Providing Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)
Polyvagal Therapy

SSP Treatment specialization includes:

  • Conflict Resolution

  • Depression and Anxiety

  • Men's Issues

  • Relationship Issues

  • Social Anxiety

  • Sports Anxiety

  • Sports Counseling

  • Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder

  • Stress Management

  • Work and Career Issues

  • ADHD

Safe and Sound Protocol helps with regulating the the nervous system. It's an Auditory intervention designed to reduce stress and auditory sensitivity while enhancing social engagement and resilience. This approach is used with other modalities such as CBT to help regulate the nervous so it can be easier to process CBT or other modalities during treatment.

Below are other approaches to help with specific life stressors and services

Polyvagal SSP with headphone

We all have moments of frustration, whether they be associated with a friend, a family member, or a disagreement in our everyday life. Still, there are several positive strategies to utilize when dealing with conflict.

What Qualifies as a Conflict?

According to the Office of Human Resource Development at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, conflict is understood by analyzing various behaviors and the consequences each behavior produces on individuals living the dilemma.

  • Avoidance: This is the person who wishes to ignore the problem and will allow it to dissipate or squander. Unfortunately, quite the contrary is happening in this situation. The problem then swells under the surface until it’s no longer avoidable and must be addressed.

  • Standing your Ground: People who use this technique may appear controlling and aggressive in their communication. They fear not having their needs met if they don’t set the rules and direct the conversation.

  • Surrendering: Often perceived as the diplomat, the person using this tactic concedes to the needs of others. They place the needs and opinions of others on their own because preserving the relationship(s) is the ultimate goal.

  • Compromise/Sacrifice: This method is a sort of concession, and while it seems to be a good route to take, it’s not the best approach. People in this category make a sequence of tradeoffs, which means they focus on what they want instead of understanding the other’s viewpoint.

  • Collaborate: People who practice collaboration care about win-win solutions. This simply means that they scout common aspirations and needs, to where every party knows their opinions and feelings are important and will be heard. This style needs a lot of cooperation, assertiveness, and communication among the parties.

Ultimately, understanding your wants and needs and behavior patterns will establish internal insight. You will better understand yourself and others around you and how situations may or may not unfold. This knowledge will give you the preliminary tools for conflict resolution.

Depression commonly manifests physically through stomach pains, headaches, disrupted or excessive sleep, and motor control difficulty. While the causes of depression are unknown, a predisposition for it runs in families, and it can be triggered by trauma and adverse life circumstances. Depression is diagnosed more frequently in women and tends to display differently in women than in men.

People tend to suffer higher rates of depression after giving birth and in late fall. Depression and anxiety often exacerbate each other, and people with depression commonly have difficulty concentrating on tasks and conversations. Some people abuse alcohol and drugs or overeat to cope, causing them to develop other medical problems. Depressed people are also at increased risk for self-harm.

Depression is a mental illness that is characterized by prolonged emotional symptoms, including:

  • Apathy

  • Sadness

  • Guilt

  • Exhaustion

  • Irritability

Diagnosing depression involves a psychiatric evaluation and physical tests to determine whether a different disorder is causing a person’s symptoms. A person must have been experiencing symptoms for at least two weeks to be diagnosed with depression. Every case is unique and requires individual attention, but there are several effective complementary ways of treating depression, including:

  • Talk Therapy

  • Medication

  • Adopting a Healthier Lifestyle

Throughout our years, we all experience a loss at some point in our lives. In fact, statistics show that 1 in 5 children will experience the death of someone close to them before 18 years of age. Though grief and loss are not always associated with death, they commonly surface after a loss– whether it is the loss of a loved one, a severed relationship, a pregnancy, a pet, or a job.

When a person loses something or someone valuable to them, feelings of grief can be overbearing. Grief can leave a person feeling sad, hopeless, isolated, irritable, and numb by affecting them mentally, emotionally, and physically. It’s important to understand that healing from grief is a process, and everyone copes with this emotion differently.

Many people don’t know what to say or do when a person is grieving, but be sure to have patience with the individual (including yourself) throughout the entire process.

An alternative treatment method includes psychotherapy. Through psychotherapy, a patient may:

  • Improve Coping Skills

  • Reduce Feelings of Blame and Guilt

  • Explore and Process Emotions

Consider seeking professional support if feelings of grief do not ease over time.

Grief is the emotional response to any type of loss due to death or divorce and the loss of a job, a pet, financial stability, or safety after trauma. Feelings of grief can be overwhelming, and it can be hard to know how to manage and overcome these emotions. It is important to have patience with yourself and others during this process as it is a healthy part of healing. If you are having trouble coping on your own or know of someone who could use extra support, a therapist can assist.

