If you’re like most people, you’ve probably experienced at least one bout of crippling self-doubt. For example, you may have felt you didn’t deserve that promotion or raise – so you didn’t ask for it. Or perhaps you subconsciously sabotaged a serious romantic relationship – one with a lot of potential – because, deep down, you didn’t feel worthy of love. Perhaps you’re battling painful emotions that stem from childhood trauma or struggle to suppress the panic that arises in social situations. If so, then you’re probably a very good candidate for Time Line Therapy.
Time Line Therapy is a unique blend of Ericksonian hypnosis, neurolinguistic programming (NLP), and cognitive behavioral concepts. This powerful therapeutic model is based on the premise that our self-perception, beliefs, emotions, and behaviors stem from everything you’ve learned and experienced in life – including how you look at those experiences. Your “time line” is a complete collection of your memories, held in your brain like a sort of mental photo album.
Time Line Therapy can be used to treat psychiatric disorders such as depression, PTSD, and anxiety. In fact, it’s so effective for anxiety that both the British military and Russian psychologists have used it to treat soldiers suffering from PTSD. It can also be very beneficial in helping you reach your goals, have greater success in life, and make empowering decisions that align with your deepest desires and values.
Understanding the Unconscious Mind
In order to have an idea of how Time Line Therapy works – and why it’s so powerful, it helps to understand the unconscious mind.
Your unconscious mind is simply comprised of all the things of which you’re not presently conscious. Many people assume that their actions, decisions, and learning all occur on a conscious level. However, the unconscious mind plays a significant role in each of those things. That’s why it’s essential that changes occur at the unconscious level – at least if those changes are to be lasting, which, of course, is usually the desired outcome of therapy.
When you learn something it’s stored – permanently – in your unconscious mind. It may not seem that way, because you were likely conscious while you were learning. Much of your behavior is more unconscious than you realize. Consider all the things you do each day that are essentially automatic – pushing on the brakes to slow and stop your car, putting cream in your coffee, or climbing a flight of stairs. You don’t stop and consciously consider each step involved; you do it unconsciously, while your mind is focused on something else.
The same is true of change. How many New Year’s resolutions have you made, determined that this would be the year you stick with them – or at least with one or two of them. Yet, despite the best intentions, you quickly fall back into your old ways – for the 19th year in a row…
Time Line Therapy is effective because it recognizes just how powerful the unconscious mind is and why change must occur at that level.
Prime Directives of the Unconscious Mind
Your mind is essentially hard-wired to do certain things. This is a crucial point to recognize in Time Line Therapy as it provides the framework for the process. Your unconscious mind:
- Stores all your memories (it stores them both in relation to, and not in relation to, time)
- Organizes all your memories (it looks for associations, and links or categorizes them accordingly)
- Generates and maintains all your emotions
- Represses unresolved traumatic and painful memories (these are the ones that get “stuck” and create internal blocks)
- Presents repressed memories so that negative emotions can be resolved
- May keep those memories oppressed at times in order to protect you
- Keeps your body functioning
- Preserves your body when faced with serious danger
- Takes direction from the conscious mind
- Enforces learned morality
- Filters and controls the huge amounts of information that come in through the senses (sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell)
- Manages the body’s energy
- Generates and maintains habits and instincts / habits require repetition to take hold in the unconscious
- Constantly seeks more (e.g. this is why the excitement of something new quickly wears off)
- Works best with the least number of required parts
- Relies on, uses, and responds to symbols
- Uses as little effort as possible (i.e., takes the path of least resistance)
- Perceives everything as
- Can’t process negative input (that’s why it’s crucial to frame everything in the positive, rather than the negative)
How it Works
Your time line is believed to play a significant role in your personality. After all, it includes all your happy memories, sad memories, your fears, and your self-doubts and other limiting beliefs. Even though many of those memories have been long forgotten – or pushed away because remembering them is far too painful – are stored permanently in our brain.
