Before, during, and after your SSP session
Before your first session, we’ll have a chat and go over basic concepts regarding the nervous system and the physiological states you might find yourself in. We’ll also review the SSP and any questions you may have.
In preparation for your sessions, there’s a few things that can help make your SSP experience even better:
When you arrive for a session, we’ll have a brief chat and go over some practices that are usually helpful for down-regulating and supporting a calmed and relaxed state. These are tools meant to support you during the listening and make your experience more enjoyable. You’ll be in a nice, private, quiet, and comfortable room, and I’ll be around, in case you need any support.
Then, the main thing that will happen is that you will be listening to music! And because that music has been filtered, it may sound funny or weird at times. Nothing to worry about, it’s meant to sound like that. As you are listening, I encourage you to listen to your body and respond to rather than resist what you would like. You may have a response to listening to the filtered music, and that response may be mild or strong, frequent or just once, or anything in between. Again, there is no right or wrong. I’ll be there to support you through the session so if you are in any doubt about anything, it is better to pause and share what you are experiencing. Also, you may not feel anything unusual at all. If so, you will just be relaxing and listening to music for an hour without stopping. The SSP will still be working!
Also remember that there’s no expectation about how much listening will be done in any session. It will be guided by you and your needs. There is no right or wrong.
And rather than speaking -so as not to ‘interrupt’ the listening- we’ll be communicating with thumbs up or down, so you can let me know if you are feeling ok or if we need to take a break.
We all respond to this intervention in a different way, and you’ll need to pay close attention to the signals your body is sending to really understand what’s changing for you with each new session. Some people have reported noticing: more social interaction; changes in facial expressions; can more easily accept sounds that previously bothered them; a few nights of intense dreams that seem to quiet down after a few days and lead to improved sleep; improved capacity to focus; improved speech pace and modulation.
Listen to your body and be led by it. Pay attention to your needs. Be gentle with yourself. You may feel tired after a session, so it’s great to have some time to be slow and go easy about the rest of your day- something as simple as finding 5 or 10 minutes to be in the fresh air, have some quiet ‘me time’, or go for a walk could be great. Also simple self-care activities such as drinking lots of water, eating nourishing and easy-to-digest food, gentle exercise, fresh air, and plenty of sleep go a long way in supporting the process.
As the days progress, explore what sort of support might be possible or suitable after the SSP has finished. The SSP is a ‘platform’ or ‘springboard’ for future growth and not a standalone tool. It is important that you follow up this experience by continuing or resuming therapy, experiencing supportive social engagement, and reflecting on the experience and how it made you feel. These steps are needed for the benefits to be sustained and built upon.
Some people can feel a bit vulnerable while adjusting to the changes brought by the SSP - however these changes can bring great possibilities and opportunities if supported in an appropriate way. It is important you are in the right environment with healthy interactions and support for this change.