Ochlophobia is the extreme fear of crowds


This phobia of crowds has become more prevalent in the last 15 years throughout the western world.

Once, years ago, we could creep to our small corner shop, ask quietly for a few household items, then back to the safety of our homes.

Nowadays with a lot of the small, intimate and friendly stores having been run out of business, we are left with large intimidating shopping malls and out of town huge shopping complexes. Little wonder that if we are intimidated by crowds we will be terrified of huge cavernous buildings with hordes of people rushing around, and so this may drive us to a nervous disposition and so create Ochlophobia.

Add to this the isolated environment in some of our homes where we draw the curtains and sit huddled around our TVs, or even as a motorist, isolated in our cars, with a frenetic life rushing past us.

Take Molly, as I shall call her. At 70 years of age, she came for help as she could no longer tolerate the crowds milling around the checkout and aisles in Tesco’s.  Never a great socialiser, but gradually she withdrew more and more until she had to telephone Tesco for home deliveries as she was terrified of people, so even meeting two or three people sent her into a panic mode.

Eventually, one of her friends who used to meet her for lunch dates suggested she came to my clinic.

I first had to set about restoring her confidence in herself, which meant listening to hypnotic tapes made for her personally. Once she felt a bit safer, she then started to venture out of her house again with her friend at her side.

As her phobia began to lessen and her confidence crept back, she recorded her steady progress on special forms I gave her so she could view the steps forward.

Eventually, under my guidance in hypnosis, she could visualise herself going to checkouts and remaining calm.  She is now completely cured and can go into any shop however large, but better still, socialises regularly at the Brangwyn Hall and the Grand Theatre, and you may know how full that can get.

The essential is to always stay with your therapist until you are “bomb proof”.

Many years ago, one caring husband would accompany his wife through the treatment and all was progressing well as she went from just passing in front of restaurants to actually eating in crowded rooms.  However, her husband decided to test her.  As a “treat”, and before I could stop him, he took her to “Barons Nightclub” but as the doors opened, the hundreds of people, smoke, loud noise, and heat freaked her out into a severe panic and she ran away.

I then had to virtually start again until we achieved total control and then she could regain her old self and party whenever she wished, even in crowded nightclubs.

Moral: “Don’t try to run before you can walk.”

Anthony Wilson Hypnotherapy Wiltshire



This is the fear of dogs and in a way can be quite understandable. Dogs do bite sometimes and we all come into contact with them at various stages of our lives. We all know that if a dog should bite us, then we would be hurt and perhaps in pain.   So the avoidance of caution displayed around dogs is rational and sensible to a degree. However, to suffer from a phobia one has to go to extremes of avoidance in order to stay safe.

Most of us know that if we see a dog which is loose, we would approach it with caution “just in case”. Having found the dog is friendly and playful, we may then decide to befriend the animal.  This is a natural reaction unless you really dislike dogs.

However, I have had countless clients who are phobic and take great pains to avoid even seeing a dog or puppy.

Take Sarah (as I shall call her). She came to me at 21 years of age with the hope that I could cure her. If she even saw a dog on the other side of the road she would immediately panic and run to hide away so she could not even see the dog. If she was invited to a friend’s house she would telephone first to ascertain if there were dogs in the house. Clearly she did not wish to go through the rest of her life in such a state of panic.

This can be a problem with phobias.   Nearly always they stay with a person unless the irrational fears are removed therapeutically.

When she was three years old, a dog had bitten her mother and Sarah had witnessed this and heard her mother scream in pain. A natural reaction. Whilst her mother recovered, Sarah was traumatised and her subconscious mind fought to get her to avoid all dogs in the future, so each time the subconscious mind saw a dog, it induced instant panic and so Sarah ran away quickly with adrenaline coursing through her body.

I took detailed notes of the first dog incident and a few others. Then using Hypnotherapy I removed the trauma of several incidents with dogs. As Sarah became calmer, I then used CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) wherein Sarah recorded any time she saw a dog and gave herself a 1-10 award: 1 terrified, 10 really calm and cured.

Eventually, the day came when I introduced her to my Golden Retriever Sally who befriended Sarah and lay down at her feet and they remained friends thereafter.

Then six months later, Sarah’s parents bought her a Labrador puppy and the two are now inseparable. A happy conclusion from a terrifying ordeal for many years.



There are many phobias (over 300) and whilst there are many common fears, some come my way which are rare and interesting.

