It's well-known from psychology that trauma can cause parts of the soul to break off and create an unconscious broken personality with "alter egos."
However, healing ministries are also aware that alters often carry spiritual toxins. And as we'll see below, when we give Christ permission to comfort the alter, quick healing can result.
This can explain why some aren't healed after prayers sessions: the "core" person cooperates with God; but when the "alter" doesn't, so both alter and core suffer.
I really began to underatnd this when two major parts of me were integrated once. It was definiately supernatural. Many experience it.
For an in-depth treatment, consider this fascinating book by Charles Kraft:
Deep Wounds, Deep Healing
This intriguing material is actually widespread among the inner healing ministries, though not very well understood outside of that.
I've done it many times with several people who've requested it. In a nutshell: it's like sitting down with a little kid and asking them where they got hurt. You let them express themselves. They will feel like a rescue puppy. At some point you ask if it's ok for Jesus to take away the pain, and let him take over the job of protecting them.
The first release I had was pretty significant (instant, clear, unexpected, and definitely supernatural). But I did it on myself—after consultations with experienced prayer ministers. The process can be as simple as talking to that part of yourself and talking to Christ at the same time.
Deeper alters are much trickier, since there can be a lot of dynamics. You can read my over-complicated notes below!
If you think of your soul like a house, then it's like a little kid trapped in a room created as an escape from trauma—but we often don't even know the kid is living there. (That's another reason why it's helpful to pray with others about it, esp. those whose prophetic gifts are mature enough to hear God tell them what's really going on.)
The kid might not even know what happened—only that they don't feel safe to come out. But stuff has festered in the room—mostly unconscious to us—because the door hasn't been opened in years. And sometimes just talking to the kid in the room is enough to get a release.
(The doors on the rooms are actually protection mechanisms from God so that the whole house can still function.)
Personal Kids, Not Just Code
The trapped kid has its own "soul" qualities (will, intellect and emotions) that kind of duplicate off from your core; sort of similar to software code that replicates off the main program.
In more extreme cases (roughly 5% of the population), the alter may actually speak out enough to manifest as a distinct "multiple personality".
You can actually speak to the alter and ask it to reveal its name itself (if it has a name) and get other details where/when it was formed; it's role, etc. The worse the break, the more distinct the voice will be. (some actually hear a distinct voice).
I've had friends suffering significantly from this issue. The new, more polite term for Multiple Personality Disorder is D.I.D. (Disassociative Identity Disorder).
Even politer terms, for lighter conditions, include: fractures, fragments, walls, parts, splinters, sub-selves. These can all refer to mild alters or strong alters, and different groups use different lingo. E.g., some use "fragments" to mean mild alters. (Note that Bethel church in Redding, CA, calls their ministry to alters "Shabar" which is the Greek word for "broken-hearted"—Luke 4:18).
The problem with all those terms is that they are clinical and impersonal. And since the healing will move along much quickly when personal trust is established between the broken off you, the core you, and Christ; then we don't want the prayer to be mechanical.
Check out Peter Gerlach's YouTube videos such as "Meet One of Your Talented Subselves." These presentations are good to watch, but with one important critique: Gerlach is an ex-atheist (now theist) and his methods lean more on natural therapy techniques and will thus can take a lot longer, when they work. A lot of it is "anonymous integrations" via a more indirect contact with God. (The same goes for the Internal Family Systems model from Dr. Schwartz—who also became a theist since he observed the parts dialoguing with God.)
However, we can dramatically speed up the healing (sometimes from months to 15 minutes!) by directly inviting Jesus directly into the sessions and we see fast results. Hear the Praying Medic's excellent audio summary.
Try it yourself and see if you don't agree.
Critters Keep the Kid Trapped
Because non-theists don't believe in the supernatural they conclude this condition is merely brain code malfunctioning; and on the other extreme Christians inexperienced with the supernatural conclude it's a demon.
However, it turns out that there is often a demonic role. Frequently it's like the agent of evil comes through the window to keep telling the kid the rest of the house is unsafe.
(Obviously, this is another way the secular models are incomplete.)
When deliverance ministries grew in the 1970s some mistook alters for demons—and now we can see why—they inhabit the same room. The reason the critter is allowed to harass the kid is simply that Christ has not been given permission to protect the kid.
