“The quest for safety is the basis for leading a successful life”
Dr. Steven Porges
LINKS DESCRIBING THE PROTOCOL:
BACKGROUND AND FOUNDATIONAL RESEARCH:
The SAFE AND SOUND Protocol is based on the research of, and developed by Dr. Steven Porges, which is called the Polyvagal Theory. The Polyvagal Theory is quite complex and I have spent a lot of time trying to wrap my head around the role that our autonomic functions play in state regulation. I have found many of Dr Porges’s books to be somewhat challenging. This new publication I find by far is the easiest to read, offering a good overview of the subject (I suggest skimming the glossary of terms in the front of the book and jumping straight into the interviews):
Another option is to watch some YouTube videos, of which there are many on this material:
HOW IT WORKS:
The SAFE AND SOUND protocol resets the middle ear to the range of frequencies that mammals use for social engagement, which are at a higher frequency band than that which animals utilize for threat monitoring (imagine the sound of a running predator). Resetting the ear for sensitivity to these social engagement frequencies concurrently resets our foundational neurology away from protective vigilance. We experience this vigilance in a myriad of ways that at their core are related to an ongoing feeling of being unsafe, and which is expressed as reactive anxiety and/or anger. The idea that this primal neurology can be accessed as easily as by listening to a few hours of music is radical, and without personally experiencing this, as well as positive reporting from every client, I would be skeptical. However, after using it on myself, I am of the mind that this is likely the most significant new therapeutic tool to emerge in the last decade.
Both for myself and many of my clients, it has seemed that no amount or type of therapy could get at the underlying, “unconscious” aspect of anxious dread that persists as a consequence of traumatic experiences. Both in my experience, and that of the clients of mine who have used this protocol, this unconscious “frozen” aspect of self has begun to thaw. For myself, this has resulted in access to attributes of myself, particularly in the realm of social engagement, that I almost despaired of ever being attainable.