Time Line Therapy doesn’t attempt to eliminate any of those memories – not even the ones that cause significant pain. Rather, it enables you to release – once and for all – the troubling emotions and limiting beliefs connected to your past so that you can move on with your life, no longer encumbered by them. By intervening in your time line at the unconscious level, Time Line Therapy can help you make positive changes in your life that you may have believed were impossible.
As a process for deep, lasting, permanent personal transformation, Time Line Therapy enables you to learn from those past events that may have been haunting you for years – or even decades. Since lasting behavioral changes occur at the unconscious, rather than the conscious, level, it works by bringing about change at the unconscious level.
This enables you to release the inappropriate, unhelpful “programming”. When this occurs, you’ll find that you no longer react to the challenges you encounter today with negative emotions connected to your past. And it does this very quickly – within minutes or a couple hours – rather than taking days, weeks, months, or even more.
In addition to allowing you to release negative emotions and limiting beliefs, Time Line Therapy also empowers you to create the future you desire. Rather than living as a byproduct of your cumulative memories and experiences in life, Time Line Therapy provides a simple and effective process for creating a truly worthwhile future.
Time Line Therapy allows you to take back control over your life. It frees you from limiting beliefs and negative emotions by accessing specific memories. In addition to enabling you to be released once and for all, the process empowers you to create new beliefs that will empower you and help you move towards a more fulfilling life.
Origin of Time Line Therapy
Compared to most therapies, Time Line Therapy is fairly new. It was developed by Dr. Tad James in the mid-1980s. Trained in NLP and hypnosis, Dr. James began to effectively apply his therapeutic techniques to the linear fashion in which we store memories. By doing this, positive and lasting results could be achieved in a short timeframe. Over the years, therapists and NLP practitioners in many different countries have been trained this powerful approach.
Dr. James has written several books related to his work, including his 1999 best-seller, Hypnosis: A Comprehensive Guide, and Presenting Magically, published in 2001. One of his most recent productions, the Secret of Creating Your Future Personal Success Program, is an audio / video course. The course has helped countless individuals positively change their lives.
Disorders, Conditions, Symptoms, and Issues that can Benefit from Time Line Therapy
One of the most impressive characteristics of Time Line Therapy is that it can be used to treat many different psychiatric disorders and symptoms, as well as physical conditions. It can also be very beneficial for helping people overcome challenging life issues and overcoming the seeming obstacles that have hindered them from having the life they deserve. Time Line Therapy can help those struggling with:
- Anxiety, including phobias and fears
- PTSD and other issues related to unresolved trauma
- Limiting beliefs
- Low self-esteem
- Lack of self-confidence
- Painful emotions that continue to resurface
- Unresolved grief and loss
- Low motivation and apathy
- Feeling “stuck”
- Chronic pain
- Somatic disorders
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Major life transitions
Benefits of Time Line Therapy
Time Line Therapy offers many potential benefits, including the following:
- Finally let go of the limiting beliefs that have been holding you back
- Have a better understanding of past events that impacted your life
- Overcome debilitating phobias
- Release, once and for all, destructive or painful emotions, such as anger, fear, grief, feelings of unworthiness, regret, hurt, sadness, guilt, jealousy, hostility, and anxiety
- The ability to face the future with optimism and hope, rather than dread or anxiety
- Relief from stress
- Freedom from troubling, intrusive thoughts
- Overcome bad habits
- Increase your capacity for success in all areas of life
- Feel empowered rather than helpless
- Overcome the impact of past trauma
- Increase your self-confidence
- Overcome the obstacles that have been keeping you from living the life you desire
- Have more fulfilling interpersonal relationships
- Increase your income
- Find a more fulfilling and / or rewarding job or career
- Find yourself living more fully in the present, no longer dwelling on the past or worried about the future
- Overcome personality issues that have negatively impacted your life
- Improved ability to achieve your goals
- Face challenges from a position of strength
Advantages of Time Line Therapy
Time Line Therapy has many advantages, particularly when compared to more traditional forms of talk therapy. These include the following:
Results can occur very quickly – Rather than spend months and maybe even years rehashing your story about past trauma or ongoing conflict with your mother, Time Line Therapy can produce lasting, desired results in a very short amount of time by. This is because it quickly zeroes in on the heart of the problem. Although sessions often last 2 to 3 hours (compared to the standard one hour with traditional therapy), many people experience significant results within just one or two sessions with a skilled practitioner.
