Safe and Sound Protocol (NEW!)
The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is an evidenced-based intensive therapy program developed by Dr. Stephen Porges. It is the culmination of 40 years of research on the nervous system and behavioural symptoms – based on Porge’s ‘Polyvagal Theory’. The SSP is an auditory intervention designed to reduce stress, anxiety and auditory sensitivity whilst enhancing social engagement and resilience.
Research-based therapy showing significant results in just five days in the following areas:
- Social and emotional difficulties
- Auditory sensitivities
- Anxiety and trauma-related challenges
- InattentionStressors that impact social engagement
The SSP focuses on improving the ability to process human speech, and to “calm” the automatic nervous system so the individual can become more regulated, focused and engaged. A calm nervous system supports healthy growth, behaviour and development.
SSP research demonstrates significant improvement in the following areas: hearing sensitivity, spontaneous speech, listening and following instructions, behavioural organisation, emotional control, regulation of heart rate by the vagus nerve, spontaneous social behaviours such as sharing, playing and showing affection.
Clinical experience also demonstrates improvement in: learning, response to other therapies, sleep patterns, as well as anxiety and response to emotional stressors. Pain sensitivity may also be reduced.
The program can be delivered in person (with one face-to-face training session and then take home 5 day program) or online (training delivered via the free zoom platform or over the phone) and equipment posted to you to complete the training at home.
Trauma Informed Approach
Using a trauma-informed approach we work from a whole brain based perspective. Once we understand the neuroscience and history of the brain, how it develops, why secure attachment relationships in childhood are so essential for healthy brain development, and how early trauma (including in utero, birth and sensitive periods of brain wiring) impact brain development, we can learn strategies to help manage our behavioural ‘symptoms.’
These include Mindfulness, Somatic Experiencing, Play and Sandtray Therapy, Creative Arts Counselling and Trauma Sensitive Yoga that work with early traumas, sensations, and stresses that are stored predominately in the right and lower brain regions. We focus on building our resiliency and capacity in these symptoms, cultivating self-compassion, rediscovering the language of the body and using it to guide our healing, and creating our own sense of safety – within ourselves and with others.
Trauma processing and integrative approaches may include:
– Creative arts counselling: sand tray, art therapy, drama therapy, music therapy and journalling.
– Mindfulness and Trauma Sensitive Yoga Practices
– Somatic Experiencing to build resiliency in the nervous system and help the body release stored trauma
– Psychoeducation about the brain, behaviour, memory systems and the way trauma affects our operating systems
– Exercises and techniques from trauma processing models such as Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, SMART (Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Treatment) and Theraplay. These approaches focus on a bottom-up approach – rebuilding safety and resiliency in the brain stem and limbic systems first (the regions often affected by complex trauma). Focused on sensory experiences, assessment, coregulation and attachment, arousal regulation, trauma processing, and psychoeducation. Suitable for children and teens these treatments also encourage caregiver involvement in the therapy process.
– Child Centred Play Therapy – directive and non-directive plus Filial Therapy training for parents (teaching parents how to use CCPT techniques with their children in their own homes) to support the treatment process.
– TF-CBT (Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)- a structured, intensive integrative model including cognitive behavioural therapy, relaxation training, coping skills/resources and creating a trauma narrative, suitable for children and teens.
– TF-IPT (Trauma Focused Integrative Play Therapy) – a structured intensive trauma processing model combining non-directive and directive play therapy, sand tray, art therapy, genograms, cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness training, assessment of functioning, exploration of trauma narratives, psychoeducation, parental involvement/education and support.
Mindfulness Based Therapy
Mindfulness is a state achieved by focusing your awareness on the present moment whilst calmly acknowledging and accepting any emotions, thoughts and sensations that may arise. Research into the benefits of practicing mindfulness has found that mindfulness skills can:
– Reduce emotional reactivity
– Improve relationship satisfaction
– Provide greater insight and perspective about ourselves
– Decrease symptoms of stress and anxiety
– Improve problem solving abilities: acting mindfully helps train our brains to create ‘space’ between our reaction to the problem and the problem itself. This space gives us time to breathe, adjust tact and see things more clearly.
– Improve attention: mindfulness helps us to maintain focus and clarity about the presenting task or problem
– Promote acceptance and self compassion: mindfulness allows us to see that all events, emotions, thoughts and sensations change over time.
– Instead of fighting against feelings or thoughts, mindfulness fosters willingness to acknowledge, allow, and accept these internal states. We can learn to enjoy a sense of wellbeing that is not dependent on things always going perfectly ‘right.’
– Increase body-mind integration by helping us become more attuned to our own physical and emotional wellbeing.
Evidence also suggests that mindfulness meditation has numerous health benefits, including increased immune functioning, improvement to well-being and a reduction in psychological distress.
Artistic Revolutions offers individual training sessions or an 8-week group mindfulness course – join our facebook page for upcoming events.
Solution Focused Brief Therapy (for Adults and Teens)
In SFBT, the counsellor encourages the client to identify and stick with their own success strategies when exploring a specific issue. CBT and SFBT focus on behavioural change but in quite different ways. SFBT is much more client driven with the client viewed as the expert in their own life and the therapist as the curious enquirer – asking specific solution focused questions and responding.
SFBT uses various exercises (e.g. The Scaling Question, The Miracle Question) to get the client to identify and visualise the times when they were able to manage well and what was different about those times compared to the presenting problem. SFBT then focuses on the client building on existing resources, skills and abilities so they can work toward making positive change in their own lives
SFBT can be suitable for: Domestic violence offenders, sexual abuse, substance abuse, parenting skills, relationship problems, depression and anxiety, social difficulties and problem gambling.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
CBT is time limited and focused on creating change in the present. The client and therapist work together to help change patterns of thinking that may be causing distress in the client’s life. CBT builds a set of skills that enable an individual to be aware of thoughts and emotions; identify how situations, thoughts, and behaviors influence emotions; and improves feelings by changing unhelpful thoughts and behaviors. CBT asserts that when people think more realistically, they feel better.
CBT is briefer than other forms of therapy and time-limited in nature because it is highly instructional, directive and involves the client doing follow-up ‘homework’ between sessions. CBT involves psychoeducation about the presenting condition, examines how the behaviour affects the client and then teaches skills and strategies to help change and challenge the unhelpful thoughts and patterns around the issue.
CBT is an evidenced-based treatment and has been found beneficial for many issues such as depression, anxiety, anger, phobias, insomnia, eating disorders, and substance use problems.