The Safe & Sound Protocol, Pt. I: Utilizing Music With Therapy

Used in conjunction with talk therapy, the Safe & Sound Protocol is a another way to reduce anxiety and improve social interaction, simply by listening to music with a twist.


“As a therapist, I’m always looking for something that’s out of the box," said Joanna de Leon, Owner/Clinical Supervisor of Relevé Counseling.


SSP is a therapy intervention designed to reduce anxiety, irritability, and anger, while also improving social interaction skills and auditory sensitivity. It accomplishes this by taking songs you’re already familiar with and changing the way they sound.


“By changing the frequencies, it retrains the vagus nerve essentially to communicate with the body. It reconnects the brain and the body and it allows them to work better together.”

The vagus nerve plays a major role in how our body responds to the world around us, and specifically, the things we can’t control. This includes our heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, sweating, and even speaking. It processes the signals and cues from the world around us and, in turn, determines how we react.


“Sometimes, the intensity of the emotion we feel, even if it the emotional response is warranted, the intensity is bigger than what the situation calls for.”

SSP can also be a good first step for those who may feel apprehensive about doing therapy for the first time.


“SSP is most effective used in conjunction with the traditional talk therapies. But, it’s a way to get you started. It can help you feel more comfortable in that setting and allow you to open up to a therapist.”


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