Take Batrachophobia for instance, the fear of reptiles.  In over 30 years of practice, I have only come across two such phobias.

Marion (fictitious name) came to my Haverfordwest practice in great fear about lizards.  Now you and I know that they do exist.  They are rarely seen and are so small they surely cannot harm us.  However, Marion was terrified of them and this fear inhibited her movements and a planned holiday.

Under hypnosis, I discovered that at the age of five a lizard had jumped onto her bed when she lived in Cuba and she jumped up in fright, and in a traumatised state ran from her bedroom.

From that moment on, she could not sleep alone for the fear of another lizard jumping onto her.  Admittedly, the lizards in Cuba are larger than their British cousins but nevertheless are still harmless.

The problem was that in a lot of countries they are so used to humans that they can be found in many homes in the countryside or towns.

Marion became so paranoid that even returning to Wales she was petrified a gecko, as she called them, would leap out at her.

Using Hypnotherapy I removed all the past fears attached to her first trauma with the lizard and then I had to practise visualisation in hypnosis until she could imagine actually seeing a lizard crawling over her hand.

She was soon due to travel again to Cuba with her new husband and wanted to know if she was cured.  Now, as I do not have a ready supply of lizards, I sent her to Bristol Zoo to visit the reptile cages.  She then reported back that there were no fears and so she went off to Cuba quite happily.

Whilst there, her husband was concerned to see a lizard go behind a picture hanging on the wall, so Marion said, “I will deal with it,” dislodged the lizard and opened the window to allow its escape.  She then said to her husband, “They are quite harmless so don’t worry, I will deal with them in the future.”

A result, and a relieved husband.

Anthony Wilson

Anthony Wilson Hypnotherapy Wiltshire


As you are aware all of my work is confidential and can never be made public.  However, occasionally my clients wish to help others who may have suffered similar traumas to themselves and request that their experiences be shared with as many sufferers as possible.

To this end, Mr & Mrs. Gatley and Jane have allowed the following information to be released.

Jane Gatley (13 years old) on holiday with her parents and brother in Carmarthen requested my help as a professional Hypnotherapist to rid her of Trypanophobia (the fear of needles and injections).

Her doctors and dentist in Switzerland and Wales had all tried and failed as she became traumatised as soon as the needles came near her.

She refused to have any injections and her parents had become alarmed, as some injections were necessary and routine to keep Jane in good health.

After assessing the likely outcome, Anthony Wilson began using relaxation techniques to calm Jane, and this led her into a hypnotic state.  Counseling techniques were used at subsequent sessions to trace the cause of Jane’s anxiety.  When the root cause of the phobia was established, all fears were eliminated using post-hypnotic suggestions.  This then brought Jane to the strengthening techniques using guided visualisation until she felt totally confident to enter the doctor’s surgery now and in the future.  Her final comment came after confronting the needle when she said, “Well, there is nothing to it really, it didn’t hurt at all.”

Anthony Wilson is a leading Hypnotherapist, specialising in many of the 300 plus phobias currently suffered worldwide and has a busy practice at Warminster Osteopathic  Centre  He also deals with Obsessive-Compulsion Disorder (OCD), stress and anxiety, smoking and weight loss.

Anthony Wilson can be reached on 01373764828 or 07775630085

Mr & Mrs. Gatley can be reached on 00413 195 10478


What is Hypnotherapy

What is Hypnotherapy and equally what it is not?

Perhaps to start, it is easier to say what hypnotherapy is not.

It is not a loss of consciousness but rather a change in awareness as to when we become immersed in a good book or some enjoyable pursuit.

It is not being controlled by another as stage hypnosis may imply. In therapeutic hypnosis, the client is always in control and can end the hypnotic session anytime he/she wants.

It cannot be used to make anyone do anything that they would not morally or ethnically do at any other time.

What does hypnosis feel like? It is the relaxed feeling we get just before falling asleep at night or just as we awaken in the morning. Have you ever dozed off whilst listening to the television or radio, and been half-aware of what is being said but been too comfortable to take much notice?

Therapeutic hypnosis is used to enable the client to achieve harmony in mind, body, and spir[t

The BRITISH MEDICAL ASSOCIATION once described it as a treatment of choice, and Pope Pius X11 said the church is perfectly happy to endorse it providing it is administered by an ethical and professional manner

All our Hypnotherapists are insured, professionally trained and are provided with CPD.

