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Anxiety & Dysregulation

Does this describe you or your child?


  • Difficulty connecting with others

  • Uncomfortable or anxious in social situations

  • Inability to read social cues, disconnection, lack of intimacy

  • Tendency to withdraw and avoid eye contact

  • Prone to meltdowns or lashing out in frustration or anger

  • Overly sensitive to sound, and easily startled by loud noises

  • Constantly on alert, wary that danger is around the corner



These are the symptoms of a dysregulated nervous system.

When our nervous system is poorly regulated and loses its flexibility to move from one state to another, it can lead to an array of emotional, mental and physical symptoms.

Fortunately, there is a short-term, non-invasive listening program that has proven highly successful in improving regulation for both children and adults. It's called the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP).


SSP involves listening to popular vocal music that has been processed specifically to retune the nervous system and introduce a sense of safety, along with the ability to socially engage. This allows you or your child 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.

Safe & Sound Protocol

The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is a five-day auditory intervention designed to reduce stress and auditory sensitivity, while enhancing social engagement and resilience. It was created by Dr. Stephen Porges, a distinguished research scientist, author of the groundbreaking Polyvagal Theory.

Dr. Porges' widely respected Polyvagal Theory contends that when we sense danger, our nervous system reacts by activating its mobilizing fight-or-flight response or, in the case of extreme danger, by immobilizing us into collapse. This is its normal function. Problems arise, however, when our nervous system loses the ability to detect signals of safety, keeping us stuck in a continuous loop of dysregulation.


















SSP works by sending signals of soothing safety that bypass the conscious mind to reach the most inaccessible part of our brain, reassuring it that the environment is, in fact, safe. 


By calming the nervous system and regulating the physiological and emotional state, SSP opens the door for improved communication and more successful therapy. It has shown significant results in just five days in the following areas:

  • Social and emotional difficulties

  • Auditory sensitivities

  • Anxiety and trauma-related challenges

  • Inattention

  • Behavioral issues

  • Social engagement anxiety​

Read our blog, "Are you Safe and Sound?"


How it works


The SSP program is usually delivered over five consecutive days. A listening session lasts 60 minutes, but can be shortened to 30-minute increments for very young or very sensitive individuals, or to custom intervals if you need to take it at your own pace. While you are listening, you are encouraged to do quiet activities not involving screens. Play, artwork, or crafts are examples of recommended activities.


For at-home delivery, you will download an app on your Android or iOS device. Listening must be done through headphones—not earbuds—for appropriate therapeutic benefits. We can provide you with a link to purchase good quality headphones at an affordable price.  


When you sign up your child or yourself for the Safe and Sound program, we will work together at every phase of the program to ensure maximum therapeutic benefit. This includes:

  • A thorough intake and listening assessment

  • Five consecutive one-hour home listening sessions 

  • Ongoing coaching and supervision during the program

  • Post-program assessment with recommendations for next steps

  • Discounts for multiple family members, or when combined with another program


For more information about the Safe and Sound Protocol, please visit our blog post, "Are You Safe and Sound."

To get started with SSP, please click below to schedule a free consultation call.

Safe and Sound in Action

Since adding this program to our repertoire at the Vestibule Center for Sound Living, many clients have seen significant decreases in anxiety, as well as consistent improvements in learning, attention, connection, and social communication.​

Some of our success stories include:
  • A 61-year old woman called in describing an immobilized state of trauma. She described a persistent feeling of homelessness after facing a recent eviction. During the course of the program, she reconnected to a traumatic experience as an infant confined to an isolation unit during the first months of her life. During the five days of the program, she was able to find herself a stable living situation and felt herself "rebirthed and ready to re-enter life."

  • A normally high-functioning autistic 16-year old teen was suffering from acute anxiety -causing sleeplessness, isolation from his peers, and extreme loneliness. After the five-day program his mother reported that he was sleeping through the night, waking calm and organized, and had resumed normal social activities. On Day 4, she reported with tears of joy that her son told her spontaneously, "Mom, you know I do love you."

  • A 53-year old man with a history of untreated auditory processing issues and age-related hearing loss noticed a marked decrease in hyper-vigilance after the program. His muscle tone went from hyper-tonic to relaxed, and his upright posture reflected more comfort in himself and his surroundings. Weeks after completing the program, he reported that his hearing improved, especially in noisy environments, and that he had to ask others to repeat themselves much less often.

  • The mother of a 7-year old girl suffering from frequent meltdowns reported more emotional stability and compliance both during and after the 5-day program. When asked to stop playing and get ready for school the day after completion of the program, she readily complied without her customary tears. She is now making good progress with another longer-term therapeutic listening program.

  • A 47-year old Chinese-American woman with a complicated history of separation from her family, her country, and her native tongue, was experiencing anxiety and extreme sensitivity to sound. After Day 1 she reported, "I feel different. More relaxed...less anxious than usual" and "I haven't felt like this in a long time - the sweetness I felt as a little girl, watching a beautiful yellow butterfly in the garden." Months later, she continues to report much less reactivity to loud noises and a noticeable decrease in her startle response.

Download a free e-book from our SSP partners:

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