1. When you minister to a person experiencing demonic activity, you will almost always encounter a variety of elements that may be keys in keeping the person in spiritual turmoil. There are often unresolved hurts, spiritual issues, etc. that need to be addressed. Balanced pastoral counseling involves much more than simply praying the ritual of exorcism.
2. The first step in preternatural counseling is investigation of all claims. What we do in this process is determine whether the person is really in need of exorcism on either a personal or property level, or if there are other plausible reasons for the perceived phenomenon. This is a vital step that saves a lot of time and helps ensure that the clients physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs are met. If you enter into a case with the preconceived notion that the person is in need of exorcism you may add very dangerous imagery to potential psychological issues which may be the real cause. You also leave yourself open to litigation and can waste precious time and resources. Before a person is permitted to even undergo exorcism, they must meet the following requirements:
a. They must be a Christian- If they are not, then it is extremely difficult to exorcize a demonic entity. How can there be an effective exorcism without the confession forgiveness of sins, or without the baptism and confirmation of Christ's Church? It is vital that the person be baptized, confirmed, and make a confession before you can effectively pray the ritual of exorcism on their behalf. Exorcism is geared towards the Church
Militant (Christians faithful to the historic Catholic faith).
b. They must be willing to give up all areas of sin- Example: If a client enjoys pornography and is unwilling to give it up, then it will be nearly impossible to cast out a demon that may be oppressing them with obsessive thoughts and diabolic temptation regarding sexual perversions without it coming right back. Please understand that it is possible to enjoy pornography or feel attracted to it, and yet be willing to let go of it at the same time. They must be willing to destroy these strongholds in order to receive and maintain their freedom the demonic. Furthermore, and this is very important; they must be willing to communicate about their past openly with you as their exorcist. It is important that you, as an exorcist, are aware of the areas of sin in their life, and the underlying roots of those sins. If they choose to hide something from you, it may very well keep you from being able to effectively exorcize the demonic entity.
3. They must be willing to convert to the Faith and enter the life of the Church Militant- This often involves taking catechism lessons, being baptized, confirmed, making confession, receiving the Sacraments, reading the writings of the Church Fathers and Saints, and daily Sacred Scripture reading and prayer. Doing this is vital to the tearing down of strongholds. They must be serious enough about their relationship with Christ, that they take His Church seriously. Counseling individuals who are not established in the Faith can be more time consuming and burdensome. It is much easier to counsel an individual who is strongly connected to the Church. However, in some cases, having this luxury is not possible, as by the time many desperate individuals come to us, there is little time to do everything we might like. - Excerpted from Ecclesiae Militantis, by Fr.Jack Ashcraft (Available on Amazon)