Anthony Wilson,


Anthony Wilson Hypnotherapy Wiltshire



Most of us suffer from various ailments and pains from time to time, so we can all sympathise with a person who complains of severe pains.

Pains are, as you know, a symptom that something is wrong somewhere in your body and should have attention.  None of us like pain, but there are some that are so terrified that they may become phobic.  This can then spoil their daily lives as they become paranoid about anything happening to them which can cause pain, i.e. the person who is fearful of walking too fast in case they slipped and hurt themselves, or those who take copious amounts of pills and painkillers in case of a headache or some muscular strain occurring.

Take John (fictitious name) who came to me with Algophobia.  He was paranoid about any pain and suffered from a low pain threshold.  It all began when, as a child, his mother continually complained of pain in almost every part of her body.  John eventually was convinced that any pain is intolerable and he became frightened that the same problem would happen to him. This made John very cautious, and eventually phobic, that he would actually induce panic attacks at the mere thought of pain attacking him.  He, therefore, gave up sport, exercise and even slept downstairs for fear of hurting himself descending his stairs.  Later he was due to have an operation and he realised that there would be pain after the surgery, so he came to me in desperation to rid him of his phobia.

I regressed him back to his origins of the anguish he heard from his mother, and after several sessions, he realised his mother’s problems were no longer and he became more rational as he progressed.  Eventually, under hypnosis, his subconscious mind accepted that he was strong and could bear the pain if it came along and more than likely it would rarely occur.  He went off for his operation which was bearable and now he is completely cured.

I also work with phantom pain which is a condition whereby pain is felt from an amputated limb long after it is separated from the body.

Hypnotherapy is particularly effective for releasing the sensation from amputees so that their subconscious mind is no longer playing tricks on their emotions and feelings.


Anthony Wilson Hypnotherapy Wiltshire


As my readers will have noticed over the last year phobias come in all different forms and levels, some causing minimal disturbance to a sufferer, i.e. a person suffering from a fear of crocodiles would probably never visit a zoo and put themselves through agonies by going into the crocodile area.  Other sufferers may have their daily lives affected, i.e. a person afraid of rain can have each cloudy day spoilt in anticipation that it may start to deluge.

However, Phagophobia or the fear of swallowing can be with sufferers every waking hour

Take Peter (a fictitious name) for instance.  At 15 years old his parents brought him along in desperation as his weight had dropped down to a very dangerous level and they were fearful for his future.  He had suffered for 12 years from the fear of swallowing.

As a two-year-old, he began to reject several foods that his mother gave him and this led to any chewy meats, which in turn led to bread and many vegetables.

Over the years he was put onto various drugs by the medical profession, and psychiatrists, in particular, were puzzled as all the tests showed he had no obstructions and a completely normal digestive tract.

As I began to work with Peter, I traced back the origins of his fears and it became apparent that as he developed from soft baby food to firmer foods, his subconscious mind became traumatised (maybe a one-off choking fit) and his problems started.

Under hypnosis, Peter’s subconscious mind went back to his first two years and it remembered that all was safe at that time and then Peter was able to instruct the inner core of his subconscious to now find a safe place, i.e. it is perfectly acceptable for a normal human being to swallow any foods after chewing and that this is what could then allow him to become healthy once again and put on weight. He previously had never been to a pub with his mates because of the fear.

After three weeks of gradual improvement, Peter started to gain confidence, and when his course finished, he could eat most foods which previously were causing him problems.  Even a daily vitamin could be swallowed without a problem.  He also became more calm and serene whenever eating or drinking in public, so his socialising became more enjoyable also, so he no longer felt the odd one out



Anthony Wilson Hypnotherapy Wiltshire


I received a request from George (I shall call him), “Could I visit him in his house on the edge of Swansea as he was a prisoner!”

When I knocked on the door, I was met by a pleasant, quiet young man of 22 years of age. His story as it unfolded was one of a normal upbringing until the age of 15 when he suffered from bullying at school. He began to play truant and roam the streets and adjoining fields and parks. However, he then started panic attacks whenever he was on his own outside. This fear of exposure to the outside world eventually became so bad that he was unable to go far at all.

His doctor was eventually called and diagnosed an anxiety state and prescribed tranquillisers. George appeared to respond a little and managed to finish his schooling and land a job nearby. However, he was unable to come off his drugs but despite being reliant on the tranquillisers, he met a young lady, managed to get married and had a young daughter.   His wife wished for them to go out as a family, shopping and socialising, but George found this increasingly difficult until a massive panic attached forced him back to his house.

