How Time Travel Could Make Me Less Tetchy; THERE Are 450 Different Psychotherapies from the Wild and Wacky to the Mainstream. but How Effective Are They? Each Week, Consultant Psychiatrist Dr RAJ PERSAUD Investigates the Truth Behind the Hype. This Week: Time Line Therapy, in Which Therapists Claim to Be Able to Treat Problems in a Matter of Mere Minutes and to Alter Your Whole Personality
Byline: DR RAJ PERSAUD
I ADMIT it. I was feeling irritated having just had a very stressful day.
So when Dale Bennett, a Time Line master practitioner, started our session by asking what the problem was I wanted to work on, I naturally mentioned my tendency to get irritated - and he immediately seized on the subject.
Time Line Practitioners believe that the way we deal with time in our lives determines our behaviour, attitudes and problems. Dale asked me to imagine I was playing the parlour game Charades, and to mime 'where is the past and where is the future for you'.
I mimed a space on my left the past - and a space on my right - the future. Dale said this mime meant I was a 'Through Time' person.
If I had mimed the past as behind me and the future in front, this would have meant I was an 'In Time' person.
Time Line Therapy argues that everyone can be divided into these two basic groups. 'Through Time' people make lists, try to be punctual, set deadlines and stick to them.
'In Time' people live for the moment, are not sticklers for punctuality, are less orderly but lead a more spontaneous existence.
I admitted that I did make lists, confirming Dale's suspicions that I was a 'Through Time' person. Dale asked me to imagine my life laid out on a line, stretching back from its beginning and forward to its end.
He then asked me to imagine myself floating high above my 'time line' and float back in time to my first memory of the cause of my annoyance.
This caught me off guard because I had never thought of my irritability as lying in the distant past. But I suggested my memory of an incident when I was about three.
Dale asked me to imagine myself floating down my time line to a few minutes before the event. He then asked me to return to the present. …