William J. Baldwin
Spirit Releasement Therapy:
A Technique Manual
William J. Baldwin (Author)
Edith Fiore (Foreword)
Spirit Releasement Therapy is a special form of healing which "calls forth" and identifies positive energies that enhance personal growth, and clears negative energies (whether internally generated or externally attached) that restrict personal growth—on levels ranging from cellular consciousness to archangelic realms.
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By William J. Baldwin
Reviewed by Roger Woolger, Ph.D.
William Baldwin's eagerly awaited book, Spirit Releasement Therapy, A Technique Manual is a brilliant, daring tour de force whose appearance I am delighted to celebrate. Dr. Baldwin has integrated an enormous range of techniques and much accumulated wisdom gleaned from past life therapy, spirit possession syndrome, soul retrieval, inner child work, multiple personality disorder (MPD), or dissociative identity disorder (DID), and traditional psychotherapy.
In the Introduction he offers a very useful and concise overview of spirit possession and its treatment throughout history. In section two, Regression Therapy, he presents an up-to-date survey of the principles and techniques currently used in present life and past life regression therapy by clinicians working in the field. Dr. Baldwin outlines induction techniques, ways of working though the life, remembered traumatic events, the death transition and many other techniques, and includes useful examples of how to apply them.
Section three, Recovery of Soul-mind Fragmentation, though relatively short, is in many ways the pivotal section of the book, theoretically speaking. Dr. Baldwin outlines and integrates the shamanic concept of "soul loss" in reaction to trauma with psychiatric views of personality splitting and the kind of dissociation to be found in extremis in MPD (DID). The key concept here is the idea of subpersonalities or fragmentary souls. This notion figured quite prominently in the early psychiatric work of Jung, Janet and Assagioli, and later came to form the basis of those techniques for the psychotherapeutic integration of the personality developed by Psychosynthesis, Jungian analytic psychology, psychodrama, Gestalt therapy, Voice Dialogue and, most recently, Inner Child work.
Section four, Spirit Releasement Therapy, is the longest of the book. It contains the highly original battery of techniques developed by Dr. William Baldwin during years of research and therapeutic practice. Because of its extraordinary comprehensiveness and mass of critical detail, will surely stand as a major reference source for years to come. Dr. Baldwin describes and illustrates therapeutic strategies for working with a huge range of possessing entities or psycho-spiritual formations. Most importantly, he provides specific lines of inquiry that enable the therapist to make a differential diagnosis in difficult cases (e.g. sub and alter personalities vs. human spirits, dark force entities, and those from "far away" that might be designated aliens or extraterrestrials).
This highly important breakdown of these confusing phenomena into three orders or types of possession necessarily implies a different metaphysical and metapsychological status for different possessing entities. There are different strategies for releasing a human entity and a demonic entity, or working with a multiple personality alter, for example. It is precisely such crystal clear differentiation between the different orders and types of attachment, along with an abundance of clearly illustrated case examples that makes this section so valuable and quite unique.
The notion of attributing numerous varieties of psychopathology and physical conditions to the intrusion of non-resident spirits or entities is one that has been assiduously resisted and ridiculed by main stream psychologists and psychiatrists for most of the century. If the straight psychological world scoffs at past lives and reincarnation it is openly contemptuous about practices that go by the name of exorcism, depossession, or spirit releasement therapy (Baldwin's own user friendly coinage). After all, they would say, haven't the great advances in psychoanalysis and the grounding of psychological research in empiricism and scientific method come about precisely because the old superstitions about ghosts, witchcraft and magic have total discredited?
Apparently not. Much of the populace at large still continues to believe in "the presence of other worlds" (to borrow a phrase from Swedenborg) while the open antagonism of the split between religion, channeling, esoteric healing, etc. (the perspective of spirit) and psychology (the perspective of soul or psyche) refuses to go away. The very fact that Dr. Baldwin does not publish separate books on past life therapy and spirit releasement therapy is of crucial significance in and of itself. And secondly he implicitly recognized that regression therapy and spirit releasement therapy complement, in the sense of complete each other. They are part of a greater endeavor, as Dr. Baldwin himself puts it:
The purpose of regression therapy is to heal the scars of the soul. Nothing is left out, no human experience is denied; the aim is uncovering the truth. No amount of narrowly defined professional training, no restrictive religious training, no arbitrary limits of any kind can be allowed to interfere with the exploration of the spiritual reality (p.38).
This long overdue reintegration of the spiritualist/shamanic perspective back into psychotherapy and spiritual healing is, I believe, the next and essential stage in the development of psychology, a kind of return to the source. And right at the vanguard of this reunion we have William Baldwin's remarkable book. It is a milestone we will all look back to. I predict it will be referred to and argued about for years.