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Session Structure

Session Structure:

  • Autonomic Assessment

  • Psychoeducation

  • Volume setting

  • Continued psychoeducation

  • Autonomic tracking and Titration decision

  • Integrating activity & movement

  • Sensory considerations

  • SSP listing

  • Wrapping up listening sessions

  • Session notes & monitoring

  • When working with children, the provider may need to consider how and when to include parents or caregivers throughout the process and even the potential for parental sessions as appropriate autonomic.


The complete Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) program offers three different pathways: SSP Connect, SSP Core, and SSP Balance. These pathways are facilitated by a qualified and certified SSP Provider like Maryam, who can deliver the program both in-person and remotely via video conference. If done remotely, it is necessary to have a quiet and safe environment without distractions.

During the SSP Core program, which consists of a 5-hour audio program with heavily processed and filtered music, the client listens to the music in a specific order while actively paying attention to the music and their body's reactions. The music is played through headphones while the client engages in a calm activity. The Unyte ILS digital application is used for this process, which can be accessed through an Apple or Android mobile device or tablet. It is important to note that earplugs are not allowed; an external headset should be used.

Throughout the SSP process, the SSP Provider monitors the client's response to the music by observing, asking questions, and providing answers. The provider may intervene if necessary, suggesting breaks, engaging the client in social interaction, or guiding gentle exercises involving the body or breath.

Your provider may start with 10 to 15 min while monitoring closely for any signs of dysregulation and build up to approximately thirty-minute listening sessions, the most common length of a listening session.

Your provider estimates your capacity to tolerate the SSP. To prevent your nervous system from getting overwhelmed, your provider may choose to start with short sessions. Every session will be different, and your provider will still use their titration skills to assess the right amount of listening for you.

Some changes may be noticeable immediately during the SSP process, but most changes occur between 3 months and one year as the individual learns to engage and relate in new ways with themselves and the world.

It is important to understand that SSP is not a standalone therapy but complements other therapeutic approaches. While it is not a cure-all, SSP can create physiological changes that are otherwise challenging to achieve.

After completing the SSP Core program for a minimum of 2-3 months, individuals may gain access to SSP Balance. This program uses the same music, but it is lightly processed. It allows individuals to continue training their nervous system for calmness and emotional regulation at their own pace, helping them maintain the gains achieved during the program.

What is needed for the Remote/Digitial version: 

  • Internet to access the app

  • Device to access the specific app.  An account will be set up for SSP participants through an App that can be downloaded to their devices.  Once the app is downloaded and activated, SSP participants will also download the playlists.  

  • When listening, SSP participants must wear circumaural (over-the-ear) headphones.  If there is a noise-cancelling function, participants must be able to turn that off.  SSP headphones or those recommended.  (ILS Adult Here, ILS Children herehere or here)  ILS clearly states that earbuds, on-ear or noise-cancelling headphones are not recommended. 

  • Some headphones will need a special adapter to connect to the device you have chosen


Interested SSP participants would need to contact our office for an intake session. During this virtual SSP intake session, the parents or caregivers will review what SSP looks like, how to prepare for SSP, complete rating scales, etc.   After the intake session, the parent and child (or the adult client) will commit to 5 hours of listening if the SSP provider & family agree that it's a good fit to move forward. 


For scheduling the 5 SSP hours, the office tries to find something that is a good fit for the listener.  While the initial research on the effectiveness showed to be effective doing 1 hour a day for 5 consecutive days, current feedback is showing that there are other pacing schedules that can be just as effective. Your therapist can help you find a good fit. 


The person having the SSP intervention is accompanied by a safe person. This can be a parent or guardian, spouse, etc.  During the intervention time, the two will not engage in any verbal conversation, but they may choose to engage in a number of creative activities together.  During sessions, the SSP provider is observed through google meet and provides feedback, guidance or instructions when necessary through the chat function to the "safe" person in the room.


If a client is doing remote delivery, the person having SSP intervention is accompanied by a safe person AND then checks in with the SSP provider in between listening sessions. During the SSP process, we require that people stay in touch with client portal messages, e-mail or virtual face-to-face connection updating if someone is noticing any changes in areas such as energy level, digestion, sleep, mood, focus, sound sensitivities, social skills, etc. This helps us understand how your body and nervous system are responding and let you know if changes need to occur to the original treatment plan.  


The SSP provider is also typically available through the step-by-step counselling client portal on listening days to answer questions or concerns that might pop up after listening sessions.

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