Is it just me or is everything too much these days? Sometimes I wish I could just rewind back to 1995.

Between work, social media, chronic health issues and family responsibilities, our nervous systems can get stuck in overdrive. But what if you could hit a reset button and find some calm in the chaos? We can’t teleport back to the 90’s, but we CAN harness the power of the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP).

SSP therapy is a refreshing reboot for your nervous system, helping to restore balance and manage life’s challenges more effectively.

Wanna learn more? Let’s dive into the benefits, pitfalls and common questions about the Safe and Sound Protocol. It’s a game-changer you don’t want to miss.

What is the Safe and Sound Protocol?

The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP), sometimes referred to as SSP therapy, is a non-invasive auditory intervention designed to enhance the regulation of the nervous system.

In simple terms: it’s filtered music that you listen to through special headphones to help soothe your nervous system.

Dr. Porge’s Safe and Sound Protocol

Dr. Stephen Porges, a renowned researcher and professor in neuroscience, is the mastermind behind the Safe and Sound Protocol. This innovative therapy is rooted in Dr. Porges’ Polyvagal Theory – a ground-breaking idea that reveals how our nervous system influences our emotions and social interactions through various neural pathways. His work helps us understand why we feel the way we do and how we can better manage our emotional responses.

Benefits of The Polyvagal Safe and Sound Protocol

The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is a flexible and powerful therapy that can make a big difference in the way we show up in life. Here’s some of the ways it can help:

  • Easing auditory hypersensitivity
  • Reducing anxiety
  • Enhancing social engagement
  • Improving emotional regulation
  • Boosting auditory processing
  • Increasing focus and attention

The best part? SSP is for everyone. It can help both children and adults better regulate their nervous system responses, leading to feelings of safety and balance in everyday life.

How Does The Safe and Sound Protocol Work?

The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) involves listening to specially designed (and fun!) music that’s been acoustically tweaked to engage the middle ear muscles. This muscle engagement stimulates the vagus nerve, which helps regulate the autonomic nervous system. By training the middle ear muscles, SSP therapy improves how your nervous system responds to cues of safety and danger. The result? Enhanced emotional well-being and resilience. Pretty clever, right?

Who Should Try SSP Therapy?

What makes the Safe and Sound Protocol so awesome, is that it’s designed to help everyone. Both kids and adults can benefit from the program, and you can even choose from different playlists to suit your listening tastes (and yes, there are some Taylor Swift bangers on there). The program is ideal if you are dealing with nervous system dysregulation and its related conditions like:

  • Anxiety
  • Auditory hypersensitivity
  • Trauma
  • Attention difficulties
  • Social engagement challenges
  • Sensory overwhelm

So whether you’re a parent wanting to help your child or just someone looking to feel like themselves again, SSP is well worth a shot.

Is the Safe and Sound Protocol Free?

You might find some free resources about SSP online, but the actual therapy does come with a fee. This cost covers the expertise of trained professionals, personalized listening plans, and sometimes access to specialized equipment needed for the therapy.

It’s an investment in your well-being with the support and guidance to make the most out of the program.

Safe and Sound Protocol Criticisms: Are They Valid?

My only criticism of the Safe and Sound Protocol is that there is no Bon Jovi on the playlist. Unyte – if you’re reading – get some Jovi on there.

In all seriousness, like any new approach, the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) has its critics. Some skeptics say there’s not enough solid evidence to fully back its claims. However, research on SSP is ongoing, and many people have shared amazing success stories. As the therapy becomes more popular, we can expect more comprehensive studies to confirm its effectiveness.

My only other personal criticism of the program – and seemingly the experience of some others is in the delivery of the program.

Like with any therapy, it can be difficult to find a practitioner that truly ‘gets your stuff’. When this happens you may find yourself without sufficient support throughout the program, or worse still, rushed through the listening schedule at a speed that is not appropriate for you. Not fun.

It’s worth shopping around to find the perfect practitioner – especially if your symptoms are not run of the mill.

