Dissociation : Vol. 6, No. 4, p. 254-259 : Puzzling over possession: comments on Dissociation articles on possession
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Comments on the preceding papers on possession are made from a clinical/historical point of view. A definition of “possession” is proposed based on a phenomenological approach. Categories of possession likely to be encountered by North American clinicians are listed and commented on. The proposed DSM-IV diagnosis of possession is viewed as promising, but the present formulation is considered to be weak. Coon's call for interdisciplinary communication and cooperation is seconded. Acceptance of the new diagnostic category is supported despite the fact that some may misuse its recognition. Evaluations of the dangers of exorcism applied to MPD cases made by Fraser and Bowman are appreciated. Bowman's total rejection of any consideration of exorcism in work with dissociative patients is questioned. Begelman's sortie into the depths beyond phenomenology is accorded praise.