Time Line Therapy ® & The Language of Time

Time Line Therapy ® techniques gives the Time Line Therapy ® Practitioner a very precise method for eliciting how an individual stores time. Along with the formal elicitation process it’s possible to detect a person’s time line by listening to them talk and watching for gestures that analogical mark out how they code time. Often when you talk to someone about an event that happened in the past, maybe last Christmas or a job interview, then they will point in a certain direction that denotes where their past might be. The same is true about the future. If you talk to someone about next Christmas or them successfully negotiating a pay rise at work in the future, they will mark out where their future is by pointing or gesturing to it.

Also listening to the words and the expressions that an individual chooses to use can also be revealing to the Time Line Therapy ® Practitioner. For example, maybe the person went to a job interview and it didn’t go too well for them. In describing that experience to you they might say that they have put it “behind them” or that experience is something that happened in the “dim and distant past.”

Interestingly, for some people, events in their future may seem “a long way off.” And for others, time just seems to “fly by.” So we can start to see how language (how an individual is “gauging” and describing) their life experiences is important because it gives the Time Line Therapy ® Practitioner a literal reflection of how the person internally represents time.

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