Counselling Adults | Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Learn to meet challenge with something genuinely strong, even if it’s sometimes hard to find.

 
 
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Our Services

Psychotherapy-Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy

Child and Adolescent Medication Management-behaviorally integrated medication consultation and prescription, delivered in a quiet, sensory informed environment by Amanda DeLuck and Ursula, a registered therapy dog team.

Safe and Sound Protocol-in office or take home. Shipping within the state with remote video assistance.

MeMapping ™ and WeMapping™ 

 

The Safe and Sound Protocol

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The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is a research-based listening intervention that impacts vagus nerve functioning. People who benefit from the SSP experience relief from chronic internal agitation, reactivity, explosiveness, dissociation, overload in social situations and a host of related physical and psychological functioning changes. Change is truly comprehensive. Some of these changes may occur immediately, but many are progressive as the person is able to engage, relate and learn in a new way. Support from adjunctive therapies increases gains tremendously. Heartening gains are most evident in cases that have failed to respond to other treatments. This is not to say that the SSP is a cure-all; it is however a tool well worth considering when you are looking for alternatives. Click here to view a list of symptoms that are responsive to the SSP.

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Our dedicated Listening Room can accommodate one or two people, and is stocked with puzzles, Legos, building magnets, coloring books and other sensory stuff

The Protocol

The Protocol is delivered via a headset that plays specially filtered vocal music. You listen for an hour a day, five days in a row. These are songs that you may know from popular music or movie themes. The music may sound odd at times, with changes in volume as well as moving from one ear to another. That is because the purpose of the music is to exercise a tiny muscle in your middle ear. The fluctuating challenges of the music provide the ear with more or less forceful movement, like any muscle conditioning program. Fluid and pressure changes in the ear occur as well. Once the ear begins to work more normally, resulting changes in the alarm system allow a person to remain calmer and regulated even in the presence of stimuli that used to be upsetting. This allows time for growth in the realms of social relations and self-regulation. Essentially, the SSP opens a window of development because we learn and process when calm.

How to get the protocol

If you are interested in taking the protocol yourself, or referring a family member or patient, please explore the resources here and feel free to contact us via email or phone with questions. Once you have determined that you would like to take the protocol, we will meet for an assessment to determine what your support needs might be during and after the protocol. Additional time is allocated to allow us to coordinate with your therapist and other providers who will support you once the protocol is completed. During the time that you are taking the protocol we will check in daily to briefly track your progress and manage any questions or concerns that arise. Following the SSP we will meet for an hour to discuss how it has affected you and how you and your existing team can make the most of the rich learning window that lasts about 3 months.

Developmental disorders

Complex trauma, anxiety

What are side effects?

The effects of the SSP can be extensive, affecting many systems of the body for some. Depending on the degree of existing challenge present in each individual system, changes in the polyvagal system while taking the SSP can, and often do, impact experience and functioning short-term (typically up to 2 weeks). Most often this involves exacerbation of existing problems with energy, focus and mood. Other exacerbations or regressions may include bedwetting, meltdowns and sensory sensitivity. Because these are exacerbations, the environment (family and other supports) is often already present to assist the individual to continue functioning. There is no known instance of the SSP being associated with long-term symptom exacerbation. 

Suggestions for supporting your child through regressions by Patty Wipfler

Repeats

it is quite common for people to need to repeat the entire protocol or to need a ‘tune up.’ Over time feelings of activation and distress may build to the point of feeling overwhelming again, and a single day of listening or a repeat of the entire protocol is called for. In-office tune ups at LifeWorks are free; see our pricing for repeats.

The polyvagal Theory

The SSP was developed by Stephen Porges based on his Polyvagal Theory, after a lifetime of research on heart rhythms and the impact of hearing on heart rhythms and the development of childhood abilities. He described how the proper working of a major sense organ, the ear, starts and maintains the body’s ability to alert or calm in the presence of others.

Movement support

Change resulting from the Protocol includes a window of opportunity during which intensive integrative work can occur. This effects things like coordination, posture, and other signs of sensory integration (for example eye-hand coordination). Our ability to function in an integrated way and maintain posture free of reflex dominance is our goal, because it indicates that the body is not on constant alert. Movement modalities such as MNRI (the Masgutova Method), rhythmic movement and others are critical to help the body create new patterns of movement that are more efficient and release reflex patterning.

 

Dr. Masgutova has developed her expertise for working with survivors of trauma such as Chernobyl, the Armenian War, and the Newtown tragedy. This video provides guidance about how to do these exercises.

This is a student’s training video which demonstrates a few key motor reflexes, showing integrated and unintegrated reflex patterning and simple exercises to address this.