For example, individuals suffering from phobias often overcome them with just one session of Time Line Therapy. Working through troubling emotions and limiting beliefs may take a little longer, often requiring 2 to 3 sessions (3 to 6 hours total). If you’re seeking a more intensive “breakthrough” (a sort of “overhaul” of your life), 8 to 10 therapy hours will likely be necessary (these can be broken down into just two or three therapy sessions). Breakthrough work helps you discover what you really want (i.e. determine your most important goals) based on your true values.
It’s cost effective – Many people are reluctant to pursue more traditional forms of therapy because of the significant investment of both time and money. If insurance doesn’t pay – or if you have to pay a substantial co-pay when it does – treatment can be quite expensive at an average of $125 per hour.
Because TLT works much more quickly – by getting to the root of the problem – the overall cost of treatment will almost always be much less expensive. This makes it a much more cost effective – and affordable – option for many individuals who otherwise wouldn’t be able to get into therapy.
It’s “content-free” and won’t re-traumatize you – This advantage of Time Line Therapy makes it an excellent alternative, particularly for anyone whose primary issue involves past trauma. Most people don’t relish the idea of opening up old wounds, analyzing every aspect of an event, or talking about deeply painful issues. TLT doesn’t require that, because the approach is “content-free”. This means you don’t need to relive or rehash the past in order to facilitate healing. Rather, your unconscious mind will be able to sift through all the internal chatter and repressed memories, and rapidly zero in on the root cause.
It’s active rather than passive – Some people get discourager in talk therapy because, after all, it seems as if they’re wasting their time and money. They want to see results, not just watch their bank account dwindle! With Time Line Therapy, you will actually be doing something about it.
It’s easy to learn – Time Line Therapy clients often appreciate the fact that they can easily learn how to apply the therapeutic techniques on their own, if needed, down the road.
Entire chains (gestalts) of a troubling emotion are released – This is perhaps one of the most powerful advantages of Time Line Therapy. Rather than clearing the emotion (e.g. sorrow or anger) related to a specific trauma, Time Line Therapy gets to the core of the problem and enables you to release all of the painful emotion – in other words, all the sorrow or anger you’ve been experiencing.
Results are lasting – Again, because Time Line Therapy gets to the root of the problem, it brings about lasting results. Limiting beliefs and troubling emotions are released once and for all, not just for a period of time.
Deep levels of hypnosis aren’t necessary – Unlike many therapies that involve hypnosis, Time Line Therapy is effective without getting deep into hypnosis. In fact, this is one of the reasons results can be achieved more quickly.
Finding a Time Line Therapy Practitioner
Finding a qualified Time Line Therapy practitioner can be a bit tricky unless you live in the UK or Australia. In the U.S., you may come across a few via an online search for “time line therapy” (or “therapist”) in your city. However, you’ll probably have better luck searching for qualified NLP practitioners or mental health professionals who incorporate NLP and Time Line Therapy into their practice.
Since many NLP practitioners offer their services remotely (e.g. via Skype or phone), you have the advantage of being able to work with someone in another city, state, or even country. However, always be sure to choose practitioner who has received proper training and certification and / or licensure (as required in his or her state or country), and who has experience helping others with similar issues.
If you’ve been diagnosed with a serious mental health disorder such as PTSD or major depression, or have yet to be diagnosed but are experiencing serious symptoms that are interfering with your ability to function, it’s strongly recommended that you consult with a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, or other qualified mental health professional first. Time Line Therapy may be a beneficial adjunct treatment to other, more traditional, forms of treatment. However, keep in mind that many individuals who offer Time Line Therapy (e.g. NLP practitioners and hypnotherapists) aren’t licensed mental health professionals.
If you’re struggling with a life challenge, want to improve your self-confidence, desire greater success in life, and / or suspect that limiting beliefs may be keeping you stuck, Time Line Therapy may be the right option for you.