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Hypnosis Training Video #373: Interview with Erika Flint – How She Is Becoming a Full Time Consulting Hypnotist (Transcription)

Return to Blog Post, Hypnosis Training Video #373: Interview with Erika Flint – How She Is Becoming a Full Time Consulting Hypnotist

Cal Banyan: Hello, everybody. Cal Banyan here. Cal Banyan’s Hypnosis, Etc.  Today, I’ve got a very special guest who’s going to, I think, help inform and inspire you, especially those of you who are new in the profession, because we know that one of the first big challenges is going from classroom to clients. Alright,  here let me get right into it. I’m going to tell you about Erika.

Now, I’ve been– She’s a 5-PATHer. She’s someone that has been getting more and more involved in our 5-PATH® group. She’s at the NGH convention. She went to our 5-PATHer’s Dinner, gave me a chance to get to know her, and I thought this lady has something going on. She can make a difference in the profession, both for her clients and by just contributing to the profession as a whole, and I said, “Why don’t you come onto one of the podcasts? And we’ll do an interview so that, gosh, our group, our people who watch these videos can get an idea of who you are. Who knows? Maybe we’ll do even better greater things together.

So, got some notes here. Erika’s a certified Consulting Hypnotist, with a practice in Bellingham, Washington, since June of 2013. She’s received her initial training at Bellingham Technical College, which offered a full year-long program. Then, followed that training with the amazing, in her words, 5-PATH® training offered by the Banyan Hypnosis center. She’s also been a member of the National Guild of Hypnotists since June of 2013. Before being a hypnotist, Erika worked in the high tech industry, in the Silicone Valley for over a decade as a software engineer and professional problem solver, when she realized how interested she was in the greatest computing device, the human mind. These are her words, and I really like them.

Now, she loves helping people transform their lives, using the power of hypnosis. She’s particularly interested in helping people lose weight, overcome substance abuse issues, and believe in themselves. Hi EriKa. Welcome to the program.
Erika: Hi, Cal. Thanks for having me. I’m really happy to be here.

Cal Banyan: Hey, so, what do you think? What was that like, being asked to be on the program?

Erika: Oh, my gosh. I was so excited when you asked me. I think– I don’t know if my jaw dropped and hit the table, but inside, it certainly did. I was really, really excited when you invited me to join you.

Cal Banyan: You know, I tell people, how do you get moving in the profession? A big part of it is just showing up, being, showing up at the convention, showing up at the National Guild’s solid gold. If you’re in a networking group,  like we have a special group on Yahoo just for our grads. Are you showing up? Are you part of the discussion? Because there are other people who have been around for a while, we’re looking for people. We’re looking for talent to help move up in the profession or to help us to inspire others. OK. So, let’s just get rolling right into it. Can you give us a little background on what you were doing before you got into the hypnosis profession?

Erika: Sure. So, I’ve been in the IT industry, working for a large corporation for the about last 12-15 years. I was doing basically computer programming, problem solving, systems analysis, that type of a thing. So, people would come to me with an issue. Here, we need to do something. Here’s a problem, and so I would figure out what’s the best way to solve that problem with technology, using a variety of different technologies that we have available today, of course, and then come up with a solution.

So, that was really fun. There’s a lot of kind of a game. You’re trying to figure something out, and I really enjoy that aspect of it. It’s not always that fun, right? I mean, there’s a lot of other things, like documentation and things like that that you have to do that aren’t quite nearly as much fun. But, I really enjoy the problem solving aspect of programming, and there’s a lot of learning, right? I mean, there’s constantly new things coming into the field. So, you really got to do– Just like, as you were talking about going to NGH conventions and those types of things in that field. In the IT industry, you got to go to all these conventions too. You got to keep up on things, right? Let me answer that.

Cal Banyan: Yeah. The best thing, I think, is two sides of the coin. One is learning and growing in the profession, information wise, and secondly, is rubbing elbows. Right?

