This is a type of psychological exorcism which is an outgrowth of past-life therapy that is largely the result of the work of Edith Fiore, an American psychologist. The term “depossession” was preferred to “exorcism” which infers Demonic possession.
Depossession is the act of exorcising attached discarnate human spirits and nonhuman spirits, allegedly attached to living people, causing a host of physical, mental, and emotional ills. Various types of depossession are practiced throughout the world.
Past-life therapy (PLT) is a type of psychotherapy in which the causes of present physical and psychological problems are traced to alleged past-life traumas and death experiences. The therapy has been claimed to be effective in treating many phobias and deep-seated fears such as burning in hell. Traditional psychoanalysis is seldom effective on such deep-rooted fears. PLT is based on the belief in reincarnation or the possibility of it. The relief obtained by PLT is said to be achieved by the release of energy that is trapped in the past life.
Fiore and other past-life therapists regress their patients to past lives through hypnosis so they can observe interference from attached spirits. Among some 30,000 cases, Fiore estimated that 70% of the patients had at least one spirit attached to them. Usually they are not aware of its attachment.
The spirits can cause symptoms of unexplained mood swings and behavior, chronic pains and illnesses, mental illness, suicidal urges, and drug and alcohol abuse.
Most of the spirits are believed to be deceased humans who have not yet departed the earthly plane. They are believed to attach themselves to a family member or a person who is weakened by substance abuse, hostility, or severe illness. Nonhuman spirits include elementals and evil-natured entities.
Fiore found that many possessions are said to be due to effects of karma that was caused by spirit possession in past lives. Another past-life therapist Helen Wambach in a survey found many patients discovered through therapy past-life karmic ties with persons in their present lives, and were able to release suppressed hostility and guilt which resulted in improving present relationships.
Many who undergo depossession through PLT say they experience a new attitude toward life: they become aware of universal laws, such as karma, self-responsibility, and the right of others to progress in their own direction. Life becomes relative, there are no more absolutes of “goods” or “bads.” Life now has became a learning experience for them.
In the West depossession has a precedence in Spiritualism. At the height of Spiritualism people suffering from unusual mental symptoms often attended seances hoping to have ‘low’ spirits exorcised.
Depossession was first medically used by the American physician and psychologist Carl Wickland who had attended many Spiritualist seances. He and his wife Anna did most of their work in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. They attributed all manner of mental conditions and illnesses to confused, benign spirits who were entrapped in auras of living persons.
Wickland’s depossession method was unique. He invented a static electricity machine that transmitted a low-voltage electric shock to the patient, and was the forerunner of the low voltage electric shock treatment use in psychotherapy. The shock was to make the spirit very uncomfortable so it would leave the victim and enter Anna’s body, and then finally give up and depart forever. If it did not, then Wickland called on “helper spirits” to keep the benign spirit in the so-called “dungeon” and out of both auras of the victim and Anna. The battle was waged until the spirit finally gave up and left for good. A.G.H.