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Free Church Pastors in Germany – Perceptions of Spirit Possession and Mental Illness

Michael Grossklaus

This book focuses on Free Church pastors in Germany and their perceptions of spirit possession and mental illness. To explore Free Church pastors’ understanding of spirit possession and mental illness is critical in light of the overlap of symptoms. Misdiagnosis may result in a client receiving treatment that may not be appropriate. Interviews with Free Church pastors were conducted. The results were analysed and four themes were identified. Based on these interviews conclusions could be drawn which ultimately made it clear that the German free church pastors’ theological training needs to be supplemented in the area of psychology and that the pastors are unable to cope in the area of «spirit possession or mental illness».

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I Questions guideline for the interviews

II Case Study60

Appendix I

Questions guideline for the interview

Can you tell me about yourself?

What are the types of experiences that you face in your ministry?

Tell me about spirit possession (what is it? How does it happen? Who are the most vulnerable and why? What are the symptoms? What causes a spirit possession?).

What is your understanding of a mental illness? (what is a mental illness, how does it “look”, how does it affect the person, how many people have you seen with a mental illness? What causes a mental illness?).

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