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#“Back to the Future” Part 1 – Healing Anxiety & Panic Attacks

“Wait a minute, Doc. Are you telling me you built a time machine?”

Imagine if we could trace the roots of our emotions as easily as we recall our favorite movie lines. It’s a little-known fact that the vast majority of our emotional landscape is formed by the tender age of seven.

Let’s delve deeper: the emotions we feel beyond six years old are often just reverberations of those early experiences, aside from those altered by medication.

Consider this: when we revisit a memory, we’re not just remembering the event itself but the last time we revisited that memory. Introducing new elements to that recollection can reshape the associated emotions.

Envision traveling back in time to moments before the genesis of a challenging emotion or belief. For instance, a four-year-old grappling with anxiety or a limiting conviction. What if, at six months old, they discovered a state of peace ? And what if this infant self could summon a guardian, like the cherished “Action Man” (a toy from his  past) to guide his younger self?

This concept may seem intricate, yet it aligns with the essence of “Back to the Future.” To gain a fuller understanding, I recommend reading my previous post on Clean Language: what-is-clean-language-therapy/

Listen to this six (6) minute audio of a Zoom session I had with a 60 year old man in the U.K. who used to suffer anxiety, loneliness, and occasional panic attacks when he traveled. Through the “Clean Language” technique and a journey ‘Back to the Future,’ he finds healing for these emotions in these six minutes.

Email 6 Months Later 

“Hi Clint,

Just a brief report about my experience recently on a trip to the UK Southeast Coast visiting our daughter. She lives in _______ – close to Dover which, as you know, is famous for its White Cliffs. ________ has the same sort of terrain, so to access the beaches one has to descend the cliffs.This is is achieved via a variety of different footpaths each allowing a “zig-zag” staggered descent to the beach.

Previously I would have struggled with this (and a sheer drop from that height still causes vertigo), but I was able to use the footpaths with, let’s say only 10% discomfort. I had a few “wobbly moments” but these were quite transient.

Also I didn’t have any feelings of “homesickness” or thoughts about being away from home like I used to. This may also be in part in a shift within myself that has afforded me the ability to just “be in the now” but may well also be due at least in part to the session you kindly gave me.”


 This process is about building a very strong foundation before the trauma and using “Clean Language” questions. If you were to build a “hurricane resistant” home would you build it during or before a hurricane?  I had the client go back in time before the trauma. Use this phraseology: “Go back in time before the event that caused the ……..(metaphor or problem). This eliminates disassociation and fragmentation that sometimes happens in a traumatic event. Most of the time it also mitigates complex traumas.

The two resources are transformative. The strongest emotion that dissolves all others is “Peace”. See the post:

A “helper” could be an animal, an object, a person, or a symbol.

This accomplishes three things for the client:

1. Again most of the time the client is unaware of the content of the traumatic event. The client doesn’t have to relive the trauma! 

2. The actual intervention normally is less than 20 minutes. There is less to deal with because a strong foundation is made by having “Peace“ and a “Helper“. This makes the trauma almost a nonevent emotionally.

3. The client is the hero of the experience because of the “Clean Language” used – not the therapist. I also advise clients to allow the child to pick the helper – not their adult. This experience empowers their child by allowing them to pick their “helper”. The child within does not need to be rescued! Only the child knows how to best heal their traumatic experience.

I have used this procedure successfully for the past 15 years. I believe this process is one of the most gentle, kind, and empowering interventions for the treatment of depression, traumatic memories (PTSD), OCD, unwanted emotional states, and for changing limiting beliefs about one’s self.

I belief this is the only therapeutic modality that allows a client to heal their C-PTSD in a single session (if the traumas are similar and took place over a long period of  time).

Below is a PDF with the breakdown of the pattern:

“Back to the Future” Pattern PDF

Acknowledgments: Dona Webber for the idea of a healer. Richard Bandler for his work on re-imprinting. David Grove for Clean Language .


Clint77090 (@)

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