Exorcism can have a role to play in therapy | Mental health

While most understandings of exorcism come from Hollywood movies, the reality is normally much more mundane: often it’s less spectacle than a serious, albeit rudimentary, form of therapy (a moment that changed: “I consulted a therapist – who offered me an exorcism”, November 16).

Exorcism is unique in that it allows the “possessed” to exteriorize their trauma, to give it a name and a face, and to have it ritually extracted. For many abuse survivors, feelings of guilt and complicity linger for years, and exorcism can be a cathartic experience that, while not entirely resolving these issues, can motivate patients to seek conventional therapy. .

It should be remembered, however, that some religious and spiritual leaders target vulnerable people. Exorcisms have been performed on disabled and mentally ill people, with tragic and sometimes deadly consequences. Despite its flaws, I believe (as an atheist) that there is still a place for exorcism in modern society.
Fiona Findlay
Glasgow

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