Spirit Release Therapy, is a clinical alternative to religious exorcism and traditional shamanistic practice, but it is still largely unknown by mainstream medical practice and psychiatry. This is due to several interrelated factors. Primarily, materialistic science does not recognise any concept of a spirit world and doctors are therefore not yet trained in SRT principles and techniques. The presenting symptoms of spirit influence, such as hearing voices and other distressing phenomena, are interpreted by medicine as symptoms of psychosis or dissociative identity disorder (DID) formerly known as multiple personality disorder (MPD). Negative spirit influence is therefore treated by psychiatry with chemical medicines that are used to try to suppress the symptoms. If the cause of a person’s presenting symptoms is known to be spirit influence then the appropriate therapeutic intervention would be Spirit Release Therapy (SRT).
SRT sits uncomfortably between the disbelief of a materialist secular society and the subjective experience of spirit possession: whether that experience is a symptom of psychosis, symbolic representation, socio-cultural expectation or a veridical manifestation. In contrast to the monism of mechanistic science, every culture and religious belief system throughout human history has its traditional beliefs of spirit possession in some form or another with corresponding rituals for the release or exorcism of spirit entities. It is common knowledge that Christianity has its angels, devils and demons (although the majority of modern so-called Christians probably don’t believe they really exist). Islam has its Jinns and the Hindus have a variety of evil spirits.
The clinical experience of SRT practitioners reveals that the most common form of spirit attachment (an alternative term for possession) is the influence of spirits of the deceased who have not completed the progression from an earth life to the spirit realms where they ought to be. These discarnate spirits are termed by SRT practitioners as ‘earthbound’ spirits, or ‘EB’s. In such cases the SRT practitioner treats the earthbound spirit as a client and helps them to progress to where they ought to be following the death of the physical body. Due to its non-religious, clinical principles, SRT practitioners refer to the destructive, malevolent forms of spirit that cause problems, not as devils or demons, but at ‘dark force entities’ (DFE)s.
People can be influenced by other forms of spirit including the thoughts and emotions of the living where there may be a strong emotional connection or what may be called a ‘sympathetic resonance’. Sympathetic resonance can be initiated by a relationship with another person that could have originated in a family relationship, an intimate relationship with a past lover, or an enemy, and could originate in this earth life, or a past life.
There are cases where the possessing entity has actually been created by the individual themselves from their own creative thought processes and powerful emotions. These entities are known as autogenic (self created) and can take on an autonomous nature whose purpose is to punish the creator for a variety of reasons including transgressing social, religious, family or cultural taboos. Other autogenic thought forms may include dissociated sub-personalities, as in cases of DID or multiple personality.
Spirit Release Therapy, although it can accommodate an individual’s spiritual or religious beliefs, is a clinical practice that has been developed since the 19th century by pioneering medical practitioners and psychiatrists.
The pragmatic clinical nature of SRT means that it is not based on religious faith or beliefs, but has a scientific basis. This methodology provides the serious medical student or researcher with a scientific framework that acknowledges the reality of a spirit realm and its influence on people in all societies and cultures, and shows therefore that spirit possession is not merely a supernatural or spirit belief, but a scientifically validated reality.
The first task of the SRT practitioner is to uncover the nature of the attached entity and ask it to reveal its objective.The next step is to negotiate a resolution to the conflict that exists between the host and the attached entity.
SRT resolutions can be effected often in a single session, but could take several in more difficult cases. Very often there are psychological factors that enabled the entity to be attracted or created in the first place, and these factors will need to be addressed. The client will also need to learn how to protect themselves from further problems. Dealing with spirit attachments therefore involves a minimum of three sessions, (1) the release, (2) dealing with the cause and (3) on-going protection.