Almost all human beings have believed the spiritual existence do exist and that somehow interact with people in their daily life. The common beliefs that there is another world where souls, spirits, demons and evil spirits dwelt the same way with the mortal people. Often they were described to be playful, silly but sometimes they cause illnesses and possess people. In the paper authored by Violet Villaroman-Bautista entitled Possession: Where Psychology, Culture and Theology Interface, she presented how psychologist should first understand how these beliefs developed within a culture and how they can affect the treatment of people with psychological disorders.
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The ancient beliefs in spirits and souls leads to the belief of exorcism as a treatment for mental illness. Today many religions, churches, and folk healer accepts the reality of sprit possession and more importantly supported by the Roman Catholic Church. The author being a Christian as well as a psychologist find herself constrained to evaluate cases of possession. Nevertheless, the author made a clear stand between culture and psychological explanation to the issue. Possession as explain in cultural context appears to be normal and bound to “culturally enjoined illnesses” to which a healers and priest with powerful prayers exorcist the evil spirit while in the perspective of scientific psychology it appears to be explained by the altered state of consciousness which include the self-imbalanced in the brain chemistry.
Many cases of alleged demonic possession probably involve people with brain disorder. Since an exorcist is highly emotional and suggestive, mentally unstable or susceptible people must convince that they are possessed. Disturbed people want to believe that the devil controls them and displaying symptoms out of imitations. Clearly, it’s possible that people who believes themselves to be possessed by the demon may exist but only in short-run benefit. The rituals that are exercise by folk healers could work but as a placebo effect. Due to its unreliability, a professional psychologist can help explain the behavior. Yet, psychologist should understand the growing acceptance of supernatural beliefs and practices seem to meet the emotional needs of many people, and are not likely to decline anytime soon.