I interviewed Erika Johansson in person (the audio version will eventually be published as a podcast), who is a Theta healer from Taksu in Ubud, Bali. I wanted to find out about her path to becoming a healer and to discover a bit more about Theta healing, a modality founded by Vianna Stibal, who developed Theta healing after witnessing the healing of her own 9-inch tumor twenty years ago.
Can you tell me a little bit about your background and how you came to become a healer?
I was very interested in spirituality and everything to do with the mind – mind technology, how to create or re-create your life.
From a very young age?
I guess I was in my mid-twenties, and it started with Tarot decks and pendulums etc. Then I discovered this thing called ‘Life Coaching’ and I thought – wow that sounds amazing – so I became a life coach and was working with that.
And was that inspired by some big blocks or big problems in your own life?
I guess normally that would be the process for becoming interested in this work?
Yes absolutely, I think most therapists will have challenges in their lives and that’s why they are working with what they work with.
I had a lot of what I call negative belief systems that were influencing my life – there were a lot of things that I wanted to do or have, that just eluded me – it wouldn’t happen and I was carrying a lot of anger, frustration.
So not so much depression, more just anger that things were not happening how you wanted them to happen in your life?
Exactly – well I guess a little bit of depression, but more it was more frustration, anger – which, I look back and look at my parents and what were they carrying – lot of frustration and disappointments and stuck emotions.
So you started to carry their emotions and feelings?
So, you decided to become a life coach, and you were doing Tarot – had you tried a range of other modalities before you decided to become a Theta healer?
Yes, I tried a lot of things, because within life coaching – the way I was trained was – goal setting: you set your goals; make an action plan; push push push – that kind of adrenalin thing.
Yes, and I was doing that, I was doing it with clients and with myself, and I noticed with myself that in some areas it was easy, and actually you didn’t have to do very much, it just happened.
Write your affirmations, make your vision board…?
And then you wake up the next day and it was like – bang and I was like ‘wow’.
Exactly!! And then there were certain areas where it just would not happen. And I would spend much more time and energy on those areas.
And are those areas like relationships?
Worthiness things – having to be angry or carrying frustration.
Ideas like ‘I am not allowed to be happy, I am not allowed to be really happy and have everything I want. I can have a little bit but not too much, which also is very Swedish – I am born in Sweden and that is quite a Swedish thing as well – you can have fun but not, too, much!!
A little bit puritan…?
Exactly. So I tried a lot of different things, and I noticed the same things with my clients – there was a pattern so I realised that I was spending my time and energy on the wrong thing…
OK – like what you were trying to manifest was the surface stuff?
Exactly – it was like hitting my head against a wall, so I decided I am going to try to remove the wall instead of hitting my head against it.
And that worked really well. I found several different therapies, processes and exercises that I did that worked really well, but when I found Theta healing, it kind of blew everything else out of the water.
It was quick, efficient, it happened straight away and I could feel the difference straight away.
And how did you come to find that? Did you meet someone?
Yes, like often happens with those things in life, someone said – you should go and see this person, and I thought she was doing Reiki, and she suggested we do a session on Skype, and I thought ‘Reiki over Skype?’
But she did something, I mean – the connection as in the Skype line wasn’t great – she mumbled a bit, I didn’t really hear what was going on, and then suddenly, something happened and the stuff that I had been working on was just gone.
In one session?
Yes, just like that. So I thought, wow – I need to check this out.
Yes. So then I started learning, just because I wanted to learn for myself.
From the lady who gave you the healing?
No, I started taking courses because I wanted to do it on myself, and then one day I realised – Oh my God I am actually a certified Theta healer!, and I realised that if I can work with people, getting rid of their blocks as well, then there is no more of this pushing, pushing, pushing.
Then you can drop the life coaching altogether?!
Well, more or less.
It’s like internal and external no? So maybe you need them both.
Well, it’s just that when you remove the stuff that’s in the way, then everything else is really easy, and you might just need some help with being clear on what you really want. And an action plan is really great, but when you don’t have those blocks in the way, it’s easy. It doesn’t feel like a struggle or a chore, and things start to fall into place as well in a different way.
So if you do some Theta first for example and then go and do life coaching and just gently push someone in the right direction, then you have a different approach.
And I am interested – why is it called Theta healing?
When we work we go into Theta brain wave. It’s a frequency of the brain, and we’ve got alpha, beta, delta, gamma – they are all just different frequencies.
So is Theta the subconscious frequency?
Exactly, so you would get into Theta if you are meditating really deeply for a long time like sages, monks – they would get into Theta. And it’s an amazing state to be in because you are very connected. You are connected with the universe, with other people…
So ideally you would want to be in that state all the time?
Well, it could be a bit much (laugh)!
There are other states that are also good as well. Theta is great if you want to be really connected, if you want to have deep meditation. I see it that I am connecting with the universe, I am connecting with my client’s subconscious.
And downloading whatever information you need?
