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Joanne McIntyre

Neurobiology of Safety: Clinical Applications of Porges’ Polyvagal Theory in Trauma Informed Practice

Date to be confirmed for 2020

Workshop overview

The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is an evidence-based intervention that emerged from Porges groundbreaking Polyvagal Theory. The SSP diverges from traditional therapeutic approaches by targeting underlying systems and structures that support nervous system integration. The protocol is non-invasive, simply administered, and involves listening to specifically filtered music over 5 hours to stimulate the auditory system and improve middle ear function. Through stimulating the auditory portal, increased attunement to frequencies of the human voice is enabled and dampening of lower frequency background noise (perceived as threat) occurs.  State regulation and pro-social behaviours emerge due to the neural circuitry of the social engagement system being employed. This is a practical one-day training providing participants with a deeper understanding of how the autonomic nervous system is pivotal in our ability to develop emotional regulation and behaviour modulation. Participants will learn about the Polyvagal Theory, existing evidence; implementation, and support strategies for the Safe and Sound Protocol in trauma-informed practice. At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be able to order the SSP acoustic technology to implement in their setting. Certification as an SSP practitioner includes submission of a case study demonstrating application and clinical reasoning.

Joanne McIntyre, OTR, MS (Psych), BCN, PhD Candidate

Joanne moved to the United States after graduating from LaTrobe University in 1991 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Occupational Therapy. She later completed a Master’s of Science majoring in Psychology at California Southern University.

While residing in the U.S.A for 23 years, Joanne founded a therapy practice including Speech Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists and Psychologists.

Joanne pursued specialty training in various clinical interventions and treatment programs that identify and address the underlying neurological causes of state regulation, learning and behavior issues versus symptomology. Her training included Advanced Integrated Listening Systems, Safe and Sound Protocol, Neurodevelopmental Treatment, Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT), Neurofeedback including EEG brain mapping, Temporal motor processing program (IM), and Heart Rate Variability bio-feedback training.

Travelling throughout Canada and the United States, Joanne worked as an instructor for Integrated Listening Systems (iLS).

Joanne returned to Australia 2015 and is Clinical Director of Integrated Listening Australia providing practitioner training and clinical support to clinicians and families.

Joanne is currently a PhD Candidate at La Trobe University within the School of Psychology and Public Health investigating the Neurobehavioral underpinnings of the Safe & Sound Protocol Intervention supported by the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre (OTARC). This study will expand our biobehavioural understanding of the intervention.

Joanne presented at the International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR) Conference in 2015 about integrating iLs with Neurofeedback.

  • Understand the key principles of the Polyvagal Theory in relation to working with trauma clients
  • Understand the autonomic nervous system in relation to state regulation
  • Appreciate the role the auditory system plays as a portal to state regulation
  • Articulate key evidence of the Safe and Sound Protocol
  • Know how to use the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) acoustic technology
  • Develop key concepts about implementation in an office and/or home setting
  • Understand how to evaluate the appropriateness of the SSP intervention
  • Identify how to support children and families based on shifts in the social engagement system during and post SSP implementation in a trauma-informed setting

This workshop is suitable for all professionals working with traumatised children and adults who are looking for additional ideas for therapeutic interventions grounded in Porges’ Polyvagal theory.


The workshop fee includes entrance to the workshop for the one day, a certificate of attendance, a printed copy of the PowerPoint slides, morning tea and afternoon tea.

All registrations are online and payment is by credit card. Please click on the ‘Register now’ button above. A confirmation email will be sent to you automatically.

STARTTS Carramar
Large Group Room
152-168 The Horsley Drive
Carramar NSW 2163

Parking: Some onsite parking available (enter off Mitchell St), free street parking
Train: Fairfield train station is a 20 minute walk, Carramar train station is a 10 minute walk
Bus: 904 or 905 from Fairfield train station

9am-5pm | Registrations open at 8.30am

A certificate will be emailed after the event to attendees who signed the attendance sheet.

Payment of the registration fee is online by credit card and a receipt/confirmation will be automatically emailed to you. Please bring your receipt to the seminar for proof of registration in case it is needed. An administration fee of $50 applies to all cancellations made more than one month before the event. Registration once paid cannot be cancelled one month or less before the event, regardless of personal circumstances. Registration can be transferred to another delegate only if STARTTS is informed of the name change. The closing dates for registrations are final and non-negotiable. For questions please contact Darius Rountree-Harrison at or (02) 9646 6700.

Phone: (02) 9646 6700  Ask for Darius Rountree-Harrison

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