Hypnotherapy, NLP and Time Line Therapy™

There is no doubting that we all have little voices that make us question ourselves or influence the way we behave and think. Some can empower us – telling us to give it a go or reminding us of a past success before we tackle something anew. However, there are also those that hold us back or make us question our abilities and aspirations.

Time Line Therapy™ is a way of addressing the events of our past that may have led to this way of thinking in our present situation. If we can identify why we think a certain way, then there is every chance we can address it and even overcome it. Potentially, this will lead us to greater freedom, renewed motivation or increased confidence in ourselves. And what’s not to love about any of those things?

How does Time Line Therapy™ work?

Our ‘time lines’ are a way of our memories being stored, but also how they then may project onto our aspirations for the future. Through hypnotherapy, we are able to revisit some of these events or triggers and find ways of processing them in a new way. While we can’t change what has happened in the past, we can alter how we feel about it and how it influences the way we conduct ourselves.

For example, if we have a series of experiences that lead us to believe we are not ‘management material’ then we are less likely to put ourselves forward for promotion or seek greater accomplishments at work. These could be significant events such as a failed presentation or botching an invoice, but they can also be far more subtle – a comment from a colleague, or not being asked to contribute to a project. Perhaps it’s even the fact that some of your colleagues seem to go for a beer on a Friday but you’re not included. 

We read into these situations and try to make sense of them. We process them in any way we can. We tell ourselves it’s not a big deal or isn’t personal, but often these little hints and experiences can accumulate. They build momentum and the concept becomes stronger in our minds. Over time, these beliefs become more significant and breakthrough our resilient exterior. 

The same could be said for our personal lives. If we have a series of bad dates or failed relationships, we can let this impact how we perceive ourselves – perhaps we are not worthy of a loving, supportive partner and we should settle for someone who is ‘nice’ even if they don’t really encourage, support or inspire us. Maybe we’re asking for too much… but are we? Others can achieve this, so why can’t we?

These thoughts, perceptions and beliefs generate little earworms which can weave their way into our thoughts and cause all sorts of mayhem. They can plant seeds of doubt and lead us to believe things about ourselves that just aren’t true. These beliefs then lead to certain behaviours and actions, which often don’t have our best interests at heart.

We shouldn’t overlook that there are positive examples of this. If we do well in music and are told we play the violin well, then that forms part of our belief system. If we make others laugh, this can lead to greater confidence when it comes to making conversation as we perceive ourselves to have a good sense of humour. If our boss gives us a raise and praises us, we know we’re onto a winner. All these external influences constantly feed into our subconscious and create an internal understanding of ourselves, our strengths and our weaknesses.

What is Time Line Therapy™?

Time Line Therapy™ was created by Tad James PhD, one of the founding fathers of neuro-linguistic programming, or NLP. This field of work is widely known and is used across many professions, from sports coaches to sales managers, to teachers. 

The basic concept of NLP is that the more determined and positive you approach aspects of your life, the greater likelihood you will succeed in them. If you believe you will lose the race, you almost certainly will. Whereas, if you are convinced you’ll land the deal/win the race/find a good relationship, then you are more likely to do so. It is here that we can begin to see the link between NLP and TLT – if our past is limiting our present, then we need to address this so that the inner voice is positive, encouraging and empowering. With this kind of self-talk, we can make long term, positive changes.

This process can be surprisingly quick. Even if a concept of ourselves has been long-held, it can be addressed in a matter of sessions. Soon, we can start believing in our qualities and abilities once more and work towards a future that we may have otherwise considered off-limits. 

What if you don’t know what is holding you back?

Hypnotherapy deals with the subconscious, so we are often working with the part of our persona that is shielded from day to day life. While you may not be aware of what is influencing your current thoughts, this is ok. Your conscious mind works separately from your subconscious but is entirely informed by it. If trying to make links between the past and the present isn’t obvious to your conscious mind, this isn’t a problem for a hypnotherapist. The client and therapist work together to quickly unearth all sorts of hidden concepts that may be buried in the subconscious.

Next, we can begin to address them. This process often starts with a feeling you have now and travelling back through your ‘time line’ allows you to identify where this feeling may have originated. We can even visit other moments on the ‘time line’ that gave this negative feeling more momentum. Alongside your therapist, you can revisit these events in your life, observe them, learn from them and begin to move on. You can begin to let go of anything negative from these events that impacts your here and now.

Is the process upsetting or traumatic?

It doesn’t have to be. Many clients experience a great sense of empowerment from letting go of these limiting beliefs. Hypnotherapy is a safe way of addressing these and liberating yourself from their influence and control. You are constantly in control of where your subconscious takes you and if you find something too unsettling, you always have the option to take a step back or bring yourself out of trance.

Your therapist will guide you, but they do not know the inner workings of your subconscious. And while this is something only you can access, we would always encourage you to explore this style of therapy with the expertise of a hypnotherapist. Doing so allows you to safely confront the past to positively impact your future.  


Want to know more? Why not read our other articles:

If you’re ready to contact a hypnotherapist, simply browse profiles until you find a therapist you resonate with, then make contact. You can filter results via the issue you’re seeking help with, or via the type of approach offered.

Don’t worry if you’re worried or unsure about what to expect, ask the hypnotherapist questions and they’ll be able to guide you on the right path.

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Written by Jessica Chapman

Jessica Chapman is a therapist and teacher with a passion for the outdoors and being creative. She enjoys assisting others in making positive changes to their lives alongside working on her own aspirations.

Written by Jessica Chapman

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