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PARTS work in hypnotherapy is of considerable interest to many practitioners and students of hypnosis. This book gives an operational account that any therapist will find highly useful. Students will see that it is an invaluable introduction.
The author, Roy Hunter, worked with the pioneer of this work, the late Charles Tebbetts. Together for many years, they developed a program for inner conflict resolution that is being applied around the world. The author conducts parts therapy workshops both in Britain and the U.S.
Parts therapy is client-centered. It facilitates the release of subconscious conflicts and promotes rapid relearning. To do this effectively, practitioners need a step-by-step guidebook until mastery results from the work itself. This is the needed guidebook.
For this reason, it's worth noting that the Contents pages are detailed and explicit as to each category and subheading. The numbered style is famiiar: for instance, "...6.1. Why should a part choose a name or title?, 6.2...6.2.1. etc." Even working with a client in the room, a therapist could quickly thumb through the contents page, find a needed reminder of steps and substeps, and look it up fast.
What is the nature of this work?
Client-centering means the work is not prescriptive wherever the client can supply information during the process. The therapist supplies appropriate questions; the clients digs up the substantive answers and speaks them aloud. Certainly this goes along with the cardinal principle that, in effect, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis, a view widely shared in professional hypnosis. The full participation of the client drives the process toward success.
"Parts therapy is the process of calling out and communicating directly with any and all parts of the subconscious involved in helping a client achieve a desired result." (p. 2) And, from the context, it appears that what Hunter means by 'part' is not like a part of machine or body, but rather, "part' in the sense of taking a part in a play on stage, a functional voice or role within the subconscious. The metaphors from drama immediately suggest lesser and greater parts, motivating and conflicting roles, and much more. And that suggests Hunter's first distinction: "conflicting part" as distinct from the "motivating part." The metaphor of the role results in much "role-playing" in the hypnotic state, and again, this is why the work is client-centered.
The hypnotic state itself and the therapist's skill make it easier for the client to communicate with and about each part within the psyche. It's this communication to good purpose that is Parts Therapy. Sometimes these parts are called ego parts; others have called them ego states, subpersonalities, other selves, or developmental stages. Whatever we call the phenomena of psyche, a well-adjusted person "is one in whom the personality parts are well integrated," according to mentor Charles Tebbetts. Conversely, sufficient conflict indicates maladjustment. It follows, that inner-conflict resolution leads to happier adjustment; this is the experience of clients and practitioners.
The importance of the hypnotic state in this work is paramount. Deeply hypnotized clients can expect to do better than those whose state is marginal. The work becomes effective as each client discovers the best resolution by answering questions asked by the facilitator. Knowing what to ask and when to ask it is a good deal of the art of the work.
After he describes the background of the work, preparation of the client, and the contributions of Charles Tebbetts, Hunter lays out the numbered Steps in the process. He gives working detail and this requires a chapter. The background includes four objectives and these are crucial: 1) suggestion and imagery, 2) discovering the cause, 3) release, and 4) subconscious relearning. Parts therapy can fulfill all these objectives but often the relearning occurs after the process itself has been completed.
Not to be confused with the objectives, the first Four Steps in the process involve identifying the part, gaining rapport, calling out the part, and thanking it for emerging. An "important Fifth Step" is to discover the purpose of a part of the subconscious. That step involves naming the part.
These things comprise the deceptively simple elements of the program and the book goes on to guide continuing work mediating among parts, getting agreements, what typical sessions look like, providing sample sessions for study, and anticipating pitfalls and questions. The guide is complete without becoming exhaustive.
It would be hard to envision a more readable, handy, and complete compendium on this subject so vital to hypnotherapy. Give this book an honored place in your desk library.
© 2007 David M. Wolf,
David M. Wolf, M.A. has been leading a Philosophy Evening twice- monthly for the past year at Yoga Bookstore & Cafe in Honesdale, PA. He is the author of Philosophy That Works, a book about the foundations of knowledge, truth, and philosophy; you can read sections at Google Book Search or Chapter One at http://www.xlibris.com/philosophythatworks. David is presently working on a new novel, and a growing collection of sonnets, and other works.