Table of Contents

Table of Contents Help

The tabs on the right are shortcuts to where you have been:

  • Previous Screen
  • Previous Articles
  • Previous Categories
  • Start Page
  • Hide Entire Menu

Swiping to the left will take you to the previous screen.

The folder icon indicates that more content is available. Click on the icon or the associated text, or swipe to the right to see the additional content.

Articles & Ideas


Combining EFT with Timelines

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated. Please use my newest advancement, Optimal EFT. It is more efficient, more powerful and clearly explained in my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™.  Best wishes, Gary

Hi Everyone,

This article by Tom Robertson from Scotland will be of particular interest to those proficient in Timelines (an NLP concept).

Hugs, Gary

By Tom Robertson

Dear Gary,

I have been using EFT, successfully for approximately three years now.  I also combine the use of hypnotherapy and selected NLP techniques in typical client interventions.

However, I have found that integrating EFT with the power of timelines (from NLP) greatly enhances the outcome of client sessions.  Not only that, but the timeline approach provides an additional client measure of the success of the process, which I will explain further.

I have used the approach with clients suffering from a wide range of severe negative emotional issues.  I will not describe any particular case as most of your readers, by this time, need no convincing about the potency of the application of EFT.  The readers might be more interested in the approach, which is briefly described in the ensuing paragraphs.  What I describe is typical, although I always have to be flexible and adjust the approach according to the client’s circumstances.

1. Explain EFT and Introduce the Concept of Timelines

To begin with, I explain the background and EFT process.  I introduce your excellent metaphor about cutting down trees (of different sizes) in a forest.  Once the metaphor is accepted, I enable the client to give the forest a temporal structure by asking them to imagine that the trees in the forest have all sprouted and developed at different times.  Some may be new, some may be ten years old, and some may be twenty years old, and so on.

I encourage the client to see the forest laid out in front of them in sequence, from the oldest trees to the newest, up to the present time.  Usually this manifests as a line of trees on the horizon, which represents a timeline.  Note that a few clients may see the line of trees stretching from behind them to just in front of them.  Their convention has to be respected.

The client now has a visual image of, and understands the concept of timelines.  It is a relatively simple step forward to have the client imagine and develop his or her own timeline.

2. Set up the Client’s Timeline

I then set up the client’s own timeline by having them imagine or float above an imaginary line in the room, one direction (usually left) represents the past and the opposite direction represents the future.  To calibrate the timeline I have them move in either direction to points that represent say one, three years, ten years in the past and in future.

3. Set up A Safety Net

Once they feel comfortable with their timeline, I have them move to a point on their past timeline where they felt safe, happy and relaxed.  That feeling is then strongly anchored to provide a safety net, in case of abreaction.  Other positive resource anchors can be set up as necessary, for use after EFT has cleared out the negative emotions.  Once the anchor(s) have been set up, I move the client back to today’s position.

4. Identify Specific Negative Emotional Events on the Timeline.

I have the clients move to the left (or back in time) and ask them to identify events resulting in specific negative emotions or limiting behaviours that have to be dealt with, going back to the very first one that they remember.  (Note: this may take some time and interaction with the client). Once the first emotional event has been established, I have the client return to today, again.

5. Establish the Colour of the Timeline.

The client is then invited to look back down the timeline, aware of their negative emotions, and to give the timeline a colour which represents that emotional state.  The client is also facilitated to imagine what colour the timeline would be if the negative emotions were not present.

6. Eliminate the Negative Emotions on the Timeline using EFT

I have the client move back down the timeline to a point just before the first negative emotional experience and apply EFT techniques.  I still calibrate the client’s emotional intensity using the level of intensity scale (0 = no negative emotion 10 = most intense negative emotion). 

However, I also have the client check if there has been any change to the timeline colour.  This provides the client (and the therapist) with an alternative measure of success.  Importantly, my observation suggests that the change of colour may provide a self-reinforcing feedback loop to the client’s subconscious that the process is working, and encourages further change.

Once the earliest experience has been taken care of, we move up to a point, just before the next negative emotional experience and repeat the whole process, noting the change of colour on the timeline.  Sometimes removing one ‘large tree’ removes many others, in typical EFT fashion.  (Note: The change in the colour of the timeline can be quite profound and may even generate strong feelings of emotional relief for the client).

7. Check out the Future

At the end of EFT, I bring the client back to today and check the colour of the timeline all the way back to the first emotional point.  If some negative emotional colour remains then we eliminate it with another round of EFT, as before.

I then invite the client to identify points in the future, where the negative emotions would have been limiting, and walk up to a point on the timeline just past the event.  I check for any residual negative emotion plus the colour of the timeline, when looking back from the future, to today.  Residual emotions are dealt with then, as appropriate, until they are eliminated and the timeline is depicted in a positive emotional state colour.

Regards … Tom Robertson    


Explore our newest advancement, Optimal EFT™, by reading my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™. More efficient. More powerful.