Therapy Tips For Time Line Emotional Clearing

Here are some therapy tips for making clearing emotional clearing on the time line even more effective.

Note: unless you have trained in Time Line Therapy (or a similar process like Time-Based Techniques), this post probably won’t mean much to you!

I trained in Time Line Therapy (the trademarked Tad James version) when I was working as a hypnotherapist, and almost immediately started tweaking it to make it more user-friendly.

Tad’s process is the most powerful I’ve found for helping clients to let go of emotional baggage – *and* here are a couple of tweaks that I found make it even more effective. For all I know he’s added similar changes in now (I trained in TLT nearly 20 years ago).

1. When doing the ‘test drive’ of the time line, getting the client to imagine it and float above now, I add “or just stay where you are and let it sink away below you, whichever is easiest”.

The rationale is that a few clients will experience difficulty in floating up, or even get nervous of heights, so I get them to move the timeline instead. This may be linked to how they experience the timeline – as something moving or something fixed.

Some people will experience the timeline as something fixed that they move along, like a road (this metaphor shows up in expressions like in “We’re coming up to the summer holidays” or “Let’s move on”). Others may experience themselves as fixed and the timeline as moving, like a river (“The summer holidays are nearly upon us” or “The deadline is getting closer”).

2. I stopped using the ‘Position No. 1, Position No. 2’ wording. Reason being, it requires the client to remember where each position is. Assuming they can do that successfully (by no means a given), they would have to be maintaining a mental picture of the diagram of the positions – which puts them into a dissociated viewpoint. For floating up above the timeline to work, they have to be associated – so there’s a conflict there.

Instead, I describe verbally where they should be at each point in the process, taking care to use language that suggests an associated viewpoint.

3. I hardly ever use the ‘Emotions 2’ process – the one where they go straight down into the significant emotional event in order to get the learnings before floating above it. I haven’t found that it adds anything to the ‘Emotions 1’ process which is done dissociated, and it makes it still less likely that the client would be ‘ambushed’ by negative emotions in the event.

As I said, this won’t mean much to anyone who hasn’t trained in ‘official’ Time Line Therapy(tm) but I hope that those who have may find it useful. (If you are an NLP practitioner working in therapy, I would recommend attending a TLT training or similar from a trainer who knows what they are doing, as it’s the most effective process I have found for releasing emotional baggage rapidly and painlessly).

© 2013 – 2019, Andy Smith. All rights reserved.


  1. Wayne Farrell

    Thanks Andy. Useful information.

  2. Jenny Grand

    Thanks for this information Andy. These are great suggestions and I can understand how these can make the process more effective.

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