Sound as a Portal to Transformation

Sound and vibration have been portals for transformation that have been used across many cultures for centuries. Today, advanced technology supports the contemporary use of sound and vibration for healing through the use of tools such as the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP). Developed by Dr. Stephen Porges, the SSP is based on his research of the vagus nerve and his groundbreaking perspective on the Polyvagal Theory. SSP is a neurologically-based acoustic intervention that utilizes the auditory pathways to calm physiological and emotional states, enhance social connection, and promote health and restoration.

“I offer a unique application of the SSP that combines ancient healing methods with contemporary science to facilitate personal, ancestral, and collective healing. Embodied Awakening takes individuals through a psychoacoustic journey that can feel similar to practices such as Holotropic Breathwork or psychedelic journeys – using intention, attuned presence, and movement, we co-create a container that will support the earliest experiences of existence and belonging in the world. In this way, we can come to experience our authentic “beingness”, our inter-connectivity with each other, and our reciprocal relationship with the natural world.”

Embodied Awakening: A Psychoacoustic Journey Towards Authentic Living

To heal the Authentic Self we need both the presence of safety and the absence of threat. Today, many approaches to healing and empowerment provide us with exciting options for attending to the absence of threat (the defense system). The Safe and Sound Protocol is a auditory program that supports the neurological and physiological networks related to the presence of safety (the attachment & bonding system).

Safety is a relational experience that is influenced by our inherited neurobiology and physiology, our physical and emotional environment, and our interactions with others and the world throughout our lifetime and within the scope of our inherited ancestral consciousness. When we have access to a felt sense of safety, we are accessing the parasympathetic nervous system. In this state we find our curiosity, creativity, compassion, and a sense of inter-relatedness. We have access to our spontaneous life force. We can reach out for relational support and experience our inter-dependence with others and the natural world. Dan Siegel refers to this as moving from “me” to “Mwe”. We are able to shift out of the ego (our defense system) and access the heart (consciousness beyond the ego). The SSP enhances the felt sense of safety using specific frequencies that are correlated WITH relational safety.

The SSP works in tandem with the provider’s attuned presence or what neuroscientist, Dan Siegel refers to as interpersonal resonance, to facilitate an alchemistic process that welcomes any undigested emotions in the personal or shared history to be seen, heard, and met. This occurs because there is now “enough” safety for all of our emotions to be experienced and metabolized in the present moment. As the psychological defenses against emotions are gently softened, individuals are able to meet, greet, and feel aspects of the self that have been kept out of conscious awareness.

This organicistic process of befriending protective mechanisms in order to retrieve dissociated aspects of our consciousness that have been encapsulated out of awareness is an essential aspect of most cutting-edge (bottom-up) approaches to healing trauma.

As a sound healer, Paula invokes an ancient wisdom into the SSP process to create an alchemy of sound, vibration, and interpersonal resonance as the vagus nerve is used as a tuning fork to entrain all areas of dissonance or disharmony in the body and surrounding biofield into a state of resonance, flow, and coherence. And so begins the homecoming to the Authentic Self – our reunion with our true nature.

Embodied Awakening is an experience that integrates various models including Embodied Recovery (ERED) a conceptual framework and training approach that explores the intersection of our relational templates, the physiology of stress, and the sensory pathways as they relate to our experience of embodiment as humans. This approach integrates Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen’s Relational Cycle and Developmental Movements into the SSP experience to enhance the neurological pathways that support our capacity to feel seen, heard, and met in our relational templates.

In Paula’s unique application of the SSP, we explore our earliest experiences of existence, safety, and belonging and begin to heal the templates from which we interact with others and the world. We are invited to choose love over fear, connection over separation, and compassion over judgment. As we find a new ability to yield into relational safety, our embodiment of the present moment increases, creativity emerges, and our awareness of our connection to all things increases – including our connection to mother earth and her resources. And when we reconnect to this aspect of ourselves as inter-dependent beings that are in a reciprocal relationship with the earth, we will start to take better care of her and attune to her as her stewards.

Note: Individual’s who are actively engaged or working with the physiology of emotions through affective neuroscience and body psychology will find that the SSP when used in the above manner offers a transformative experience that supports enhanced cognitive, emotional, and behavioral outcomes in many modalities since it will greatly enhance the provider’s level of embodiment and availability as a co-regulator (since the provider’s interpersonal resonance is now enhanced).

Facilitator: Paula is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, Healing Arts Practitioner, and Sound Healer. As a writer, workshop facilitator, and educator she has developed a range of programs including The Embodied Recovery Institute. She currently serves as a faculty member in their online training program which addresses embodiment through the intersection of attachment, trauma, and sensory processing. Paula is also a member of the Clinical Advisory Board for Unyte-ILS and is the lead author of the SSP-SE guidelines. Paula currently provides advanced experiential mentorship through Unyte-ILS for providers who are have established practices in embodiment, bodywork, yoga, meditation, somatics, and/or appraoches such as somatic-IFS, who wish to deepen their own level of embodiment and interpersonal resonance through this transformative experience of Embodied Awakening @2022 Paula Scatoloni, LLC.

See Workshops Page for information on the Embodied Awakening workshops and additional links below for information about The Embodied Recovery Institute and Unyte-ILS.

Safe and Sound Protocol

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SSP Summary from Dr. Stephen Porges

“Our physiological state – the intervening variable – influences our responses to cues of safety in nature…we must find “portals of regulation”… if we can become safe in the arms of another, we are well-positioned to enjoy “health, growth and restoration”.
– Stephen Porges, Ph.D