Exorcism Revisited: Positive Outcomes with
- Journal of Psychology and Theology Volume 26 IssueSummer 1998
- Authors, Dr. D.L. Bull, J.W. Ellason and Dr. C.A. Ross
- Forty-seven separate incidents of exorcism, conducted on 15 Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) patients, were retrospectively investigated by a neutral interviewer using the Exorcism Experiences Questionnaire. Five types of exorcism were identified based on eight methodological factors. These factors were patient permission, noncoercion, active participation of the patient, understanding of DID dynamics by the exorcist, implementation of the exorcism within the context of psychotherapy, compatibility of the procedure with the patient’s spiritual beliefs, incorporation of the patient’s belief system, and encouragement of patient self-independence regarding exorcism. Descriptive analysis yielded 24 positive patient responses and 23 diverse responses, based on the presence or absence of these factors. Exorcisms that incorporated all factors consistently had positive responses. Symptom outcomes and experiences are discussed in light of the five different types of exorcism.