Spirit Possession in a Psychiatric Clinic
This paper considers one specific religious experience-spirit possession. I present a case study of a female claiming to be possessed by a spirit who attended a psychiatric clinic. I compare and contrast anthropological and psychiatric theories of spirit possession. While anthropological theories of spirit possession emphasise their social meaning, rhetorical and discursive functions, psychiatric theories focus upon underlying mechanism (dissociation) and its role in dealing with traumatic experiences. Current psychiatric classification systems the DSM -5 sees spirit possession as a form of dissociation often arising from earlier trauma. I argue that a full understanding of the phenomenon of spirit possession necessitates combining both perspectives. The paper end by discussing the relationships between exorcism and psychotherapy.
The Journal for the Study of Religious Experience is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal. All journal content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under theÂ Creative CommonsÂ Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 InternationalÂ License.
The copyright for articles published in this journal is retained by the authors and the Journal for the Study of Religious Experience. Â Authors would need to request the reuse of the article in case they want to publish it elsewhere and they should acknowledge the initial publication in JSRE.
Authors are permitted and encouraged to post online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) a link to the Journalâ€™s website where the article may be downloaded for free.
Authors are responsible for ensuring copyright clearance for any images, tables, etc. which are supplied from an outside source.