Erika: Oh, absolutely. Yeah – Meeting people face to face. I’ve been working from home in this industry for like the past seven or eight years, and there’s a huge difference. I mean the water cooler effect. I don’t know if you’ve heard of that. But, just walking in and just seeing somebody everyday and just saying, “Hi,” and just getting comfortable in talking with people, right? And, saying, “Hey, How are you? How’s your kid doing in soccer?” Right?  That they might have told you about last time. Just creating that connection is really important, because we’re all humans. Right? We need to have that connection too.

Cal Banyan: So, how does someone go from being a software developer/problem solver into getting interested in hypnosis, and then deciding to jump into the profession?

Erika: Yeah. That’s a good question. For me, the way it worked was, I just felt although I was really happy with my job, there was a lot of great things about it, a lot of great people, great opportunity, I was still somewhat unsatisfied. I went through a period in my life where it was kind of a low point, and I started thinking, “What am I going to look back on in another 20 or 30 years of my career and say, ‘Hey. I’m so glad I did that. Hey. Look what I built. Look what I did.'” And, I thought working from home and the things that I was doing, software is constantly changing. I mean, you build it, and it’s thrown away two years later. I wanted something more lasting, more meaningful.

So, I started looking for something else. Right? Always been interested in the mind. So, I thankfully came across hypnosis. When I found hypnosis– So, I started taking a class, but when it really clicked for me, it was just such an amazing moment. I was just– My whole entire being just kind of took a big sigh of relief, just like, “Ah. That’s it.” And I felt like I had found my life’s purpose. I was so happy. It didn’t matter at that point, to me, that part of me wanted to wish that I had done this from the beginning. Right? Started my career, my professional career in hypnosis 10-15 years ago.

But then, I realized, “You know what? What brought me to this point right now is so critical because it makes me unique, and it makes the work that I do important for the ways that I’m able to do it because of my uniqueness.” So, I’m really happy, the path that I took, and I’m super happy where I’m at right now.


Cal Banyan: That’s really great. So, now, you are– Let me make sure I have this right. You’re transitioning now from your full-time employment in your previous profession and going into full-time in this profession. Is that correct?

Erika: That’s right. I hope to be full-time in this profession in the next couple of months, and I’m really excited about that because there’s a lot of other things that I’m really interested in doing, as you know. I mean, it’s not just all about seeing clients hour after hour. Right? There’s a lot of other things to do. There’s podcasts to make and articles to write and websites to update and talks and learning and teaching. So, there’s pretty much an endless supply of things to do. Right?

Cal Banyan: Yeah. That’s one of the really nice things about our profession, is you’re not like sitting in front of a computer, banging out code all the time or something.

Erika: That’s right.

Cal Banyan: You’ve got the human element. You’ve got the business element. You’ve got the planning, the problem solving, all that kind of thing. Right?

Erika: Absolutely. You’ve got to find your own way too. Right? There’s a lot of hypnotists out there. You’ve got to be able to find your own voice and your own way that you want to do things. Right? Now, I like to model what I do until I figure it out exactly. Right? I like to model what I do after other people. So, like you at the Banyan Hypnosis Center, you guys do such a great job there.

Start looking at, OK– So, how do I want to open my hypnosis center? Right? And until I feel like I’m an expert at it, I’m going to do it that way. Then, I’ll figure out. Oh. I’m going to tweak it a little bit here and maybe change it a little bit there, and make it my own. Right? That’s the same thing with my clients. Right? When a client comes back and says to me, “Oh. You know that thing we talked about last week? Well, I changed it just a little bit.” I get so excited when they do that, because that means they’re really getting it. Right? It means that they have embraced the change, and they’re tweaking it so that it works for them.

Cal Banyan: Cool. So, now, you got your initial training and certification through Bellingham Technical College.

Erika: That’s right.

Cal Banyan: And then– And you started working with that. How was it that you heard about 5-PATH® and all that kind of stuff?

