Psychoacoustics and the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)

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This episode features Paula Marie Scatoloni, a psychotherapist that uses sound vibrations to reset hyper- or hypo-active nervous systems after trauma. This method is called psychoacoustics, and Paula uses a tool called the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) to stimulate the tiny muscles of the inner ear, “massaging” the polyvagal nerve, and activating the body’s safety, belonging, and relaxation system. SSP has been shown to relieve symptoms of dissociative depression, and anxiety. SSP was originally designed to treat Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) but has been widely used to treat a range of mental health and health symptoms. The Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP) is a creative intervention based on the polyvagal theory (Steven Porges) for improving social communication impairments by reducing auditory hypersensitivity and improving human speech processing. The SSP rehabilitates the middle ear muscle function using filtered music that is tuned to the specific frequency of human speech. Previous studies of children with ASD using an early version of SSP reported significant improvements in their sensory problems, including auditory processing, listening, and hearing sensitivities. From the rhythmic beats of indigenous drums to the delicate tones of Tibetan bowls, sound therapy has evolved and translated across cultural boundaries for centuries. Ancient Wisdom traditions know the benefits of using sound medicinally to supersede the mind and influence the body and nervous system. In yogic traditions that use chanting and manta, sound is vibration and vibration is the essence of all things. Paula Marie Scatoloni holds a Master’s in Social Work and is a certified Healing Arts Practitioner in NC. She is trained in many cutting-edge perspectives on trauma and the nervous system including Somatic Experiencing. Paula serves as a mentor and consultant for the Safe and Sound Protocol. She is a co-developer of the Embodied Recovery Institute and has been at the leading edge of her field for decades developing treatment programs, teaching, and leading teams at institutions such as Duke University. Paula seamlessly blends science and spirituality together in her unique programs that integrate psychology, neuroscience, and somatics with sound and bioenergetic approaches such as Reiki. Her unique programs and services can be deeply transformative for practitioners who are interested in blending Eastern and Western perspectives. Paula’s website is

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