Yes or for myself if I do it for myself. And it is straight and pure. There is nothing in the way. It’s like I could do what I am doing without going into Theta but it wouldn’t be as effective. Because it’s like a straight channel.
Highway to heaven?
So, how did you first come to Ubud and start working here in Taksu?
As I mentioned I grew up in Sweden, and it was cold and dark, and I always had this dream that I wanted to live in a tropical place, and that happened a few years ago, when I found myself living on a beach in Thailand, but it was quite a small place.
So first you moved to London?
Yes, so I moved to London and I lived there for ten years. I loved it – I still love London, but it got to a point where I knew I needed nature, I mean – London is fabulous, but it’s a very big city and what came into my mind was ‘you need nature, nature, nature’ and I was ageing – my body was falling apart a bit, so I knew I needed to get some nature. So I found myself on this beach in Thailand and I lived there for a couple of years.
Which beach? I love Thailand so I am curious!
Oh one of my favourite places!
Yes it has a very similar energy to Bali.
A lot of people go between the two.
So I was at the Sanctuary, and I was working there for two and a half years, and I loved it – it was amazing, but then I just woke up one morning and I felt ‘I need to get out of here’.
I was done – whatever I needed there, I was done, and then I was like – OK where do I go now?
I imagined the world map and I thought OK where do I go – I didn’t have a really strong pull anywhere – and it was just Bali that kept calling, and then it all fell into place very easily.
Right, not easy because there is the whole challenge of the work permit and all of that stuff.
Yep, I know, and where to work, and how to set it up – and it just fell into place really easily.
It felt like you were being guided to come to Bali?
Yes I really felt I was meant to come here. And I really didn’t want to give up being in a tropical place with palm trees.
So how long have you been in Bali now?
For a couple of years now.
And I am interested to find out how your experience with clients is here? I am sure that it’s different to the kinds of people you saw in London? Because a lot of people come to Ubud looking for healing – looking for personal growth and transformation. Do you notice that maybe they are more open to what you have to offer?
Actually, not so different, no, because I think if you come for a Theta healing session, you are probably quite open, because it’s a bit alternative, so if someone is really straight, they might not even go there. So, it’s not that different, and you know – a lot of people come for love..
That would be the biggest one no?!
Yes, love and also a sense of maybe not being worthy or feeling inferior.
Those two things are pretty much related!
Yes, usually they go together – not always!, but very often yes. And then so I guess you get a little bit more here of people who have given up their work or their world and they want to change but they are not sure what to do.
Not sure of their next steps?
Yes, which is actually really interesting to work with.
So people come here for you to help with their transition?
And you’d get that for example in Europe as well, but usually they haven’t taken the step yet. They are unhappy with what they’ve got and they want to change but they don’t know how. Here in Bali usually they have changed, but they don’t really know where what is next.
Well that’s a really nice place to be for change isn’t it? That makes you more open and more available to whatever opportunities arise.
I would actually suggest that if you want to change your life and you are thinking about it – Bali, and that place on Koh Phagnan (The Sanctuary) are really great places to go. Because there is an energy in these places that promotes that change.
Yes, Totally. I come every year to Bali, and when I leave I kind of forget how it is, and then I come back, and I remember – wow – the energy here is just amazing. And whatever I am going through, the energy here helps me transition into whatever I am transitioning into.
So Theta healing works basically with subconscious belief systems, so do most of the clients you see accept that that’s what is causing their issue? Do you ever have to convince people first?
Well I use muscle testing, which is like applied Kinesiology, so it’s way where you are communicating with the body and the body tells you the truth. So it becomes very clear for the client. So we talk about something and they are like ‘Oh but I am not sure about that’ and I say – ok well why don’t we test it? And they say, ok, and so we test and and they are like ‘Oh, right, ok’.
So they can see that that’s working?
Yes. So that is really helpful actually, because it’s helpful for the client to realise themselves as opposed to me telling them something.
So I am interested – you are also practicing this on yourself I assume – so is it something that if you have some current issue in your life, do you do just one session? Or is it something that you practice repeatedly?
When I started doing it I had so much stuff to work on.
And when you take these courses to learn – you test on different belief systems, so you test what beliefs you are carrying and whereas most people tick a few boxes ‘oh yeah, a little bit here, a little bit there’ I would tick everything! So I think I had every negative belief system in the book.
So I was very intent on getting rid of all that.
I was super committed to getting rid of everything. So I had periods when I would do something every day, work on something every day – do some kind of process – mostly Theta, whereas I don’t feel I have to do that now. Now, it’s kind of like things come up – it’s more small things. So then I recognise ‘ok, I don’t like that one’ ok, so let’s just deal with that now and just get rid of it. So I definitely still work with it, but I don’t have to do it so much.
So one or two days or something, rather than ‘I am going to do this for a month’?
Can you just tell us a little a bit what happens in a typical session with you? What is the the process and how many sessions would you see someone?
In terms of the amount of sessions it is very different. I have had clients who have worked a lot on themselves and there is just something a little bit in the way and you have have one session and suddenly – puff – it is gone.
