Self-spotting for Success!

By Stephanie Barbee | Oct 9, 2021

I took my first brainspotting training in April 2021. I wasn’t sure what to expect and if I’m honest I was quite skeptical. Well, my mind was changed immediately! I was able to participate in demonstrations and practice with other practitioners. I even stepped outside of my comfort zone and volunteered to be a part of the larger group demonstration. It was life-changing. Fast forward and at this time, I have completed Phase I and II, as well as various pieces of training from the conference AND a self-spotting workshop. Although I could talk endlessly about all of my experiences, this will be focused on my self-spotting experiences.

When I first took the self-spotting course, I think I underestimated how simple, but hard it can be. What does that mean? Well, in brainspotting, David Grand says “where you look affects how you feel” so one of the most important parts of the process is to choose an eye position. I find that when I do this by myself, I frequently want to change positions for no other reason than because from my perspective of control, I’m not noticing enough and “I have to get it right”. According to one of the pieces of training I went through, having some frontal lobe, logical brain interference is normal, maybe even to be expected. Which was good to know. Because I stuck with it and I’m glad I did. My favorite spot to gaze from is my office window. I often open it just enough to hear the sounds of the neighborhood; random cars, birds and crickets, the occasional dog barking, or a person talking loud. It became a part of the experience. Sometimes I stood and found a spot, often at the top of a tree in the distance that unlike all the other trees did not bear leaves this year. Other times, I would sit in my office chair and let the sounds ground me as I watched a leaf on a tree blow gently in the wind, as I allowed my mind to wander this way or that. And what have been the results?

I’m so glad you asked! Since I started self-spotting, I have become more confident in who I am as a professional walking through this world. I have been able to define my niche (Black Queer community) and have started tailoring products for the community I seek to serve. This has included having the courage to create a course and a community that is built on love, upliftment, and empowerment. Honestly, I’m not sure what the result will be. But thanks to my regular practice with self-spotting added to my routine, I know within myself that it will be exactly what it’s supposed to be, both for myself and the clients I seek to serve. Whether you are a professional seeking to elevate or a client seeking to have something to use in-between sessions with your therapist, I recommend learning more about self-spotting!

About The Author
Stephanie Barbee is a Clinical social worker in Missouri. She serves Black Queer people who seek to understand their identities, overcome traumatic experiences, or explore how to move through a world that sees them as invisible.


Stephanie Barbee

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