Erika: Well, the Bellingham Technical College, that was a really neat program because it was nine months long. I got an opportunity to really absorb the information over a nine month period of time. But, what I really liked about it was I got to know the other students in the class, and I’m still good friends with some of them. We still meet. We talk about hypnosis here in town. At the end, though, what I found was that although I felt like I had a good understanding of hypnosis, I didn’t feel prepared to see clients in a true sense. Like, I was nervous about seeing clients. Right?

So, what I did, and this is what most people in like a big corporation or IT would do, is hey, let’s do some networking. Right? So, I called the other hypnotists in town, and I said, “Hey. Can I take you out to coffee?” Right? “Do you want to have lunch? Want to have coffee?” So, I met with a couple of them. One of them, in particular, he said, “You know, Erica. If you really want to do hypnosis in this state, you got to learn Five Path. You got to meet Cal Banyan and see what he’s doing. He’s a Five Pather.” Right?

So, as soon as I was done with my initial training, I learned Five Path. As soon as I finished Five Path, I was like, “OK. Now, I feel ready. OK. I actually feel like I have a plan for any client that walks in the door. I can help you. I know exactly what to do.” Right? So, once I did that, I opened my office.

Cal Banyan: Now, when you learned Five Path, how did you learn Five Path? Was it the DVD course?

Erica: Yeah.

Cal Banyan: Or live? Or what?

Erica: It was the DVD course, which is great, because there’s benefits to each way. Right? I didn’t get to meet you, but I met you later. So, everything works out just fine. But, the DVD course is awesome because I can replay it. Right? So, if I have questions about a certain aspect of the process, I can just pop that DVD back in and watch and just do a refresher. Right? Because there’s so much information, it’s hard to pick up every single aspect of it the first time you go through, for sure.

Cal Banyan: Yeah. Even those that go through the live training with me or one of our trainers, they will usually pick up the Five Path DVD set with them anyway, because after the class– Although, it’s very immersive. You leave with that confidence. There’s stuff you’re not going to be using right away, and it will start fading away. So, having the DVD course is a great way to reenforce that. Let’s, I want to– Tell me about your practice now. Where is it? What’s it look like? And that kind of thing.

Erica: OK. So, it is in downtown Bellingham. Bellingham is about 85,000 people, small college town, western Washington University. We’re 90 miles north of Seattle, 60 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia. So, we’re right near the Canadian border, really great town, very active. So, my office is downtown Bellingham in a historical building, the Bellingham National Bank building. It’s a small office. OK. So, there’s less than 200 square feet, but that’s alright. It works. It’s comfortable and cozy. I see clients in the evenings and on weekends.

Cal Banyan: So, as you’re talking about that, I have a question down here that’s kind of ringing true to me. Is there a particular set of clients or set of issues that you like working with the most? Or you find you’re working the most?


Erica: Yeah. Definitely, a lot of weight loss clients. I feel very comfortable talking to people about weight loss. It’s been something that I’ve done and struggled with in my life, and so I’ve gone through this before. Hypnosis is just really so helpful for people losing weight. So, I’m very– I really enjoy helping people lose weight, because people that are suffering from excess weight, I mean, it’s impacting everything in their life. Right? I mean, a lot of this stuff is. But, I can really connect with somebody on that.

The other thing is substance abuse, and then feelings of inadequacy. All three of these things really are things that I personally, either me or someone in my family, has struggled with. So, they’re really important to me. So, I just have a real sense of compelling to help these people and really want to see them succeed. Really, I feel such gratitude when I’m able to help somebody overcome their substance abuse. That is just so, one of the best feelings, really.

Cal Banyan: It’s so gratifying to be able to– And these people that you’re helping this isn’t their first try to overcome these issues. Right?