And because they know what is in the way, it is easier?
Yes, and then you have someone who has never done anything, and they are carrying a lot of trauma perhaps, then it will take a long time and of course there is everything in between.
So it’s very difficult to say: this is the amount that you need.
But what’s good with Theta healing is that you do one session and, because it is so efficient and so fast, you will really deal with the issue you are working with. So you have one session and you come out and you will really feel a huge difference. And then the more you do, the better it is. So if you are carrying some stuff, you might have to go and do a few sessions to really get everything out of the system.
So your process is you talk to someone first and then you start the muscle testing?
Yes, so first we generally do a little meditation in the beginning just to get us in a really good place. And then I literally ask people what they want to work on. And they will tell me what is going on in their lives that they are unhappy with. I then listen really intently to what’s going on, because it’s very often not exactly what they are talking about. It is something underlying. So by then asking questions, and then muscle testing, I work out what the underlying belief system is in terms of what we are working with.
Because they might start with something superficial, but when we start digging a little bit, we might find that the base or the foundation of the whole problem is something completely different. And if we pull that, it’s like a house of cards – everything else will just fall.
The other problematic areas that have been built on top of it?
Exactly, so there is no point in ranging on the surface – you want to go to the bottom and deal with all the stuff. And this is why it’s so efficient, because we go to the bottom of things.
Can you just describe a little bit the muscle testing?
Yes – the muscle testing, the way it works is that when something is good for us, when we are telling the truth, it actually strengthens our system. So if we are in alignment with the conscious and the subconscious, all of that is in alignment – that makes us stronger, and that literally means your muscle tissue is stronger. If you are lying, you are not telling the truth, or something is bad for you, then that weakens your system and that again means that your muscle tissue gets weakened.
So that literally translates into illness: Negative beliefs are bad for your system, make you weaker and will eventually make you sick.
Absolutely, because if you are weak, then you are not in your full power, you are susceptible to lots of stuff that is going around. So in Theta we work with the concept that every illness is caused by some belief system. There can be environmental influences, with toxins where you live or something like that, but generally, it means that you have some sort of belief system where you allow this to happen.
So then you do the muscle testing?
So then I do the muscle testing on a statement, so that can be for example: ‘I love myself or ‘I am good enough the way I am’ or ‘I am worthy’… or ‘I am a victim’ and then you put your fingers together and I try to pull them apart and if you are strong you are going to be able to hold that, and if you are weak, you can’t, so it is such a sure sign, and it is so visible – you see it yourself as well.
So we very quickly find out what is going on with this. I have had clients who say ‘Oh my God it is like a lie detector!’
So I wanted to finish by asking about your personal practice. Do you have like a regular practice? A meditation practice for example?
Yes, in the morning I will meditate. And I also do some chi gung movements, because when you wake up in the morning your body is quite stiff! So I also do yoga, not every day but I do that most days. I will also sit down during the day sometimes and meditate, and I will go into Theta. The beautiful thing with Theta healing is that it opens up your psychic senses – your intuition and your gut feelings, and I will often take some time to sit down with myself and check-in – is what I am doing right now the right thing?
With a decision?
With a decision, with work or with private life for example. I ask is this thing I am doing right now good for me? And I just check-in with myself. And I have found that that is REALLY powerful.
Like you get a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’?
Exactly. And ask for guidance, or signs. An then that whole thing of the confusion or frustration of not really knowing what to do fades away, because you say to yourself ‘I am just going to follow what I have been guided to do’. And when I do that, it is easy, and lovely things fall into my path.
Yes – something I have been practising a little a bit – if I have a decision I have to make and I am not sure about it, I just wait, and wait, so rather than trying to force something, I just wait until I know. And then usually the answer comes because you are not pressuring yourself. Maybe the next day, ok I know.
Yes I saw a friend the other day who was reading a book and the title was: ‘If you don’t know what to do, do nothing’, so it was exactly that.
And do you recommend meditation or anything like that to your clients?
When I work with someone, I will get like a message sometimes – something that would be good for the client to do.
Like: you should go and see a movie tonight?!!
Yes! Exactly (laugh). And i will write it down on a piece of paper in capital letters and it might just say: HAVE FUN.
Because that is important!
It is and some people forget because they might have a lot of trauma in their lives, you know they had a horrible childhood and sometimes they need to just let go and start enjoying their lives. But it can be anything from a meditation, maybe another process that would be good for them, or a book. Looking into certain areas that would be helpful for them, or whatever. So whatever comes up, I tell people that this would be good to look into.
And sometimes there could be advice on which direction to take. So in your life, what to focus on, what maybe to avoid, what the path is ahead – these kinds of things.
If you would like to find out more about Erika, look at her profile on the Taksu website. If you are in Ubud you can book a session with her at Taksu, and if you are not in Bali, she also offers remote Theta healing via Skype. Find out more and contact her on her website phoenixsolus.com or send her an email directly.
Please leave a comment if you feel you would like to respond to this interview! We would love to hear from you. 🙂