Who Benefits From SSP
Many physiological symptoms (poor digestion, headaches, constipation, and fatigue), as well as psychological and emotional symptoms (anxiety, stress, irritability, depression, relationship issues), are linked to a nervous system autonomic dysregulation, or "deregulation of the physiological states." SSP may therefore be beneficial for children, adolescents and adults with nervous system dysregulation that manifest as:
• Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia: Nervous system dysregulation can contribute to the experience of chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia. Difficulty regulating the autonomic nervous system may amplify pain signals and increase sensitivity to pain.
• Neurological Differences: Individuals with neurological differences such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) often experience challenges in sensory processing, social engagement, emotional regulation, and attention. The dysregulation of the nervous system can influence these differences. The SSP may assist individuals with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by promoting regulation and improving attention, focus, and impulse control.
• Social, Emotional, and Attachment Disorders: Nervous system dysregulation can impact social interactions, emotional regulation, and the formation of secure attachments. Conditions such as social anxiety disorder, attachment disorders, and certain personality disorders can be influenced by difficulties regulating the autonomic nervous system.
• Auditory Hypersensitivity: Sensory processing differences, including auditory hypersensitivity, can be attributed to nervous system dysregulation. Individuals may experience heightened sensitivity to sounds, leading to discomfort or sensory overload in noisy environments. The SSP can be beneficial for individuals who experience auditory hypersensitivity. By helping the nervous system regulate sensory input, the SSP may reduce auditory sensitivity and improve tolerance to sounds.
• Body Organization: Nervous system dysregulation can affect body awareness and motor coordination. Difficulties in body organization may manifest as challenges in balance, posture, fine motor skills, and overall coordination.
• Learning, Cognition, and Attention Difficulty: When the nervous system is dysregulated, individuals may struggle with learning, cognitive processing, and attention. This can affect concentration, memory, problem-solving, and overall academic or occupational performance.
• Sensory Processing Differences: Nervous system dysregulation can contribute to sensory processing differences, where individuals may have difficulty integrating and responding to sensory information effectively. This can lead to sensory-seeking or sensory-avoidant behaviours.
• PTSD, Depression, and Anxiety Disorders: Dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system is often observed in individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and various anxiety disorders. These conditions can be influenced by heightened arousal, hyperreactivity, or hypo-reactivity of the nervous system. By promoting regulation and reducing hyperarousal, individuals may experience a decrease in trauma-related symptoms such as intrusive thoughts, hypervigilance, and emotional reactivity.
• Relationship Difficulties and Social Anxiety: The SSP can support individuals in developing healthier patterns of social engagement by promoting feelings of safety and trust. This may lead to improvements in relationship dynamics and social interactions and reduce social anxiety.
• Anger and impulsivity: The SSP aims to enhance self-regulation skills, which can help individuals manage behavioural acting out, anger, impulsivity, and emotional dysregulation.
• Learning Problems: By promoting regulation and reducing stress, the SSP may improve cognitive functioning, attention, and learning abilities, positively impacting individuals with learning difficulties.
• Sleep Problems(due to worry and ruminating): The SSP's regulation effects on the autonomic nervous system can contribute to improved sleep patterns by reducing worry, rumination, and physiological arousal that may interfere with sleep.
• Self-Medicating Behaviors: The SSP's regulation of the nervous system can potentially reduce self-medicating behaviours such as overeating, shopping, and gambling.
• Stress-Related Physical Conditions: Chronic stress and nervous system dysregulation can contribute to various stress-related physical conditions, including Gastrointestinal (GI) disturbance due to nervous system overstimulation (e.g., reduced binge eating behaviours, reduced stress/anxiety-related diarrhea), cardiovascular problems, sleep disturbances, and immune system dysfunctions.
It's important to note that while the SSP shows promise in addressing these symptoms, individual results may vary. Recognizing the impact of nervous system dysregulation on these issues is crucial for developing interventions and treatments that address the underlying physiological aspects. The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) and other therapeutic approaches aim to regulate the autonomic nervous system and support individuals in finding relief from these challenges. It's recommended to work with trained professionals who can assess individual needs, provide appropriate guidance, and monitor progress throughout the SSP intervention.