SSP - Safe Sound Protocol


Results in just five days

The SSP is a research-based therapy showing significant results in just five days in the following areas:

  • Social and emotional  difficulties
  • Auditory sensitivities
  • Anxiety and trauma related changes
  • Inattention
  • Stressors that impact social engagement

Client and parents are reporting the ability to better interpret not only human speech, but, importantly, the emotional meaning of language. Once interpersonal interactions improve, spontaneous social behaviors and an enhanced ability to learn, self-regulate and engage are often seen. 

  • The SSP is a five-day intervention
  • Designed to reduce stress and auditory sensitivity,  enhancing social engagement and resilience.
  • Calms the physiological and emotional state
  • Opens the door for improved communication and more successful learning.

This non-invasive intervention involves listening to filtered music that has been processed specifically to exercise the tiny stapedius muscle in the middle ear that plays a role in how we process speech, facial expressions, and other social cues. By exercising this muscle, if it is weak, children and adults who struggle to regulate their response to stress, emotions, or auditory information begin to a sense safety and the ability to socially engage, instead of withdrawal.

Polyvagal Theory

In mammals, the regulation of the autonomic nervous system is “integrated” through listening and vocalization. Muscles located in the middle ear provide input to the brain via vagus nerve stimulation.

As with any muscle in the body, the stapaedius muscle can have a range of strength and functionality. When it is weak, the brain’s ability to attend to and interpret sound and facial cues is reduced; resulting in an array of vagus nerve dyregulation symptoms. These regulatory functions exist outside conscious control. 

The SSP functions as a “neural exercise” of this muscle, broading the range of input the client can perceive. This increased ability to process social information, voice and facial cues, can improve the vagus nerve’s ability to perceive and regulate emotional and bodily states.  

This intervention accesses a passive pathway, meaning the client can benefit from just listening. As long as the client is calm and feels safe, focusing on the music, treatment is effective.

Characteristics of Target Clients

  • Lack of prosidy (Voice tends to not rise or fall)
  • Dull facial expressions
  • Difficulties in regulating behavioral state (hypervigilant, anxious, distractable, impulsive, meltdowns, hyperarousal
  • Poorly functioning vagal system (i.e. digestion and major organs)
  • Difficulties listening and  following directions, speech- language delays
  • Sound Sensitivity
  • Oral motor defensiveness (intolerant of food variety)


At what age can the SSP be used?

Any person above the age of 18 months may use the SSP.

How old is the oldest client who has done the SSP? Was it successful? 

40-50 years of age. And yes, it was very successful.

What are some of the features beyond sound sensitivity and social 

engagement issues that I might consider in choosing the SSP? 

Associates have had good results with clients who have learning and language challenges, inattention, hyperarousal, auditory processing difficulties, vestibular and tactile sensory over-responsivity, anxiety and poor state regulation. These features are seen in many conditions such as autism, ADD/ADHD, Down Syndrome, mild traumatic brain injury, Misophonia and experience with trauma or anxiety.