Spirit Possession & Release

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).  Follow this link for an entry in the Society for Psychical Research online encyclopedia on Spirit Release Therapy.

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. Here is a selection of titles written by some of these pioneers:

Selected Spirit Release Bibliography

Allen, S. (2007). Spirit Release: A practical handbook. Winchester, UK: O Books.

Baldwin, W. J. (1995). Spirit Releasement Therapy. Terra Alta, WV: Headline Books.

Crabtree, A. (1985). Multiple Man: Explorations in possession and multiple personality. New York: Praeger.

Fiore, E. (1987). The Unquiet Dead.

Goodman, F. (1988). Ecstasy, Ritual and Alternate Reality. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press.

Hickman, I. (1994). Remote Depossession. Kirksville: Hickman.

Hunter, R. (2005). Hypnosis for Inner Conflict Resolution: Introducing Parts Therapy. Bancyfelin: Crown House.

Ingerman, S. (1991). Mending the Fragmented Self. San Francisco: Harper Collins.

Ireland-Frey, L. (1999). Freeing the Captives. Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing.

Lawrie, A. (2003). The Psychic Investigator’s Casebook. Bloomington IN: 1st Books.

Lawrie, A. (2005). The Psychic Investigator’s Casebook Vol.2 (2003-2004). Bloomington IN: Author House.

Maurey, E. (1988). Exorcism: How to clear at a distance a spirit possessed person. Atglen, PA: Whitford Press.

Modi, S. (1997). Remarkable Healings. Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing.

O’Sullivan, T., & O’Sullivan, N. (1999). Soul Rescuers. London: Thorson’s.

Sagan, S. (1997). Entity Possession. Rochester, Vermont: Destiny Books.

Villoldo, A. (2005). Mending the Past and Healing the Future with Soul Retrieval. London: Hay House.

Wickland, C. A. (1924). Thirty Years Among the Dead. Mokelumne Hill.

Williamson, L. (2006). Ghosts and Earthbound Spirits. London: Piatkus.

Zinser, T. (2010). Soul Centered Healing. Grand Rapids. MI: Union Street.

The Scientific Framework

The pragmatic clinical nature of SRT means that it is not based on religious faith or beliefs, but has a scientific basis. This book 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 where the patient’s psyche has become fragmented. Very often there are psychological, social or cultural 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 involves three sections: (1) the release, often referred to as the clearing or the initial scan, (2) dealing with the cause, which is an integral part of the total procedure and (3) on-going protection in after-care. A more detailed description of the treatment protocol can be found here:


Consultations with clients or patients in most psychiatric or other therapeutic situations are usually conducted in a face to face interview when the normal waking cognitive abilities of both therapist and client are engaged in mutual dialogue. Apart from the initial consultation where base-line data is collected, SRT sessions are very rarely conducted in this way, but may comprise of one or many of the methods listed in the attached document:

Methods of Consultation

Sessions with clients may progress through all of the above methods of consultation, and because of the dynamic nature of spirit communication it is difficult to predict the nature of the communication or the course of action that results.

In the first instance, the objective of the SRT therapist is to reassure the client and those entities that are attached that he / she is working towards finding a resolution to the distress of all involved.

If you think you could benefit from Spirit Release Therapy (SRT) go to the  Fees and Booking page and initiate an inquiry for a fast response.

Those whose interest is in research into the efficacy of SRT are invited to look at the SRT Research page.


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