Demons are effectively handled by the inner healing basics: by 1. repenting for yourself, 2. forgiving others, 3. receiving God in that area. Once those legal reasons are brought to God for pardon, the demon can be commanded to leave and stay away. (You can command a demon away without repenting, but Jesus said then it will just come back.)
(Ministries differ on whether or not to first expel the critter or first talk to the alter; so just go by what the Spirit tells you.)
Re-Integration or Non-Integration?
Now here's an important note. some ministries refer to an "alter" and mean the house door, but most mean the trapped kid That's a big difference that some debate. My position is the same as most: the kid re-integrates with his family.
- Praying Medic does re-integration. Here's his audio summary.
- Steve Harmon does re-integration.
- Don Dickerman simply asks God to remove the wall and commands out the demonic.
- Ken Thornberg's of Freedom Encounters says re-integration should only be what was broken off that is truly you. But they focus more on removing the demonic.
- Restoration in Christ (Tom Hawkins) intentionally does not use the word "integration" because that's not the cause, but the effect. They say the remove the wall and whatever integration Christ does will happen naturally.
- Jim Wilder's Neurotheology shows that brain scans reveal re-integration occurs.
- Peter Toth insists we shouldn't try to re-integrate the alter back into the person. That would be attempting to re-integrate a leg cast into your physical leg.
- Some ministires highly emphasize that Christ intergates, not the person.
Peter Toth's book is thorough worthwhile read, but contains some things I disagree with (e.g., denial of trapped emotional ages, ghosts,witchcraft, translocation, resting in the Spirit, parts integration. Perhaps by re-integration he is referring to the kid as the door? Maybe it's just semantics.
From my own experience, I can say you feel like "more", not "less." The healed person feels recollected—like two partially transparent PhotoShop layers being overlapped into a fuller picture.
That's the more important stuff, but let's close with a few plot twists.
More Great Info
Deep Wounds, Deep Healing
Emotional Healing in Three Easy Steps
If a ship is torpedoed in half, both parts will have each have an acting "captain" (alter) even though there is really only one Captain (core) on the bridge. (If you've seen the excellent movie Captain Phillips, think of that.)
Assume the prayer team is like a Navy Seal vessel approaching the damaged ship (person with alters), and begins to communicate via megaphone.
Normally the Navy will contact the bridge Captain (the person's core) and work with him to offer assistance to the broken off bulkhead (the person's alter).
However, here are three tricky situations that can happen.
- Alter Cores. Sometimes the Navy thinks the alter captain is the core Captain, esp. if the alter core is taken over a lot of the ship.)
- False Alters. Sometimes a demon will impersonate a alter.
- False Alter Cores. Sometimes a demon will impersonate the core captain. In this trickiest case, what we are really dealing with is full demonic possession.
So, obviously discerning these requires a prayerful and experienced team. As above, always ask and confirm with the Holy Spirit who you're talking to.
Christ the Healer
These plot twists are just FYI. Ultimately you can simplify it and just ask God how to proceed. These sessions might require a lot of mature patience from the prayer minister, who simultaneously must be both gentle with the alter; but completely firm toward the villains.
God gives us this powerful tool for healing release. Jesus says he came to bind up the "broken-hearted." [Luke 4] And that's really great.
I am your solid foundation upon which you can stand, no matter your situation. Should you feel the ground beneath you crumbling, check the foundation on which you stand. Is it Me? Or is it something of your own construction (Matthew 7:27)?
Many times you build your confidence on the success of the work I’ve called you to, not on the one who called you to do it. And if it appears that you won’t succeed, you may never attempt what I’ve called you to carry out. Whereas, when I am your source and strength, there is nothing to hold you back.
The broken ground beneath you is typically the topsoil of your personal confidence being washed away as the inevitable trials of life come at you. Beneath it, however, stands the bedrock of My love, the all-sustaining grace that makes life possible. Let the loose dirt wash away. Build upon Me.
With Me as your foundation, you can take leaps of faith into unknown territory with more confidence than you’ve ever known. Belief in yourself need not be experiential or else you would seldom venture beyond your very small comfort zone. What is it today that you doubt or fear? What’s truly holding you back? Do you not recall that I will be with you wherever you go (Matthew 28:20)? I never call where I don’t provide, regardless of how challenging your responsibility appears.
I’m looking for commitment. Are you “sold” on Me? Forever? Hot? Cold? Or lukewarm? (Revelation 3:15-16) How you act in a committed manner is much different than if you hold back.
I give you all of Me—I ask for all of you.