Trance & Possession States
“My problem is spiritual. Medications kill my soul. Please, help me!”
“I heard this plead for help several times when I worked with psychiatric patients, mainly by those diagnosed with schizophrenia, and other psychotic disorders who did not respond to medications,” said Marli Kakishima, Teaching Faculty for the Spirituality and Depth Specialization in the MA in Clinical Psychology Program. “Their despair was palpable and something in me surfaced. There must be a light at the end of this tunnel.”
Marli attended a lecture in São Paulo, Brazil by Dr. Sérgio Felipe de Oliveira, a neuroscientist and neuropsychiatrist, where he integrated a spiritual paradigm into the treatment of various psychiatric and medical conditions.
On Friday, October 21st, AULA students were able to hear Dr. Sérgio Felipe de Oliveira discussed the intersection between neuroscience and psychology of mediumship,
trance and possession states. He addressed how the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10), a medical classification list by the World Health Organization, considers Trance and Possession Disorders as mental disorders characterized by a transient alteration in identity where one’s normal identity is temporarily replaced (possessed) by a spirit, ghost, deity, or other person. Whereas such states have been interpreted as psychopathologies in the West, cross-culturally, they acquire diverse expressions and roles.
Dr. Sérgio Felipe de Oliveira is the clinical director of Pineal Mind Instituto de Saude,
founded Uniespirito (Universidade Internacional de Ciencias do Espirito), and has taught from 2007 to 2014 the optional course Medicine and Spirituality at the Medical School of
the University of Sao Paulo.
The presentation was sponsored by the MA in Clinical Psychology program’s Spirituality and Depth Specialization. The 2nd edition of the course will be offered in Brazil at Dr. Oliveira’s clinic, called Pineal Mind Instituto de Saude.