Image of Dr. Lori Parker -- Safe & Sound Provider and founder of the Center For Human Integration

Lori A. Parker, GCFP, SEP, Ph.D.

Dr. Stephen Porges developed the early precursor of the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) more than 20 years ago. SSP is based on Dr. Porges’ Polyvagal Theory.

Polyvagal Theory is not something Dr. Parker recently stumbled across. In fact, she was one of the first lay people, if not THE first lay person to write about Polyvagal Theory in a thorough, detailed manner. That was in 2006. She was introduced to Stephen Porges’ Polyvagal Theory while in her Advanced Training as a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner.

Dr. Parker took the words spoken by Dr. Peter Levine at the end of her Advanced SE Training very seriously. Dr. Levine literally said: “This is important people. You have to get this theory!” Well, most people didn’t get it, and many people, at that time, simply dismissed it out of hand. But Dr. Parker did not.

She went straight home, with her copy of Dr. Porges’ seminal article on the subject, and began to read it. But she basically found it unintelligible — brilliant perhaps, but impossible to understand. Her sense of things was that no lay person would likely spend the time to read this paper or attempt to really understand the importance of what Dr. Porges was attempting to communicate.

So, line by line, she proceeded to tease out the essence of what Dr. Porges was talking about. She then wrote a 55-page paper to simplify this very complex theory. It is called Polyvagal Theory: What Is It? And Why Should We Care? That paper, written for the lay person, is still available on our website as an eBook.

Shortly after writing that paper, Dr. Parker asked a colleague, Dr. Benjamin Shield, a highly respected Rolfer and Craniosacral Therapist, to teach a one- day workshop on Polyvagal Theory. An MP3 File of that workshop is available on our website as well. Additionally, Dr. Parker developed two Feldenkrais Movement Awareness Series, based on Polyvagal Theory. One is called: “Freeing The Neck, Relaxing The Jaw, And Softening The Face.” The other is called “Creating Space For Your Lungs.”

The point, in short, is that Dr. Parker is no stranger to Stephen Porges’ Polyvagal Theory. Nor is she a stranger to working with the human nervous system. She has been doing so for over 20 years – day in and day out – with a large cross-section of individuals.

Not only is Dr. Parker well versed in Polyvagal Theory, she has studied extensively with the top echelon of trainers in the Somatic Experiencing Community: Dr. Peter Levine himself, Dr. Raja Selvam, Dr. Larry Heller, and Dr. Kathy Kain.  So, the concept of “titration,” which is a very important component for those working with the SSP Protocol, is also not new to her.

“Titration” is a core concept in the Somatic Experiencing Model and a very important part of the SE training. Because the majority of Dr. Parker’s clients are Somatic Experiencing Clients, she has extensive clinical experience working with stress-related conditions and she has literally practiced “titration”, day in and day out, for over 20 years.

Somatic Experiencing and SSP, are for Dr. Parker like “hand & glove.” They are perfect compliments to each other.  Although, she is relatively new to delivering the SSP Protocol itself, her extensive background in Somatic Experiencing and Polyvagal Theory, coupled with her 20 + years of clinical experience, makes her particularly well-suited to deliver the SSP Protocol.