I'm really enjoying doing all of these interviews with our successful graduates. Each one has their own story to tell; each graduate finding their own way in our beloved profession.
Today I am honored to interview my favorite grad that provides hypnosis in Singapore! In all fairness, and in the spirit of full disclosure as they say, I need to tell you that Linda is my sister-in-law. She went through our very first course that we taught in Singapore.
Let me tell you a little bit about Linda Damara, more from a personal point of view before we get into the information about her hypnotherapy practice. First, Linda is a very "up-beat" person who finds thinking about things in a positive way very natural. Because of this and her naturally "chatty" personality she is fun to be around and comes across as a real "people person."
Ever since we first turned our attention to the idea of bringing our hypnosis training to Singapore she has been of great help, and really runs our interests on that side of the world, doing everything from working with potential students so that they have the information that they need to decide upon taking our classes, to providing ongoing support to our newest graduates. She is really great, and I am totally looking forward to doing this interview with her.
Before I get started I want to share with you that she is a great hypnotherapist who has my complete confidence. We have referred many clients to her in the past and have heard the greatest things about the work that she does.
Okay, now I can get on to the interview!
Cal Banyan: Hi Linda! This is going to be fun. I have to forget that I am your brother-in-law for a few minutes and be very business-like now. So, give us some background on yourself and tell us why you decided to get into the hypnosis profession.
Linda Damara: Hi Cal, this is going to be fun. I'll be all business because I really want to tell everyone about hypnosis and how great it has been for me! Here we go...
From a young age, I always liked seeing people happy and smiling and it always upset me to see people sad or angry. I got interested in Hypnosis after reading the book "Many Lives, Many Masters" by Dr. Brian Weiss in 1999. I found it very interesting and exciting. I remember thinking to myself "how fulfilling it must feel, to be able to help someone using Hypnosis". Then in 2000, when I began assisting you and Maureen as a Course coordinator for the National Guild of Hypnotists Approved Hypnosis Training you were going to do here in Singapore. It fed my Hypnosis interest even more as I got to learn more about Hypnosis. So in 2002, I took the Hypnosis training so that I can help people to be positive and happy with themselves.
Cal: It was really great having you in Singapore to help us out. I know that you have worked with every student that has gone through our program. We appreciate all that you have done for us and the new 5-PATHers!
Okay, so you have been in practice for some time now. You are full time in the profession. Why don't you tell us a bit about your office, and your clientele?
Linda: My office is set up solely to cater to clients who need "Hypnotherapy" to make positive changes in their lives. Because my office is located in an old walk-up building, usually when the clients visit me for the 1st time, as they are climbing up the stairs (my office is on the 2nd floor)... their minds are wondering what kind of office/practice will it be etc... However, the minute they step into the office, all these new clients comment that they feel so calm and relaxed.
Very quickly my new clients settle in and I will have them fill out the paperwork. After that I have them watch your pre-talk video, "The Truth about Hypnosis". If they are in to see me about working on a bad habit, addiction, or compulsion, then they also watch your other video "The Secret Language of Feelings Revealed - Addiction, Obsessive, Compulsion and Emotions". These videos have been such a great help for all my clients. After this, they are ready to begin and we head to the Therapy room into the comfy recliner and get to "work".
Cal: I'm so glad to hear that you are finding those videos to be helpful in the work that you are doing. They really streamline things at our office, and at the same time ensure that our clients get all of the information that they need to get started, pretty much, right away.
So, tell all about what you did to be so successful as a hypnotherapist Singapore.
Linda: Well, like I said, I took the Cal Banyan's 5-PATH and 7th Path Self Hypnosis training in 2002 and then I also took Lisa Halpin's Hypno Coach training in 2005. I continue to learn more about Hypnosis by reading Hypnosis books written by Roy Hunter, Dave Elman and spend time listening to Cal Banyan's "Online Supervision CDs" which has helped me tremendously.
I constantly attend courses which I feel will assist me in my work and I intend to learn and study with other great teachers in the near future. We never stop learning, right?
Cal: Linda, I really like what I am hearing. You got off to a great start, but then you keep on learning. Ongoing professional development is "a must" if you are to grow in this or any profession. I like the fact that you are integrating what you are learning from the great teachers that you mentioned like Roy Hunter and Lisa Halpin, and fit it right into 5-PATH®.
So tell us more about exactly what you do. What is your main approach to working with your clients?
Linda: At my office, I solely use the 5-PATH® process with every client. My clients are always given the "Benefits Form" in advance which they will send to me 2-3days prior to their 1st session. All my clients book and pre-pay for 5-6 sessions on their 1st appointment. This way, the clients are more committed to their sessions and are then able to achieve what they came in for. And, since they have made all of those appointments they can be assured that they can get in to see me when it is most convenient for them. It really works out great.
I then just move them through the process. It is a system, that once you get it, it is really universal. It gives me the confidence that I needed, and the structure as well. In Phase I, I get them ready to do the rest of the work ahead. Phase II, we go after and neutralize the cause. In Phase III an IV, we get rid of the anger and guilt from the past, and provide them with a great deal of insight that really makes the suggestions stick for long term success.
Cal: I hear that kind of thing over and over again. That is what 5-PATH® is really all about. And, now that we have hundreds of hypnotherapists trained in the system all around the world, they are all contributing to the system. We are helping some of our grads to publish books on their use of 5-PATH® as well. It really is exciting.
