Those in healing and deliverance ministry, including ourselves, commonly meet with people who have experienced severe traumas. These can result from anything from a car accident or other accidental injury, to sexual abuse to satanic ritual abuse. This post will deal briefly with some of the basic considerations involved.
Our minds often respond to trauma by compensating in various ways, so that our everyday conscious awareness is not overwhelmed. This compensatory mechanism is often called dissociation. Dissociation may take many forms, ranging from a modest and sporadic inability to recall conversations or events, to intermittent sensations of detachment from situations, all the way to experiencing another personality or identity within oneself that interacts with oneself or others. This latter condition was formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder, now called Dissociative Identity Disorder.
Dr. Preston Bailey has devised a helpful scale that starts out with mild effects like daydreaming and fantasy; imaginary friends; various forms of PTSD; to more high impact symptoms like dissociative amnesia or fugue (inability to recall events, or abnormal functioning of personality); or experiencing manifestations of fragmented or multiplicity of personality or identity. These feelings or experiences usually follow extreme trauma or stress and can occur rarely, sporadically or continually.
Patricia Baird Clark is very experienced in ministry to those with various forms of dissociation, especially those following satanic ritual abuse. In addition to the above, she also notes fairly common symptoms like unusual occurrences or features of headaches, handwriting changes, frequent clothing changes, a sense of deprivation, extreme tendencies towards people pleasing, collection or play with stuffed animals, or a tendency to talk about very traumatic events with little or no emotion.
Basic ministry approaches can best focus on patient, compassionate dialogue and listening; healing of memories; forgiveness and release of abusers; prayer for healing of emotions, memories and thoughts; healing of physical manifestations or conditions; coupled with eviction of any demonic presence found. It is highly recommended that great care be taken in ministry to people with dissociative conditions.
This post is extremely brief, and will likely be expanded upon later. Interested people may go deeper by checking out some of the sources that I used for this article: The Merck Manual (merckmanuals dot com), Dr. Preston Bailey’s “Dissociative Continuum” (spiritualwarfarecenter dot com), and especially Patricia Baird Clark’s ministry, including her YouTube channel, her book Restoring Survivors of Satantic Ritual Abuse, and her website, hispresenceonline dot org.
Your questions and feedback are always welcome and much appreciated.