Young (2016) recently noticed a revival of the idea of the presence of the Devil and of the practice of exorcism. The history of Catholic demonology in its relation to psychopathology and psychotherapy is reconstructed. Demons, through the ages, have been conceived in terms of real and concrete entities, and identified as responsible for psychological and physical illness, and for disasters in the natural world. Exorcism has survived to the expansion of psychotherapy because, within Catholic theology and culture, there has been a stubborn resistance against a metaphorical or symbolical interpretation of the figure of the Devil. The attempts of secularizing the concept of Devil - e.g., introducing the so called "Lucifer effect" (Zimbardo, 2007) - have not been completely successful. In some Catholic psychotherapeutic environments the belief in the Devil and in his active presence is still alive, as a possible explanation of bizarre, extreme or otherwise unexplainable phenomena.
Keywords: Exorcism; Multiple Personality; Lucifer Effect; Devil; History of Psychotherapy