Erika: Correct. I’ve had people who are just starting. Right? So, I have people at all stages. So, for example, I have a person who comes in and is still drinking, let’s say. OK. I’m like, oh, you know. Obviously, it’s not going to be as helpful if they come in if they have been drinking. So, we just scheduled all of her appointments first thing in the morning. Right? OK. So, and then slowly, now– She hasn’t been drinking now for, jeez, almost two months, something like that. She is a different person when she walked in my door. Right?

So, when she walked in, you could tell that she was just tired. You know how much time and effort goes into being an addict and hiding that from people? So now, she has time to do everything else in her life. But, I also see people at later stages. Right? They’re like– They have quit, but it’s hard. OK. So, it’s really hard for them. They’re still struggling with the desire. OK. Or, they’re thinking about it. Right? They really want to, but they don’t know if they can. They just don’t. They tried before, and it didn’t work, and so they don’t have any hope. Right? They don’t think that anything can help them.

Cal Banyan: Yeah. So, you have someone, and you finally free them through the work of hypnosis and the secret language of feelings to be free, and I’ve had, actually, clients be angry because they’ve spent so much time, so much money, even going to treatment centers that were live-in treatment centers. And now, after really applying themselves and dutifully doing their hypnosis sessions, they experience what they’ve always wanted. Is that happening for you?

Erika: Yeah. I mean, I’ve had people be like, “There’s no way it could be that easy.” They’re almost just like questioning to the point of, maybe it wasn’t really that bad to begin with if the change was that easy. Right? But of course, of course, it was bad when they came in. I mean, you can pull out some of the initial paperwork. Right? And say, “Well, didn’t you say this, this, this, and this?” So, some people have a hard time connecting with the person that they were when they walked in the door, really.


Cal Banyan: That’s one of the most ironic things. You’ll have this individual come in, struggled with an issue for years and years, and they’re at their wits end. They come in, and you work with them and work with them, and they experience this change. It seems so amazing to them. The subconscious mind and conscious mind kind of conspire to make sense of it all and say, “Well, maybe it was never that bad in the first place.” Is that what you’re saying?

Erika: Yeah. Exactly unfortunately, because then, hypnosis doesn’t get any credit. They’re like, “Well, it couldn’t have– Maybe hypnosis helped a little bit, but it must just not have been that big a deal. Maybe I just got lucky or something.” Yes. Exactly right.

Cal Banyan: Cool. Thanks for that. Speaking of clients, I have a couple questions here. Let me start off with– As far as like– Well, let me stay with the client idea. Do you have like an interesting client case history that you could share with us? Of course, you’re not going to give away any identifying information, that kind of stuff.

Erika: Yeah. Yeah. I did have– I do have an interesting story. This was a real– I know that you teach that your clients teach you something. Right? So, I learned something about this client. So, she came in with a presenting issue of severe back pain, and she could not perform her work. OK. So, of course, I did all of the necessary referrals to make sure that it was appropriate to work with her. But after that, when she came in for her initial interview or the pre-hypnosis talk, pre-hypnosis interview, she wasn’t really talking about her pain in her back. She was talking about emotional pain, almost exclusively talking about emotional pain.

So, I did 5-PATH® with her. I think it was after forgiveness of others, the pain went away 100%. She didn’t have it anymore. It was gone completely. We really didn’t do any work at all, as far as glove anesthesia or anything to try and actually focus on the pain specifically. It was pure dealing with emotional pain, and once the emotional pain was gone, she didn’t feel it anymore.

Cal Banyan: Can you tell me a little bit about– So, of course, phase one is preparation, testing, and convincing. Make sure that they’re ready to go into hypnosis quickly and deeply, and then hypnotizing them quickly and deeply, and then testing them, and then convincing them. Then, you go into phase two, age regression. Can you share anything, maybe an insight or some important moment in the age regression work with her?

Erika: Yeah. I think she was just really, really surprised as to what we found. She was not– Clients come in, and they are expecting, “Oh. I’m sure it has something to do with this.” Right?

Cal Banyan: Right.

