Safe and Sound Protocol

About SSP

The SSP is a therapeutic listening intervention designed to reduce stress and auditory sensitivity while enhancing social engagement and resilience. SSP is based on Dr. Porges’ Polyvagal Theory. This theory focuses on what is happening in the body and the nervous system and explains how our sense of safety, or danger or threat, can impact our behaviour.

The SSP uses filtered music to stimulate the Vagus nerve and provide cues of safety to help shift the nervous system into our Ventral Vagal state and to more consistently feel safe and calm.

How is SSP delivered?

  • Delivered over 5 consecutive days for 1 hour of listening each day (dependent on clients nervous system needs).
  • Listening to filtered music while completing quiet, relaxing activities. It is important that the nervous system is allowed to stay in a state of “Rest and Digest” and not become over stimulated. No talking is encouraged to allow the client to focus on the listening.
  • Music is preloaded on to listening device (MP3) and listened to by client with over the ear headphones.
  • A person of safety (often a care giver/parent) is in attendance while the client is listening to the filtered music. This helps provide cues of safety to the client.

SSP is designed to prime the nervous system to engage in therapy, and therefore WHR Allied Health utilise SSP as part of a suite of therapeutic tools to support our clients achieve their goals. SSP is recommended by a qualified Occupational Therapist, following a thorough assessment of the individual client and their needs. SSP is utilised by WHR Allied Health in a bottom-up approach to assist improve clients sensory and emotional regulation and their ability to achieve therapeutic outcomes.

What's Involved?

  • Initial assessment to gain comprehensive baseline understanding of the clients functional performance and goals.
  • 2 x introductory education sessions to prepare the client for the SSP. This includes education on SSP, the nervous system and Polyvagal Theory; sensory mapping; and completion of outcome measure prior to commencing implementation of the SSP.
  • Delivery of the SSP (5 days)
    • Days 1 & 5 are conducted face to face with trained OT implementing SSP
    • Option for days 2,3,4 to be delivered remotely via video conferencing if appropriate**OT to discuss this with you at initial sessions.
  • Post SSP follow up: repeat of outcome measures at 3 months & 6 months post implementation
  • Reporting on outcomes in review report (to either be included in end of year plan review report or separately depending on when client finishes SSP and plan ends).


14 hours of Occupational Therapy supports for existing WHR client (as OT initial assessment phase has already been completed) / $2715.86

19 hours of Occupational Therapy supports for non existing WHR clients / $3685.81

**Travel to/from client for face to face sessions will incur additional charges, depending on client location.