Self-Coaching with SIBAM – Coacharya

Jun 21, 2023

Self-Coaching with SIBAM

One valuable aspect of the SIBAM model is its ability to enhance self-understanding. By engaging with the different channels of SIBAM – Sensations, Images, Behavior, Affect, and Meaning – we can gain deeper insights into ourselves and navigate our experiences more consciously. It’s also helpful to identify which components of the SIBAM model feel more accessible or comfortable and which ones feel more challenging or uncomfortable to explore. Here is an exercise you can try to explore and understand your inner world:

Start by finding a quiet space and taking a few deep breaths to become present. Bring your attention to your breath and body, and observe and witness without trying to change anything. Stay in this state of presence for at least 2-3 minutes before bringing to mind a non-traumatic situation you want to explore or resolve. It can be something that has been occupying your thoughts, a conversation you’ve been meaning to have, or even an upcoming event you are preparing for. If multiple situations come to mind, choose the one that feels most important to address.

Keeping your eyes closed, allow yourself to get a full sense of the chosen situation. Avoid fixating on it too intensely or falling into worry. Soften your mental focus and simply absorb the overall feeling, or felt sense, of the situation.

Notice sensations: Once you have a grasp of the situation, pay attention to the sensations arising in your body. Simply observe these sensations without trying to control, analyze, or delve deeply into them. Notice, temperature, tension, pressure, lightness, heaviness, tingling, or any other physical responses that arise within you. Continue to maintain openness and curiosity as you notice these sensations, acknowledging their presence and accepting them as they are. Whether they’re subtle or pronounced, allow these sensations to simply be, without attaching any meanings or interpretations.

Explore imagery: While staying with the sensations, notice if any images arise, such as colors, textures, sounds, smells, and tastes. You may also imagine a metaphor that symbolizes the experience. Again, try not to analyze or interpret, but let the process unfold naturally, releasing expectations and embracing whatever emerges. Release any narratives and fully immerse yourself in the sensations and imagery.

Acknowledge emotions: As you explore the sensations and metaphors, inquire about the affect or emotions they may relate to, but avoid labeling them. Allow the feelings to name themselves. If a specific emotion arises, check in with the corresponding sensation or metaphor to see if it resonates (e.g., “Is this anger coming up?”). Be mindful not to create a story about the emotion or to control or judge. Simply acknowledge the feeling and let it know it is welcome.

Express through movement: Allow your body to take a shape or engage in a movement corresponding to the sensation, imagery, or affect you are experiencing. This could involve curling up, stretching, pushing away, shaking or any other movement that feels natural and aligned with what you are sensing and feeling. Slow down the movement and observe it from different angles, paying attention to how it reflects and embodies your inner experience. If there is something that your sensations, imagery, or affect want to express verbally, let it emerge. Trust your body’s wisdom and allow it to guide your movements and expressions during this exploration.

Be open to new meanings: Embrace a mindset of openness and curiosity as you hold the sensations, imagery, behavior, and emotions. Create space around them and remain receptive to new meanings or insights that may naturally arise. Avoid forcing anything but observe if any new connections or awareness emerge.

Even if new insights do not surface, exploring the other four channels of SIBMA (sensation, imagery, behavior, and affect) can provide a deeper understanding of your experience. Engaging with all components of SIBAM allows you to process your experiences in a more balanced and holistic way.

Coacharya’s Coaching Foundation Course with Tracy is coming up on the 6th of July click here if you are planning to get your level 1 credentials (ICF’s ACC)

Tracy Brown
Tracy Brown


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