Dr. Ramona Shires has been a practicing Certified Hypnotist since August 2007 and obtained her Advanced Hypnotherapy certification in early 2008. She is past president and member of the Pensacola Chapter of International Association of Counselors & Therapists (IACT) and National Guild of Hypnotists (NGH).

Definition of Hypnosis

The Society of Psychological Hypnosis, Division 30 of the American Psychological Association defines hypnosis as:

“A state of consciousness involving focused attention and reduced peripheral
awareness characterized by an enhanced capacity for response to suggestion.”  

What does it mean?

This shift in consciousness enables us to tap into many of our natural abilities and allows us to make change more quickly.  Professionals use clinical hypnosis to help clients bring about both psychological and physiological change in three main ways.


  • First, they may use mental imagery or one’s imagination. The mind is capable of using imagery, even if it is only symbolic, to assist us in bringing about the changes we are working toward.

  • A second basic hypnotic method is to present ideas or suggestions to the patient. In a state of concentrated attention, ideas and suggestions that are compatible with what the patient wants have a more powerful impact on the mind.

  • Finally, hypnosis may be used for unconscious exploration, to better understand underlying motivations or identify whether past events or experiences are associated with causing a problem. The effectiveness of hypnosis appears to lie in the way in which it bypasses the critical observation and interference of the conscious mind, allowing the client's intentions for change to take effect.

Myths About Hypnosis

People often fear that being hypnotized will make them lose control, surrender their will, and result in their being dominated, but a hypnotic state is not the same thing as gullibility or weakness. Many people base their assumptions about hypnotism on stage acts but fail to take into account that stage hypnotists screen their volunteers to select those who are cooperative, with possible exhibitionist tendencies, as well as responsive to hypnosis. Stage acts help create a myth about hypnosis which discourages people from seeking legitimate hypnotherapy.

Another myth about hypnosis is that people lose consciousness and have amnesia. A small percentage of subjects, who go into very deep levels of trance will fit this stereotype and have spontaneous amnesia. The majority of people remember everything that occurs in hypnosis. This is beneficial, because the most of what we want to accomplish in hypnosis may be done in a medium depth trance, where people tend to remember everything.

In hypnosis, the patient is not under the control of the hypnotist. Hypnosis is not something imposed on people, but something they do for themselves. A hypnotist simply serves as a facilitator to guide them.

Uses of Hypnosis


Hypnosis may be beneficial for:

  • Gastrointestinal Disorders (Ulcers, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Colitis, Crohn’s Disease);

  • Dermatologic Disorders (Eczema, Herpes, Neurodermatitis, Pruritus [itching], Psoriasis, Warts);

  • Surgery/Anesthesiology (In unusual circumstances, hypnosis has been used as the sole anesthetic for surgery, including the removal of the gall bladder, amputation, cesarean section, and hysterectomy. Reasons for using hypnosis as the sole anesthetic may include: situations where chemical anesthesia is contraindicated because of allergies or hyper-sensitivities; when organic problems increase the risk of using chemoanesthesia; and in some conditions where it is ideal for the patient to be able to respond to questions or directives from the surgeon);

  • Acute and Chronic Pain (back pain, cancer pain, dental anesthesia, headaches  and migraines, arthritis or rheumatism); 

  • Burns: Hypnosis is not only effective for the pain, but when hypnotic anesthesia and feelings of coolness are created in the first few hours after a significant burn, it appears that it also reduces inflammation and promotes healing. We believe that a second degree burn can often be kept from going third degree if hypnosis is used soon after the injury;

  • Nausea and Vomiting associated with chemotherapy and pregnancy (hyperemisis gravidarum);

  • Childbirth: Based upon our members' anecdotal evidence, approximately two thirds of women have been found capable of using hypnosis as the sole analgesic for labor.  This eliminates the risks that medications can pose to both the mother and child;

  • Hemophilia: Hemophilia patients can often be taught to use self-hypnosis to control vascular flow and keep from requiring a blood transfusion;

  • Allergies, asthma;

  • High blood pressure (hypertension);

  • Raynaud’s disease

Hypnosis In Psychotherapy And Behavioral Medicine


Hypnosis may be employed in the following circumstances:

  • Trauma (incest, rape, physical and emotional abuse, cult abuse);

  • Anxiety and stress management;

  • Depression;

  • Bed-wetting (enuresis);

  • Sports and athletic performance;

  • Smoking cessation;

  • Obesity and weight control;

  • Sexual dysfunctions;

  • Sleep disorders;

  • Concentration difficulties, test anxiety and learning disorders

Hypnosis Rates:


  • Initial Session (90 mins / $199)

  • Follow-up Visits (60 mins / $100)

Hypnosis Package Rates (~10% discount):


  • Three Follow-up Visits - $270 (reg $300)

  • Six Follow-up Visits - $540 (reg $600)