There is no orderly process of passing through anger, denial, and acceptance stages. Everyone experiences loss differently based on their personality, culture, and beliefs, among many other factors.

Common Symptoms of Grief Include:

  • Shock and Disbelief: feeling numb about the event, having trouble believing it happened, denying it, or expecting to see the person you lost suddenly.

  • Sadness: Crying or having feelings of emptiness, despair, yearning, or loneliness.

  • Guilt: regret over things unsaid or undone, feeling responsible for the death or the event, or shame from feeling relieved by a person’s passing.

  • Anger: Blame someone for injustice.

  • Fear: Feelings of anxiety, helplessness, insecurity, or panic attacks.

  • Physical Symptoms: fatigue, nausea, weight loss or gain, aches and pains, and insomnia.

Coping with Grief and Loss

An important part of healing is knowing that you are not alone. Seek support from your friends, family, or faith, or join a bereavement support group. Sharing your loss can make the grieving process easier. Remember to take care of yourself, eat, sleep, and exercise even when you’re too stressed or tired. A healthy alternative is to seek the help of a professional therapist. A therapist can help you work through your intense emotions in a safe environment.

Panic attacks are brief episodes of extreme fear. They may be mistaken for heart attacks or strokes but are actually psychological rather than physical. Panic attacks can occur suddenly and usually peak within ten minutes. Most panic attacks end within 20 to 30 minutes.

Some symptoms include:

  • Chills

  • Nausea

  • Sweating

  • Chest Pain

  • Palpitations

  • Shaking

  • Feelings of Suffocation

Sometimes panic attacks are isolated incidents, but if a person has had at least two panic attacks and lives in fear of having another, they may have panic disorder. A panic attack can happen without an obvious cause. Still, people with panic disorder may develop phobias related to something they associate with panic attacks, including open spaces and large crowds.

Panic disorder is classified as an anxiety disorder, and like other forms of anxiety, it is commonly treated with a combination of therapy, medications, and healthy lifestyle changes. Anxiety patients are also encouraged to do breathing exercises, exercise regularly, and avoid stimulants.

Everyone encounters stress during their lives at one point—never-ending bills, demanding schedules, work, and family responsibilities—making stress seem inescapable and uncontrollable. Stress management skills are designed to help people take control of their lifestyle, thoughts, and emotions and teach them healthy ways to cope with their problems.

Find the Cause

The first step in stress management is identifying your stressors. While this sounds fairly easy—it’s not hard to point to major changes or a lot of work piling up—chronic stress can be complicated, and most people don’t realize how their habits contribute to their stress. Maybe work piling up isn’t from the actual demands of your job, but more so from your procrastination. You have to claim responsibility for your role in creating your stress, or you won’t be able to control it.

Strategies for Stress Management

Once you’ve found what causes your stress, focus on what you can control. Eliminate real stressors and develop consistent de-stressing habits. Instead of watching TV or responding to texts in bed after work - take a walk, or read a book. Maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough quality sleep, will ease feelings of stress and help you relax.

Also, make a conscious effort to set aside time for yourself and relax. Alone time can be utilized to do whatever you need to be yourself. Some people like doing activities such as tai chi, yoga, or meditation, but you can also treat yourself to something simple, like taking a bubble bath, listening to music, or watching a funny movie.

Finally, don’t feel like you have to solve your stress alone. Reach out to your family and friends. Whether you need help with a problem or just need someone to listen, find a person who will be there to reinforce and support you positively. If stress becomes chronic, don’t hesitate to seek the help of a therapist.

Most of us spend more time at work than at home; therefore, the workplace should be an environment where we feel safe and comfortable. However, because work is where different personalities, communication styles, and worldviews gather, things don’t always go smoothly. Workplace bullying is rising, and though statistics vary, some studies reveal that nearly half of all American workers have been affected by this problem. Either as a target or as a witness to abusive behavior against a co-worker.

Examples of Common Workplace Issues Include:

  • Poor Job Fit

  • Mental Anguish

  • Sexual or Verbal Harassment

  • Discrimination

  • Low Motivation and Job Dissatisfaction

How a Therapist Can Help

Therapy for work and career issues can help a person develop a better understanding of their wants and needs and approach alternative ways to handle tension while on the clock. Therapy is a neutral setting where patients can discuss their fears, worries, or stressors and regain control of their happiness.

Psychotherapy tends to work well when addressing workplace issues because talk therapy such as this can effectively treat depression and anxiety that can stem from these conflicts. A mental health professional can also teach coping skills that will help a person manage work-related stress.