safe and sound protocol, UNYTE, ILS

safe and sound protocol, Unyte, ILS

Body-Mind Healing through Music-Sound Therapy

Benefits of the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)

Developed by Dr. Stephen Porges, based on his research and Polyvagal Theory, the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is a five-hour therapeutic music listening therapy designed to reduce stress, support emotional regulation and neuroception (i.e. sense of safety), calm the nervous system, decrease anxiety, increase positive energy, raise resilience and improve overall mental health. Adults and children report reduced stress and anxiety, improved ability to self-regulate, improved focus, improved sleep, and enhanced social engagement.

The Safe and Sound Protocol can address sensory processing disorders, HSP, post-traumatic stress disorders, anxiety disorders, ADHD, sleep disorders, and other overactive or underactive mental and emotional states. Children or adults can become more social, engaged and responsive to their own emotional needs. The Safe and Sound Protocol is specially processed music (classical or popular options) that regulates the vagus nerve and autonomic nervous system to lessen the “fight, flight or freeze” reaction response. We see this response in social anxiety, chronic blushing and sweating, emotional over-reactions, and other emotional and mental stress responses.

The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) music is designed to stimulate the vagus nerve, which is responsible for calming the nervous system. SSP is meant to complement counseling or psychotherapy, though may be used with some coaching clients with well-regulated nervous systems to enhance mental and emotional health.

For more information, listen to these two videos:
Unyte-iLs: Safe and Sound Protocol on YouTube
SSP video testimonial by a therapist on TikTok

Process and use of the Safe and Sound Protocol

The Safe and Sound Protocol involves listening to a total of five hours of specially processed music. The latest research suggests it is usually best done in 30 minute increments, over the period of approximately 2-4 weeks (considering many variables unique to each client). Previously SSP therapists were offering the whole program an hour at a time in as short as 5 days. This is no longer recommended. Research and experience supports a “slower is better” approach that I use.

We usually begin the first few sessions together on Zoom. The Unyte-iLs app makes the SSP program easily accessible by being downloaded on any smartphone or tablet. This allows the program to be accessed at home or anywhere with remote support. There are additional regulating and soothing music programs, both classical, popular and children’s music that can be accessed outside of the therapy program through the Unyte app.  

I customize the protocol for each individual’s needs. The best way to begin, and to see if the Safe and Sound Protocol will benefit you or your child, is to set up a 30 minute discovery call on my schedule here.

Safe and Sound Protocol Headphones

  • We recommend over-the-ear (circumaural) headphones for their enclosed nature and the immersive sound experience
  • On-ear headphones and earbuds are not recommended
  • Avoid noise-canceling headphones (unless noise-canceling can be turned off)

Bluetooth headphones are approved as long as the distance between the headphones and the device is kept to a minimum so as to not disrupt the music.

Even inexpensive headphones can effectively deliver the mid-frequency sounds of the SSP.  While high-quality headphones are better for full frequency music, don’t feel like you need to purchase the best headphones you can find.  iLs makes our original SSP headphones available for purchase and we list below two different inexpensive options available from Amazon.  Use the recommended headphones and the recommendations above as a guide to find headphones that fit your budget.

Headphone Recommendations:

Headphones with Apple iPhones:

Because Apple devices do not have a headphone jack, iOS users will have to have a lightning to 3.5 mm adapter in order to use typical headphones.  A dongle can be purchased at Best Buy, Target or the Apple Store.  Or follow this link