Roy Hunter Interview

International Authority on Parts Therapy and Hypnosis. Author, Lecturer, and Famous Hypnotist and Hypnotherapist.


What made you want to become a hypnotherapist?

Roy Hunter: During the late 1970’s, hypnotherapy helped me with some personal issues, including stress. Then, in 1982, self-hypnosis helped me control pain after an injury that my doctor told me would result in my becoming a chronic pain patient for life. Through self-hypnosis, I’m free of that pain about 95% of the time. I knew that if hypnosis could help me, it could also help others.

How did you first discover hypnosis was a powerful way to affect change?

RH: Again, in 1978, hypnotherapy helped me to manage my stress…which lowered my blood pressure in less than a month. (The hypnotherapist who helped me did not even know that I had high blood pressure.)

How much do you think hypnosis is a placebo, if at all?

RH: A psychiatrist who took my hypnosis training course years ago described a placebo as an example of belief, imagination and expectation. These are the ingredients of hypnosis…so from a certain point of view, you could say that anytime suggestion and imagery alone help someone to succeed, it is an example of the placebo effect. Hypnosis helps make the placebo effect more effective; but often there is subconscious resistance that has to be discovered and released. That’s why many clients of hypnotherapy need more than the placebo of suggestion and imagery alone.

Some suggest that hypnosis brings only short term results, are these statements/concerns valid?

RH: When subconscious resistance exists, the results may indeed be short term. This is why the hypnotherapist needs to learn regression therapy and parts therapy (or one of its variations, such as ego state therapy). The late Charles Tebbetts considered the use of hypnosis with suggestion alone to be “band-aid therapy” because when the cause remains buried in the subconscious, the inner mind can either return the same problem or create another one that’s worse. I myself have been the client of temporary results MORE than once because the facilitator failed to dig out the cause from my own subconscious. In two instances, the facilitator believed that a certain NLP technique (and EFT) would be sufficient. A later regression session got the results I wanted.

How much do you think the environment causes or at least, contributes to behaviour? Does someone need to remove stress factors from their lives before they can say, quit smoking?

RH: When I client sees me for smoking cessation, I require that client to invest in a separate session learning self-hypnosis for managing stress. During the 1980’s, I surveyed clients at 6, 12, and 18 months after their sessions…to learn my success rate. I learned that stress caused more backsliding for smokers than all other reasons combined. Thus, a person who is under maximum stress has one or more sessions for stress management before actually quitting smoking.

You’re renowned for being the authority on Parts Therapy, for my readers, would you be able to describe the therapy and its benefits for affecting change?

RH: Parts therapy is based on the concept that we all have various aspects of our personality…in other words, we wear different hats. This means we can have conflicting emotional desires regarding a goal. For example, a part of a client’s personality is DETERMINED to keep on smoking, while another part (perhaps desiring better health) motivates the client to invest time and money to quit smoking. In parts therapy that facilitator acts as a mediator to help clients resolve inner conflicts.

Charles Tebbetts pioneered this technique years ago, based on the work of Paul Federn. John and Helen Watkins pioneered a twin of parts therapy, which they called Ego State Therapy. Just as Tebbetts asked me to continue his work, Gordon Emmerson has continued the work of Watkins and Watkins. Another common variation is Voice Dialogue. However, parts therapy and ego state therapy are closely related because both of these techniques are client centered AND they incorporate deeper levels of hypnosis in order to maximize results.

Where do you see hypnosis moving forward in the next 20 – 30 years?

RH: The general public has increasing awareness of the benefits of hypnosis due to the countless successes around the world. For example, many former smokers are now smoke-free because of hypnosis. Along with this interest, however, comes questions and concerns raised by some in the psychology profession…even more in the USA than other countries.

A hypnosis professional practicing client centered hypnosis does NOT diagnose; but rather, practices on the concept that the cause of a client’s problem resides in the subconscious. Also, the practitioner should fit the technique to the client rather than vice versa. I’ve had many successes over 27 years as a result of the client centered approach; but it requires width and depth of training in the art of hypnosis. In years past there were a number of “hypnosis trainers” promoting short-term courses that allegedly trained people to become hypnotherapists in only one or two weeks. In my opinion they profited at the expense of our professional credibility. Most credible hypnosis instructors teach longer courses.

IF the hypnosis profession continues its trend towards credible training standards, we can remain as a separate profession; which I believe will be good for both practitioners and clients alike. If the promoters of short courses continue to churn out practitioners with only minimal training, we might someday find ourselves controlled by others. I believe this would hurt our profession greatly.

Is it likely with further research that Universities and the medical mainstream may become more open to it?

RH: One of my goals is to see us build better bridges between the professional artists of hypnosis and mainstream healthcare.

What is a little known fact about hypnosis?

RH: The majority of our historic pioneers of hypnosis (and trance before the term “hypnosis” was coined) shared a common mistake. They believed that a skilled “operator” could cause someone to become “subject” to his/her suggestions, thus giving control over to the hypnotist. Charles Tebbetts believed that all hypnosis is guided self-hypnosis; in other words, the power to create trance resides within the CLIENT’S inner mind. We are only trance artists.

Once a person buys into the concept that the person in hypnosis creates his or her own trance state, that person becomes more empowered to RESIST unwanted suggestions. This was demonstrated to me years ago by a smoker who told me after his fourth session that he was still “smoking like a chimney…” However, 18 months later he returned to go through my smoking cessation program again. He said, “Last year you told me that hypnosis was self-hypnosis; so when you suggested that I become a non-smoker, I modified the suggestion to SOBER…and I have not had a drink since! So now I’m ready to quit smoking.”
My text on parts therapy is: HYPNOSIS FOR INNER CONFLICT RESOLUTION: INTRODUCING PARTS THERAPY. Gordon Emmerson’s text is: EGO STATE THERAPY. Both books are published by Crown House Publishing, and both are available at my website:

Thanks for your time Roy!

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