Give us a quick example of a case.
Linda: Okay, let me see if I can come up with something short. I could just go on and on about my clients, keeping in mind confidentiality of course.
I had this client who came for "Stop Smoking" issues. As I did the 5-PATH® therapy sessions with him, after the 1st session, he had stopped smoking. On the 2nd session, he mentioned to me that he has difficulty in getting over relationships. He said that whenever he felt bad for a long time, he also suffered from Bulimia. By the 4th session, not only did he stop smoking permanently without any withdrawal effects, his Bulimia and his problem with relationships was dissolved.
This is his testimonial after he completed his 5th session: "It was truly an amazing experience to be able to get in touch with my deepest level of feeling and being. It's nothing short of miraculous, this newfound knowledge of my own limitless potential for which I will be eternally grateful."
Cal: Linda that's great. That is a perfect example of how the 5-PATH® approach is different from so many approaches used in hypnosis today. With this technology, we can really go after the cause of a problem, and as a result other things tend to clear up as well. For example, if someone is very nervous, that can cause all kinds of problems, for example headaches, inability to stop smoking and even alcohol abuse. So if we work on any one of those problems, when we neutralize the cause of the problem, the other things clear up.
But then you know all of that since you see it happening in your hypnotherapy practice. That is part of why I am really proud of the work you are doing. I know that you are an inspiration to many of our other graduates, and especially those who have hypnotherapy practices in Singapore, and the Asia-Pacific area in general.
Oh, I'm going on and on! Tell me more about your clientele.
Linda: I love working with "self esteem," "anxiety," "anger" and "stop smoking" issues. My clientele is 50% "ex-pats" (citizens from other countries) and about 50% Singaporeans. I work with all age groups ranging from children, students, young adults, young professionals, matured adults. Really, just about anyone can benefit from hypnotherapy.
Cal: That is wonderful. I like the fact that you work with a lot of clients who are from outside of the country. You are helping to get the word out about hypnosis!
It sounds like Singaporeans are open minded to hypnosis as well. Tell me more about how you get your clients and perhaps why you think that your clients choose you over some other hypnotherapists in Singapore.
Linda: People always seem to feel very comfortable when they speak to me face-to-face or over the telephone. I am often told that my voice seems to have a calming effect. That is a very good thing for a hypnotherapist to have!
So, even though potential clients may be shopping around, I always make the effort to explain to them what Hypnosis is and how it can help them when all else fails. It's just like you say Cal, I tell them that, "I'm a hypnotherapist. I help people when everything else has failed." That really gets them wanting to hear more. They want to hear about this thing that could help them with problems that they have been unsuccessful with.
Then I tell them that at my Center, "we do it all the time with success." That really gets them hopeful and they want to book an appointment. And, because I know that I can help them I come across confidently.
Cal: I hear that you have a very busy hypnotherapy practice, and that you see a lot of clients. Tell the readers a bit more about the "secret" to doing that.
Linda: I do like Maureen teaches all of your grads, and then all my clients book and pay upfront for a minimum of five sessions. This ensures their commitment to the process, and provides me with a great cash flow. Did I mention that they pay for their sessions on their first appointment? This approach has worked out great for me. Also, by doing this they get to ensure that they can make appointments that work for them.
I am very careful to let my clients know that there is no sense in just booking one session. I feel that when you are upfront and honest, your clients feel safer knowing what they are in for. This helps to build my reputation in the community, and as a result most of my clients come from referrals from my old clients.
Cal: I really like your attitude. I can see that you are in this "for the long haul" as they say. You are really building a career, and doing great work. This is great for you, your clients and the profession as a whole.
I've asked you quite a bit about your individual clients. I know that you also teach 7th Path Self-Hypnosis® classes. Tell us a bit about that.
Linda: Yes, I teach the 7th Path Self-Hypnosis® workshops regularly on the 3rd Saturday of every 2nd month. Next class will be on the 20th of January 2007. I enjoy teaching these classes. And, I often get new clients from these classes as well. I am completely committed to teaching 7th Path Self-Hypnosis®. Not only do I teach it in classes, but I also teach it to my clients in my individual session. It really helps them out a lot. I also teach them about your Secret Language of Feelings. It all works together so well. This is quite a system, a "success system" if you will.
Cal: That sounds great. Now I'm curious. What do you wish everyone knew about hypnosis?
Linda: Oh that is easy. Everyone needs to know that hypnosis is safe and everyone should experience it. It is like a short-cut to success. Everyone needs to know that hypnotherapy can really help to neutralize the "blocks" we create in our daily lives and it is therapeutic as well.
Cal: I completely agree. That was well put.
So what do think the future holds for our profession and hypnosis in general?
Linda: People becoming more open to accepting hypnosis as a normal thing to do. It is also becoming accepted by the professional bodies such as the medical and mental health association as a useful and practical alternative.
Cal: Thank you so much for sharing all this information about your practice of hypnotherapy in Singapore! I am so proud of what you have done with your professional approach to doing hypnotherapy. You are truly a leader in the field there. And, as I said before, you are an inspiration. I hope that anyone who reads this interview and lives in or around Singapore who truly wants to make some wonderful changes in his or her life will contact you and discuss having sessions with you.
Once again, thank you Linda for doing this interview. I look forward to seeing and hearing from you very soon. Keep up the wonderful work that you are doing!