions with greater ease and confidence.
  • Emotional Regulation: The SSP promotes emotional regulation by soothing the autonomic nervous system and reducing physiological arousal. This can lead to a greater sense of calmness, resilience, and emotional stability, allowing individuals to cope more effectively with stressors and challenges in their daily lives.
  • Sensory Integration: Many individuals with sensory processing difficulties or sensory sensitivities experience significant improvements in sensory integration and tolerance after completing the SSP. The intervention helps regulate sensory processing, reducing sensory overload and enhancing sensory modulation abilities.


Ultimately, the Safe and Sound Protocol offered by Southwest Counselling Services provides a transformative approach to enhancing social engagement, reducing stress, and promoting overall well-being. Grounded in the principles of neurobiology and auditory intervention, the SSP is a safe, effective, and individualized solution for individuals seeking to overcome challenges related to social communication, emotional regulation, and sensory sensitivities.

Whether you’re seeking support for yourself, your child, or a loved one, Southwest Counselling Services is here to help you thrive and achieve your mental health goals.

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