Erica Linson came from New England to the Wood River Valley more than 20 years ago. She was following her father, who was the only psychiatrist in town at the time. After being diagnosed with cancer, her father had started looking for a sunnier place to live and eventually settled on Ketchum.
“Our closest neighbor in New Hampshire was the brother of local psychotherapist Sandy Hyde. He told us that there was much more sunshine out West,” said Linson, 52, who now works in the healing arts herself.
Linson majored in English at Georgetown University and worked at environmental and social justice nonprofits. Her father’s interest in mind-body connections and alternative therapy while healing from cancer would influence her own trajectory. She later earned a master’s degree from the California Institute of Integral Studies.
Her father, Dr. William Linson, ran the psychiatric unit at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts, before heading west, eventually recovering from cancer.
“Now he’s doing fine and living in Colorado,” Linson said. “Seeing him on his journey and learning about his interests in the connection between the mind and the immune system opened my eyes to nontraditional healing modalities.”
Linson earned a master’s degree in philosophy, cosmology, and consciousness from CIS, studies that would come to inform her worldview. She now works as an energy medicine practitioner.
An accident while crossing the street in Ketchum in 1994 would bring her in touch with the kind of “energy healing” she now teaches and practices with clients.
“I was hit by a car and suffered some minor injuries,” Linson said. “When I got out of the hospital, I heard from someone about a great psychic healer in town. I went and the information she shared with me about my life was so spot on, and I felt significantly better after my visit.”
Linson went to the San Francisco Bay area and worked on and off with the psychic healer for 25 years. She chose not to disclose the healer’s name.
Stories, thoughts, and ideas combine for Linson as elements of the healing process, perhaps, she said, as analogs to the vibrational energies measured in the physical world. She said she works to “read” where people are in distress and then contributes healing based on this information, which can lead to emotional experiences.
“Although energy healing is not always validated by society. It’s the opposite of woo woo,” Linson said. “It’s a deeper reality and relationality.”
Linson said some clients, for example, might need to work on stress or anxiety and need to sleep better. She may provide “clearing” or “grounding” healing techniques or help them establish boundaries.
“We often take on things that are not really ours to deal with,” she said.
Linson said a cultural and philosophical shift lies at the basis of her work.
“The Western world view is often blind to relationality,” she said. “It can be more focused on the individual’s needs. The healing work I do is all about relationships, with ourselves, our bodies, one another and the planet.”