Demonology: are mental health professionals trained to understand this?

For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. – Isaiah 41:13

(Health journal day 18).

What are limiting beliefs about demons and why do medical professionals, specifically in the counseling professions, deny that demons exist?

Why are there no diagnoses for demonic possessions or oppressions in the Diagnostical and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)?

These may be some questions readers here have about spiritual cases causing what often mimics some sort of psychoses in people. It would be nice to have some definitive answers, yet psychiatrist Richard Gallagher stated that we do not have definitive tests that prove whether a person is being affected by demonic activity.

In his book, Demonic Foes: My Twenty-Five Years as a Psychiatrist Investigating Possessions, Diabolic Attacks, and the Paranormal, Dr. Richard Gallagher writes that demonic warfare is of a spiritual nature, not a medical one, so that no labs or mental status tests exits that could adequately categorize demonic activity in a person. Specifically, demonic possession or oppression.

Gallagher points out that psychiatrists and psychologists are not trained to determine demonic spiritual activities, nor are they taught that demons do exist. If they are true, believing Christians and mental health clinicians, they will have learned from the bible about demons and that they are real.

Instead he write that mental health professionals may categorize demonic activity into “various psychoses and severe personality and dissociative disorders, or they may seem to happen to individuals who are prone to suggestibility”.

That is very important; spiritual advisors and pastors would have an understanding about a person’s soul, their spiritual health and beliefs. Whether a person is saved or not would not enter into this equation, as saved persons cannot be possessed, but can be spiritually attacked.

New believers, on the other hand, are the low-hanging fruit of Christian believers that demons may find easy to attack. New believers, in my opinion, who are new to the bible and in their prayer lives and Christian beliefs are not as strong – they don’t have a firm foundation in their Christian walks. My thoughts are that these oftentimes-called, “baby” Christians would be fed on “the milk” of the bible, not yet able to take “the meat” of biblical verses and have the same maturity in their Christian practices as much as long-time Christians who have studied the bible and walked as Christians for a lot longer. Baby believers haven’t been in Christ as long so their lives are not as steady and their knowledge of the bible and Christ have not been developed.

Usually from my experience, “baby Christians” need hand-holding to help them understand the bible, like having a tutor that a good Pastor can do, or a good bible study group. They need to have contact with knowledgeable Christians, to talk about their walk with Christ and to understand biblical teachings.

The results of demonic attacks in a person might result in their becoming depressed, or sad, or anxious – all are treatable mental health issues that can be treated by trained mental health professionals, ie. psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, etc. But the souls of people will not be treated by these professionals. Only God’s power can remove demonic possessions and I believe that with the help of trained professionals who have worked in this field, God may work through professional relationships to remove demons when the victims have had a saving knowledge of Christ so that they are no longer being possessed. Otherwise some temporary relief may be possible but this does not help the victims as demons want to come back to harm persons.

About demons leaving the body, the bible says;

Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation. – Matthew 12:45.

The meaning of this is that temporary relief may be possible, but without walking with Jesus Christ, demons will return even more strongly to attack the person. We must keep walking the Christian walk with the Living God each day to have a chance of living without demonic havoc that may cause us to fall into sins and lives of living without depending on Christ as our Savior and Lord.

We have not only the bible, but knowledgeable pastors who help us understand the soul, it’s life or death, and eternal living with God. Also to understand the depths of hell and why Jesus is necessary to live eternally through God, with God.

Not all pastors will be equipped to talk about these things in any helpful way if a person is habitually assaulted by the demonic realm.

Personally, I think the Catholic church among others is not a true Christian church. I have many reasons for this but will not get into them here.

Although I admire Dr. Gallagher who claims to be a Christian and assists Catholic priests, and many specially trained pastors in his assessing the people sent to him, he refers people interested in the subject of demonic possession to a Catholic-based organization.

The organization is called, The Sacred Order of Saint Michael the Archangel-Order of Exorcists, run by Archbishop Ron Feyl Enright and “it is an autonomous and independent branch of the Catholic faith which derives from the ancient Old Roman Catholic Church of the 12th Century” according to the website. It is not under the Vatican.

So this is why I don’t know for sure if Dr. Gallagher worships Christ and if he is saved (no one can know this but Christ Jesus, anyway) and if he is a member of the Catholic church, or if he has some affiliation to a Protestant church. And we should at least know that all churches are not truly Christian, with all the churches who have fallen away to become worldly.

However, to his credit Dr. Gallagher makes professional medical assessments to determine whether a person has a medical issue or can find if there is a natural reason for their symptoms. He wants to help people get well or find relief from their demonic assaults. If no medical issue is found in his assessments, he refers these people back to the religious persons who made the referrals to him in the first place for their spiritual care.


Related blog post: Supernatural realities

1 thought on “Demonology: are mental health professionals trained to understand this?”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s