What is Time Line Therapy?

Healing Emotional Trauma and Altering Hurtful Behaviors

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Time Line Therapy. Lyle Leduc / Getty Images

The therapeutic process called Time Line Therapy (TLT) is a methodology in which a series of techniques are used to bring about changes on an unconscious level and alter behavior for the better. The intention of this therapy is to help individuals refrain from being reactive to present situations based on their past experiences. TLT is a reprogramming process that releases the effects of negative experiences and helps a person let go of past influences. TLT is based on NLP and hypnosis theories.

Why Learn Time Line Therapy Techniques?

TLT trains people how to tame or manage their reactive natures whenever life throws a curve ball. No life is lived without experiencing a few less than welcome surprises. Giving troubling events perspective and resolution is needed to reduce emotional upset, but that doesn't mean we have the tools to do this. This is where TLT can assist emotional release, adjustment, and acceptance. This psychological program could be beneficial for anyone who has the habit of hanging on to grievances, or someone who is having difficulty recovering fully from the shock of a loss (death, divorce, job loss, etc.). Burying past hurts or hushing emotional flareups is not the same as finding resolution. Resolution means releasing negative emotions and moving forward without being tethered to yesterday's wounds. 

Become a Critical Thinker

Critical thinking is not a negative in this case, self-analysis is perhaps the better term. Doing so involves separating yourself from preconceived notions and looking at new situations in a fresh light. Not always easy to do.

How the Process Works

Pen is put to paper... creating an actual timeline of the events of your life from birth to present time. Notations are made of both the high points and low points. Much like storytelling. Do your best to keep it in chronological order. This can be done on your own or as a group therapy project. Allow time to reflect on each event, key into any emotion connected to it. Use color markers to highlight significant events that are emotionally-charged. Put a happy face on the positive events! The tough work begins after the timeline is drawn. It involves reflection and delving into how each event has molded your personality, how you related to others, and so on. Identify the triggers, begin asking yourself questions. The exercise is meant to open up any hurts that still have their grip on you and allow healing to begin. You get to re-write your story!

Benefits of Time Line Therapy

  • Promotes living in the present
  • Reduces fears
  • Assists anger management
  • Releases negative emotions based on stored memories
  • Teaches acceptance 

Health Conditions Treated with Time Line Therapy

Timeline of Time Line Therapy

300 B.C Aristotle is credited for first mentioning "stream of time" in his book Physics IV
1890 American philosopher and psychologist, William James, spoke of "linear memory."
Late 1970s NLP Developers, Richard Bandler and John Grinde began combining the theory how memories are stored with hypnotherapy.
1965 Time Line Therapy created by Tad James, M.S., Ph.D.
1988 Time Line Therapy book written by Tad James and Wyatt Woodsmall was published. Full Title: Time Line Therapy and the Basis of Personality

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

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Desy, Phylameana lila. "What is Time Line Therapy?" Learn Religions, Jul. 31, 2021, learnreligions.com/time-line-therapy-1731316. Desy, Phylameana lila. (2021, July 31). What is Time Line Therapy? Retrieved from https://www.learnreligions.com/time-line-therapy-1731316 Desy, Phylameana lila. "What is Time Line Therapy?" Learn Religions. https://www.learnreligions.com/time-line-therapy-1731316 (accessed June 10, 2023).