Finding a Safe and Sound Practitioner Near Me

To get started with the Safe and Sound Protocol, you must work with a trained and certified practitioner. A great resource for finding SSP practitioners near you is the Integrated Listening Systems (iLs) website. This ensures you’ll get the proper guidance and support throughout your therapy journey.

And guess what? You don’t need to visit a practitioner in person. Most SSP practitioners will happily work with you remotely if that suits your situation.

Safe and Sound Protocol Side Effects

For most people, the Safe and Sound Protocol is well-tolerated with minimal side effects. However, some might experience temporary discomfort, changes in emotions, or heightened awareness as the nervous system adjusts. These effects are usually short-lived and typically show that your body is responding positively to the therapy.

For those of us with highly sensitive nervous systems, the key to managing side effects is in the pacing of the program, and the support you receive alongside it. I cannot stress enough how crucial it is to go slow if you need to, and have someone who you can co-regulate with.

A good practitioner should be able to guide you through any challenging side effects and help you adjust your listening program as needed.

Can You Do The Safe and Sound Protocol at Home?

This is decided on a case-by-case basis. While you can absolutely do the SSP at home with guidance from a practitioner, some clients might benefit more from in-person, supervised sessions.

This will typically depend on the level of safety and support available to you at home.

Does The Safe and Sound Protocol Work?

While individual experiences may vary, many people have seen great results in emotional regulation, social engagement, and overall well-being – myself included. With more research on the way, we’ll soon have an even clearer picture of SSP’s long-term effects and benefits.

Safe and Sound Protocol for Autism

The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) has shown great promise in helping individuals with autism spectrum disorders. By promoting nervous system regulation and aiding in sensory processing, SSP can potentially enhance social awareness, and sensory communication skills.[*]

How To Regulate Your Nervous System With SSP Therapy

The magic of SSP is its ability to calm and reset your nervous system. By stimulating the vagus nerve through the middle ear muscles, SSP can help your body feel safe and relaxed. This not only improves your mood but also makes it easier to handle life’s ups and downs with more resilience.

What Does The Safe and Sound Protocol Cost?

The cost of the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) can vary based on location, practitioner experience, and the length of therapy. Yes, it is a financial commitment, but many people and families find the benefits well worth the investment in their well-being.

On a personal note – after spending literally thousands on different treatments and therapies, I can confidently say that the Safe and Sound Protocol is worth every penny.

Is the Safe and Sound Protocol For Adults as Well as Children?

A quick Googling might make it seem like SSP therapy is mainly for children, but the beauty of the Safe and Sound Protocol is that it’s for everyone. Whether you’re an adult looking to ease stress and anxiety or a child working on sensory integration, SSP offers a holistic approach to nervous system regulation and growth.

Where Do I Buy Safe and Sound Protocol Headphones?

To get the most out of SSP, you’ll need headphones to listen to the specially modified music. These must not be noise-cancelling headphones. They should just be a good-quality pair of old-fashioned, over the ear headphones. Like your dad used to plug into his boom box.

You can buy these headphones on the iLs website, or check out our personal favorites here.

Learn More About SSP

RegulateCo are about to get SSP qualified! If you want to learn more about how we may be able to help you, hear about our personal experiences with the Safe and Sound Protocol, or register your interest in working with us – just drop us a message over on our contact page. We’d love to hear from you!

SSP offers a roadmap to nervous system regulation and emotional well-being. By using music to stimulate the vagus nerve, the Safe and Sound Protocol can bring about positive changes for both kids and adults – one carefully orchestrated pop song at a time


  • Emma Clark, BA (Hons) - Author

    Emma Clark holds a BA (Hons). She cut her marketing teeth in the health and dieting niche before co-founding Regulate Co. She has an unhealthy obsession with Bon Jovi, aspires to own 1000 guinea pigs, and feels best in the sunshine with an ice cream in hand.


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Our website, resources, and advice are offered as guidance, drawing from our personal experiences and research, and reviewed by experts and medical professionals. However, they should never be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with a qualified medical professional for any health-related concerns, symptoms, or conditions you may have.