Safe & Sound Protocol

Susan Sparkes is an occupational therapist, specialized in working with children. She has a keen interest in the nervous system, emotional dysregulation, trauma and disruptive behaviors. She has years of experience working both publicly and privately. Susan is knowledgeable in the area of the Polyvagal Theory and is certified as a provider for the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP). To our knowledge, she is one of the first providers of the SSP in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Briefly, the Safe and Sound Protocol is a sound-based intervention where the focus is on regulating a person’s nervous system.   A regulated nervous system is a happy one – and this leads to the person feeling safer in their bodies and environment, more able to engage with others and less likely to experience episodes of emotional distress.  Appropriate clients, in particular, include those with sound sensitivities, anxiety, trauma histories and/or those that have troubles with feeling safe and calm around others.  Neurodivergence (including autism, ADHD, etc) is welcome, and Susan practices from a neuroaffirmative lens.

The protocol requires the client to wear headphones and listen to specifically filtered music for a total of five hours, spread out in chunks of time over several weeks. Brief check-ins with Susan via email need to occur on a very frequent basis, and she will guide the caregiver through a customized program of listening frequency and duration for the child.  Most (or all) of the child’s listening will be done virtually with Susan (via Zoom) or with a trusted caregiver at their home.  You do not need to live in the Avalon area to try SSP!