Erika: And that’s all that they’re talking about. We, hypnotists, know that we need to gracefully listen to what our clients share with us, and then know that we don’t listen to anything that they say. Right? We really go after the cause. So, she was extremely surprised at what we found. It had nothing to do with what she thought it was, really. It just had to do with the feelings of inadequacy, being made to feel like she just was never good enough. This was a person very successful in every aspect of her life, and I see this often with other clients too. They’re extremely successful, and yet, they still have feelings of inadequacy.

Cal Banyan: How about– So, after the age regression work and you saw that, you do informed child work, and you showed to her that, gosh, she is really everything she needs to be. She’s lovable, and whatever the belief that was stemming these feelings was fixed. Then, did you go on and do forgiveness work?

Erika: Yes. Yeah. Did forgiveness work. There was a lot of, an enormous amount, of anger. So, that– Once we got rid of that anger, that’s when her– It appears as though that’s when her pain went away.

Cal Banyan: This is so in line with– There’s a physician, Doctor John Sarno, and he’s written a few books. The one that came to my attention first was “Healing Back Pain”, Doctor John Sarno. What he would do is he would work with people who have done everything possible to get rid of back pain, and then just say, “OK. That’s not working. It’s not physical. Let’s talk about the emotional component of the pain.” Talking about that emotional component, instead of letting the back pain be kind of a distractor for your feelings and emotions, or to let that tension that comes from experiencing those emotions drive the pain, let’s begin to release those emotions or at least have some insight into them, and the back pain will go away. So, it’s not like there’s no– The medical people aren’t thinking about this. Right?

Erika: Good. I’m glad to hear that they are thinking about this. That’s encouraging. Every day I hear more studies that are kind of proving the mind/body connection and the work that we do. So, I’m very happy to hear about that stuff.

Cal Banyan: Cool. Now, I’m going to move over to a little bit more business end. Everybody has their initial challenges or challenge, something that they have to kind of overcome in order to get their practice going. What was it for you? And how did you overcome it?

Erika: Wow. Well, I felt like there were– Jeez. There’s still thousands of challenges, actually, Cal. There’s so many challenges. I could go on and on with all of the challenges. Certainly, money is a challenge. Money and time. I think one of the biggest hurdles that I had to overcome was an office. OK. Finding an office, an appropriate office. It was extremely important to me that it was very professional office, because I want to make sure from the moment that a client comes into contact with me or my business that they feel safe, and that they can trust me.

So, I felt it was extremely important, whether it’s the website or my office or anything, that it looks very professional and safe. I don’t want there to be even an inkling in their mind, for even just a moment, that, “Oh. Is this for real?” Or any question like that. So, it was really important to me to find an office. Since I was working part-time, it’s not really, at first at least, wasn’t affordable to get a really nice big office. Right? So, I had to find something. I looked around quite a bit, and I finally found something that I made work. So, really, with some diligence and putting some time in and being creative and just opening up to the possibilities of what could happen. It did happen.


Cal Banyan: How did you make it happen?

Erika: Well, I would look– I basically would look almost every day for an appropriate space, and I would go there. I started envisioning what I would need up on the walls. Right? So, it’s not just about an office. Unless you’re going to rent a furnished office, you have to have furniture. Right? There was no way, even starting off on a budget, I wasn’t going to just go buy some used furniture and have my clients walk in, and they’re like, “Oh. Jeez. This looks kind of shady.” Right? It needed to look really nice. So, in the meantime, while I was looking around for the right office, I was starting to think about, “OK. What’s going to happen when it’s ready?” So, I started thinking about furnishings. I started thinking about what am I going to put up on the wall. Just those things so that when somebody walks in the door they immediately feel comfortable with you. Then, I just got lucky, I think, with the place. So, there’s a certain amount of work that you have to do, and then the right thing comes along. So, that seems to happen. So, I just believe that that will happen, and it does.

Cal Banyan: It’s funny how life works that way. As you start putting work into something, and then you get lucky. Right?

