Thursday, February 20, 2014

Hypnotherapy is Awesome

This post originally appeared on Austin Moms Blog

Take a deep breath…close your eyes…and think RELAXATION…
I’ve written extensively on my battle with depression. I pride myself on being very open with my experiences because I don’t want people who are suffering from depression to think they are alone. So it goes without saying that I’m pretty willing to try anything to feel better and then tell you, our readers.
I’ve been on anti-depressants and I used to go to a therapist a few times a month. Though talk therapy is great, I still feel as though it’s putting a band-aid on the problem instead of fully exploring where it all comes from. It was time to try other options for treating my depression and anxiety. But I didn’t know where to start.
Luckily, Tamara Niemann of Mind Over Matters Clinical Hypnosis Center found me. Rather, she found my depression posts and asked if I’ve ever considered hypnotherapy. I thought it sounded crazy but then again, drive-thru liquor stores seem crazy to me…I digress. I set up an appointment at her comfy South Austin office, which happens to be inside a wellness studio.
When you think of hypnotherapy, you probably think of the Fleetwood Mac song. Or you think of a cartoon being hypnotized with a swinging pocketwatch and then tricked into doing whatever the magician tells them to do. If that were the case, Tamara says she’d be a lot richer after having swindled her clients out of their bank information. Despite common misconceptions,  you remain completely in control while undergoing hypnosis. Under a relaxed state, you are actually going into your subconscious mind and figuring out the root of undesirable behaviors. This is where your emotions, habits, and fears are based, and the hypnotist can change the emotion behind the behavior at the root, thus changing the unwanted behavior. It sounds simple but it takes a lot of work, as I soon discovered.
My first appointment with Tamara was like the must gut-wrenching, soul-searching therapy session I’d ever had. And that was before the hypnosis. I spilled everything, even things I never told my other therapists. Tamara has such a warm quality about her; you can tell her anything and her no-bull*bleep* way of helping you is refreshing, to say the least. As I sat in her big comfy chair and let her guide me to my “happy place,” I soon felt these huge metaphorical weights lift off of me. This is seriously something I never expected; after all of my previous therapy sessions, I would feel better for an hour but when I got back to “reality,” the weight came crashing down. With hypnosis, we explored where my crippling self-doubt came from and began work to heal from it.
This is where the work comes in. Tamara recorded my first hypnosis session and sent me the mp3 to listen to daily. I noticed that if I go several days without it, the self-loathing creeps back in. Since starting regular relaxation therapy, I recognize the anxious feelings as they come on and I know the little mantras I tell myself  to make them go away. I know this sounds simple yet complicated yet completely crazy but truthfully, I’ve never felt like this in my life. In a word, I’m HAPPY. And I don’t think I’ve ever been truly happy before.
I’ve tackled a number of issues in the last few months during hypnotherapy. The biggest one is learning to love myself. It’s strange to be learning something 
at 37 as an adult when I should be teaching it to my almost-4-year-old. But honestly, the best thing I can give to my daughter is a happy and healthy mommy, inside and out. Becoming more child-like is part of the process for me and it’s making me appreciate the time I spend with Lucy and Todd instead of resenting the challenges of being a parent. I’ve noticed many little things that used to drive me crazy will barely even blip on my radar now. I can sit through traffic while remaining calm, I can handle 15 deadlines all at once, and if Lucy is caught eating erasers at school, I no longer cry and wonder where I went wrong as a parent. I’m more in control of my emotions than ever before and it’s all thanks to hypnotherapy.
Tamara can work with you on a variety of different issues from stress relief to smoking cessation to weight loss to sleep disorders. You can visit her website for more information at

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