SE Perth: ver.1

Perth Assistant Team Spotlight

Joel Decker, MA, SEP, MFT#50087

It is my true joy to assist on this international team of trauma trained professionals, whose in-depth knowledge and talent for the nervous system approach to healing continues to deepen my inspiration for this work.

As a seasoned Psychotherapist I have found a large percentage of people looking for help are struggling with trauma. It wasn’t until I took the Somatic Experiencing (SE) training that I realized (even within the first year) how I repeatedly missed critical moments in sessions with people whose bodies carried the distinct physiological stress signatures we have come to recognize as trauma.

Trauma reaches deep into the bio-physiological structures of our being, and without a somatic-based approach we cannot get at the root of our struggles. We need to understand how the non-cognitive regions of the brain/nervous system hold onto and release survival-based, instinctual energies.

I was so moved by how effective and gentle my teachers worked, how they showed repeatedly that healing trauma did not have to look scary, intense, or even uncomfortable, that it has become the ongoing inspiration of my life’s work. Learning to mitigate survival energies through the telling of a therapeutic story, helped me discover the inherent resources of the psyche that are presented along the way, offering comprehensive support to someone layer this deeper layer of neuro-physiological repair.

SE, in it’s comprehensive approach to the treatment of trauma, gave me the subtle tracking skills to feel confident in supporting people who came into my office with current or past issues stemming from an abusive relationships, repeated surgeries, high-impact accidents, as well as developmental and generational adverse experiences.

Since that first year in the SE training I have assisted on over a dozen training teams, as well as gone on to deepen my knowledge in post-advanced trainings with Peter Levine. I look forward to continuing to learn and grow together individually and collectively in the modules offered through SEAustralia Perth! Welcome to the community, I look forward to meeting you.

With warmth, – Joel

p.s., I love to chat about SE. Feel free to email with any questions you may have about learning SE through the training modules offered through SEAustralia.


Somatic Experiencing (SE) is coming to Perth!
Why Train for Trauma?

SE helps identify and utilize the bio-physiological markers in treatment with people and populations struggling with trauma. Talk Therapists such as social workers, psychotherapists, and psychologists, as well as Body Workers will benefit from this training in many ways.

for Talk Therapists:

Symptoms of Stress: Without understanding how the body expresses traumatic stress from past relational/developmental abuse, not only will we undervalue our caring role in the healing relationship, we may refer out inappropriately to a more medical approach, a deep misattunement.

Pacing: Without the capacity to track posture, micro-movements, self-protective impulses, etc…we get lost in cognitive story telling, and risk repeating what already goes on and on out in the world of the client, repeated activation of stress-based triggers associated with the ‘story’ of the difficult events, re-overwhelming the nervous system, and leaving the client in a feeling of dis-empowerment.

Vicarious Trauma: Without the skills to midigate the stress arousal in sessions, we let the client go passed ‘threshold’ and into overwhelm, which leaves us struggling to re-contain, manage, feel pulled into or actually need to then support the person from a place of stabilization. All of which can raise our own levels of stress, and triggers related to overwhelm, lack of support, past moments of crisis or emergency. Understanding the nervous system allows us to work within the window of tolerance, and settle into the powerful yet gradual medicine in trauma treatment, competent containment.

Fight, Flight, or Freeze: How do we recognize instinctual impulses, such as anger, a healthy, intrinsic fight impulse, and support it through to completion? When do we interrupt it, redirect, and psycho-educate? Catching the earliest hints of these sensory-motor action plans in our clients allows us to isolate and work directly with the nervous system without throwing more fuel on the fire.

for Bodyworkers:

Tracking Breath Patterns: By tracking breath patterns, such as; escalating in sympathetic charge, hovering at threshold, discharging down parasympathetic, dropping into freeze management, or integrating into here-now orientation, we are better prepared to support the stress and completion cycle, knowing not only how to make contact but when and why.

Shock versus Developmental Trauma: Different forms of trauma show up in the physiology in a myriad of ways. Understanding the feel of these survival energies as they start to move through diaphragms, organs, or joint system, allows us to make an informed decision as to the readiness of each subsequent layers of containment

Orientation: It is so important to understand the rhythms of stress physiology, particularly the orienting architecture, the spontaneous impulse to orient to our surroundings, as well as the here-now awareness as we go into, pendulate through, and complete cycles of stress physiology.

Our trainings fill up fast!


If you’re curious how Somatic Experiencing can benefit your agency, school, coaching, counseling, or therapy private practice, or other health care setting, please call us at;
###-####, or email joel@seaustralia.com

Thank You!