Erika: Right.

Cal Banyan: You never would have got lucky if you weren’t putting the time, money, and energy into what you were trying to, the goal you were trying to accomplish. Right?

Erika: Right. So, I wouldn’t even know if it really is luck. I think that might just be how the universe works. Right? You just really have to put some time and effort into it, and then the things will synchronize in your way. It’s just kind of a matter– Like, if you’re looking at it mathematically, there’s just a percentage. You just keep on going and boom. It’s going to happen at some point.

Cal Banyan: I really like this interview because I don’t have to do much work. I just say something, and then you run with it.

Erika: Well, good. I’m happy to hear that.

Cal Banyan: OK. I’m going to ask you kind of a double-ended question. Then, we’re going to wrap it up after that. OK?

Erika: Alright.

Cal Banyan: Because we really got a little bit over time, but they’re very important questions. That is, where do you get most of your new clients? And why do your potential clients select you over other hypnotists?

Erika: Alright. So, new clients, word of mouth, number one. But of course, that’s not going to happen right away. Right? So, initially, what I did was I did some advertising. Online advertising is the cheapest, by far. So, I went with Google AdWords advertising, and it brought in some of my initial clients. Right? Then, you start doing your referral work. OK. After that, I realized how important it was for me to get out into the community. So, I started giving free classes, 90 minute classes. This format works really well for me. 90 minute classes. They are workshop classes, hands on. OK. So, people are learning things in these classes. I teach self- hypnosis and stress reduction classes right now. So, people leave feeling inspired and hopeful. Right? They feel like, “OK. I can do this.”

Well, then, of course I get clients from those classes, but it’s not just that, because they’re free. So, they’re open to people who would never be able to afford. I have people taking the bus and taking other– Not able to afford anything at all, really, and come in and take these classes. They’re very thankful for these classes. So, those are the three ways that I get clients. But, certainly number one, referral.

The reason that people come to me is because I work really, really hard to make people feel safe. The content that we talk about in the office is extremely fragile and hard for people to talk about. Some of these things that they share with me, they’ve never told anyone. They might not have even admitted to themselves. So, it’s something that I am really driven to focus on, is creating a safe environment. I mentioned this before, but from the website to my office to the way I answer the phone, I want people to feel confident in my abilities and safe that they can come into me and trust me, very important. When I have that trust, and I keep things safe like that, then that’s when I’m able to do really great work with that person.

Cal Banyan: Cool. Well, alright. I’m going to give you one more shot. Then, we’re going to wrap it up. That is, like, maybe you had some ideas of what you’d like to talk about in this interview. Is there anything you want to add or tell the audience that you haven’t spoken to yet? Keeping in mind, that once this goes out on the Internet, it’s going to be there forever. In the year 2325, they’re still going to be watching these videos because everything that goes on the Internet stays there forever. So, what do you got to say to the group?

Erika: Alright. If you want to be a hypnosis professional, just imagine you can do it. I did. Everybody has their own unique way of doing things. Embrace your uniqueness because that’s what the world needs. They need you to be your authentic self. Embrace your uniqueness and go for it. You can do it. You really can.

Cal Banyan: Beautiful. Thank you very much, Erika. I really appreciate you coming by. I think we’re going to do kind of a question and answer video that we’ll have out next week. So, I’m looking forward to doing that. So, now, all you folks out there, I’m so glad you came by. I’m so grateful that you’re a part of our viewership, and I want to you look into our classes here on We always have our list of classes. In case it’s next year, two years from now, we’ve got a course coming up, The Week of Power, in May. July, we’ve got our next 10 day certification course. I want to see you in class. I want you to become a 5-PATHer, a 7th Path teacher, a lover of the secret language of feelings, and most important of all, out there helping people. Because when you create value by helping others, then you increase the value of your own life. Alright. That’s it. Cal Banyan signing off.


Copyright 2014 Calvin D. Banyan . All rights reserved.

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