By the time I arrived, he had given up his job and could not even step out of his front door despite his doctor prescribing even higher doses of drugs.   These kept him calm and relaxed him whilst in the house, but could not calm him outside.

No fear anymore of open spaces for George

After taking detailed notes of his life history, at a subsequent session, we used Hypnotherapy to take the traumas out of the original vicious bullying experience. Then we did the same for his major panic attacks, whilst starting to reduce his drug intake little by little. We then started behaviour therapy which meant a daily trip out of his front door.

The first week it was onto his garden path, then week two onto the pavement beyond his garden gate, and so on until he could walk to the end of the road alone.

Meanwhile, his Hypnotherapy was progressing as I used taped sessions to strengthen his subconscious mind and convince it that the open spaces out of his house were safe and secure. By this time he was off the drugs completely and was walking to the shops locally, and eventually could walk into a local pub and began to socialise more readily.

His father bought him an “old banger” and George was then able to take his family to the beach and onto the Brecon Beacons, and as he said, “I feel I have my freedom back again and I can set an example to our daughter by walking anywhere and being in full control.”



Anthony Wilson Hypnotherapy Wiltshire



There are an estimated four million phobics in Britain, so if you suffer from a phobia it may be a little consolation to know that you are not alone!

There are many that are unaware that help can be at hand to overcome phobias, others who use avoidance techniques, i.e. “I will not walk under ladders or climb high mountains etc.” That is easy enough as their lives are hardly affected if they never climb a mountain.

However, there are some things in life which we cannot avoid and the most inevitable is death at the end of our lives.  Now there is no avoiding this obviously, so most people will get on with their lives enjoying every moment without daily worrying about their demise.  However, for some, the fear of death can become an all-embracing phobia which is called Necrophobia.  They may start off by becoming anxious over a small illness which they may have heard someone near to them had died of during this illness.

One such client of mine, who I will call Peter, was convinced that if he contracted pneumonia as his brother did, that he would die.  He would not accept that his brother actually died from a heart attack.  In other words, Peter developed an irrational fear of pneumonia despite the medical professional’s ability to overcome pneumonia with great success.  Peter admitted that pain and illness did not bother him and he was not a hypochondriac but the fear of dying was so persistent in his mind that he became phobic and believed that every illness could cause death even though he was a healthy man.

Obviously, death is very personal to each and every one of us and no-one can say how we will cope other than religious who know they will hopefully be going to a better life and therefore can prepare and embrace their last moments with a serenity.  I recall the late Cardinal Hume just before he died, being comforted by a fellow prelate who said, “I wish I was going where you are going!”  Apparently, John Paul II was likewise prepared to accept his end.  Therefore, holy men and women can pray and alleviate anxieties, but Peter underwent Hypnotherapy for some time until his subconscious mind became aware that the majority of illnesses do not kill us.  We then rationalised how each day can be lived happily by leading a busy life.  Planning ahead in his career and social life made him so positive that he absolutely knew, and his subconscious mind was convinced that he was happy and positive and healthy, so there was no question of predicting his death.

When Peter realised how many years of needless anxiety he had endured, he was more motivated than ever before, to be thankful each day and look forward to a busy healthy future of happiness and serenity without worrying when it would end.

I still see Peter occasionally in town and he is now a sprightly 81 year- old enjoying every day.



Anthony Wilson Hypnotherapy Wiltshire

The Magic of Hypnotherapy

Magical Hypnotherapy.

Often in my 30 years of practice, many clients have said that the result and effect of hypnosis are magical. My answer is it is all down to the strongest organ in your body which is your subconscious mind and it can achieve wonderful results most of the time.

However there is one condition that is remarkable to witness and that is Phantom Pain syndrome suffered by those who have lost a limb due to accident or illness. Whenever I am presented with a client suffering thus I take them into a deepening state of Hypnosis and eventually deeper self-hypnosis and when we have achieved this state the subconscious is made aware that the limb is no longer there and therefore cannot experience pain again in the future. Once that has happened and the mind has rationalised this fact then that phantom pain should go and of course, the client can pratise their own hypnosis whenever they wish.

Although that mind is a formidable organ it can also be irrational at certain times until it is shown that once a limb has gone it cannot hurt again.

Never underestimate the awesome power of your subconscious.!

Anthony Wilson



Anthony Wilson Hypnotherapy Wiltshire