The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)
What is the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP), and why is it important?
Safe and Sound Protocol is a five-day intervention designed to improve social communication by regulating our physiological state, and enhancing our ability to process human speech.
When working with pre-school children, we want to improve their chances of assimilating information in a formal setting. SSP can be used as pre-school tool for neuro-typical children, to give them a head start, or children of pre-school or school age, to help reduce anxiety and foster a calmer, happier child.
Based on Dr. Porges’ Polyvagal Theory, the program is derived from nearly four decades of research on the relationship between the autonomic nervous system and social-emotional processes. It is designed to reduce stress and auditory sensitivity, while enhancing social engagement and resilience.
SSP stimulates nervous system regulation by exercising, and systematically challenging, the auditory system with specifically processed music. This retunes the nervous system (regulating state) to introduce a sense of safety, and an increased ability to engage socially.
SSP Summary from Dr. Stephen Porges
How can SSP help children?
SSP can help children in three key areas of development:
SSP is a portal to the Social Engagement System, and can have powerful effects on how an individual interacts with the world. For example, better eye contact and facial expressivity, improved understanding of speech, better emotional control, more reciprocal interactions, and increased emotional expressivity, among others.
By improving the ability to assess safety in social situations, SSP helps individuals to activate a parasympathetic state by minimizing mental and emotional stress. Improving this state promotes behavioural regulation.
Sensitivity to sound is a prevalent symptom in a number of disorders. Individuals who experience sound sensitivity may respond negatively to unexpected or loud noises, become distracted or disturbed when there is a lot of or continuous background noise, and/or find it difficult to extract the frequencies of human speech from background noise. With SSP, we have seen significant improvements on the SCAN-3 (a measure of auditory processing), specifically on the Filtered Words and Competing Words subtests. These respectively assess the ability to decipher human speech from background sounds and to hear equally from both ears.
Where is it delivered?
The course duration is five days, spending up to an hour for each session. This course is completed in a one-to-one therapy setting, either in your home or in our centre in Greater London. We can suggest local accommodation for those travelling to do this course. Alternatively, the system can sent by courier to any location in the UK with daily consultations with the parents.
What should I do next?
If you are interested in joining an SSP programme, or are just interested in learning more, then:
What other tools does Raviv Practice London have for children at pre-school level or individuals at this developmental level?
There are plenty of other tools to remove stress and anxiety, and nurture the development of better motor coordination for learning readiness, which are an excellent follow-on from SSP. For example, Listening Therapy (iLS) or Reflex Integration Therapy.