Soulwork Home Page

Check your spelling

Soulwork Online Help

Soulwork Humor: Funny stories


Soulwork Systemic Coaching: Summary

Soulwork Coach Training

Soulwork FAQ Questions & Answers


Emotional Issues
Anger & Rage

Eating Problems
Emotional Maturity
Grief & Loss
Inner Child

Pain Control
Stress Relief

Toxic Beliefs
Trauma & Stress
Weight Loss


Relationship Problems

Dissolve Conflicts
Emotional Blackmail

Enjoy Partnership
Evaluate Partners
Long-Distance Love
Love & Hate

Past Partners
Sexual Issues
Soul Mates


Family Challenges

Brothers & Sisters
Divorce & Children
Emotional Incest
Family Meetings
Family Secrets

Fathers & Daughters
Fathers & Sons
Learning Disorders
Mothers & Daughters
Mothers & Sons

Parental Alienation


Life Lessons
Bad Habits
Being Alone
Children's Challenges
Observing Feelings

Patterns in Love
Personal Growth
Quantum Leap
Self Esteem
Self Improvement
Self Intimacy
Stress & Relaxing
Therapist and Clients


Chaos Coaching

Inner Conflict
Expert Modeling
Learning Disorders

Sexual Abuse
Soul of Soulwork
Systemic Management
Therapist Abuse
Training Abuse



Interview with Martyn
Fee, Cost, Price

eXTReMe Tracker

Solutions for Melancholy
Sadness, Death and Discarnates David J. Marsden

Online Coaching & Counseling for Melancholy & Sadness

Are you entangled in other people's lives, deaths and emotions?
Do you want to untangle your life?

See: Ghosts: Between Life and Death

Preface by Martyn Carruthers
David Marsden can bring mystery and magic into lives made sterile by technology. Many people claim to heal the symptoms that David describes here. Some priests, intuitive healers and energy workers claim this as their specialty. At every psychic fair are people who claim to offer protection against these symptoms. Psychotherapists can be territorial about them; and physicians may supply expensive psychoactive drugs to help manage these symptoms, while criticizing natural medicine, alternative therapies and native traditions.

Between Life and Death

People of most cultures honor dead relatives. According to traditions from all over the world, a dishonored or ignored dead person will haunt the living, either as an external or internal ghost. An external ghost is the common ghost of creepy tales. You may call an internal ghost - imagination, possession, obsession, or identification with a dead person, depending on your background.

Exorcists are an endangered species. Scientists declare demons and ghosts to exist only in the imaginations of the naive and childish. Priests are being replaced by therapists, and their blessings are replaced by drugs.

Dead Person Identification (DPI) exorcises medieval ideas of spirit possession. Enmeshment with dead spirits is well described by Martyn Carruthers, who offers a solid systemic model for its causation, symptoms and lasting solutions.

According to Martyn, the symptoms of entanglement with dead people follow systemic rules. Systemic identifications, he says, can be expected when a family member dies in a manner that creates so much guilt for the family that the death cannot be discussed or rationalized. Martyn said that in his opinion, common events leading to later dead person identification are suicide and abortion in the family.

Symptoms of Dead Person Identification (DPI)

  • Fascination with cemeteries
  • Chronic sadness and melancholy
  • Preoccupied with death and dying
  • Anorexia nervosa and some addictions
  • May appear to have "psychic" sensitivity

(Notes from Soulwork systemic coach training)

  • May risk life (no fear of death)
  • May fear that own children will die
  • May avoid becoming a parent
  • Fascination with places where people died
  • May have miscarriages and dead children


I tested Martyn's methods - and I confirm their validity. They work. Two challenges to helping people deal with dead person identification are the horror movies that we and our clients have seen, and ghost stories that seem to be part of every culture. Unresolved childish fears can grow into a full bloom of terror.

A common symptom of dead person identification is may appear to have psychic sensitivity. Although Martyn seems to dismiss this as sensitivity to body language, I have frequently observed people with DPI symptoms accurately describe secret past events, current events elsewhere and predict future events of unknown people.

What's Eating You? Discarnates & Undead Spirits

Human discarnates refer to people whose bodies have died. Some people attempting to play games with ghosts or discarnates later find themselves obsessed or disturbed in ways that psychotherapy does not recognize and cannot help. Magical stories are full of warnings about entities that expect to be paid for their services. (Inexperienced therapists or healers may be wise to refer clients with dead person identification symptoms to therapists with more experience.)

Some examples of discarnate people who can confuse the living:

  1. Goodbye: Some discarnates want to say goodbye and leave. They know what has happened but cannot communicate their messages, and they wait, and wait - in someone's body.
  2. Denial: Some discarnates do not believe they are dead or do not accept it. They may be angry and jealous, and try to possess a body.
  3. Fear: Many discarnates are confused and frightened, with either little understanding about why they cannot continue life or feeling safe in someone else's body.
  4. Protection: Some want to stay behind and protect a person - usually a child. They consider their protection to be valuable but they don't notice when a child grows up.
  5. Let Me Go!: Some discarnates want to move on, but are stuck ... either someone is clinging to them or they want to finish some important task ...

Discarnate entities include a variety of elementals and dead pets. Many seem ageless and some have accumulated wisdom. Some don't care about human needs and some appear to be local guardians or nature spirits. A few may claim to be angels - or demons. Caution: Just because its dead doesn't mean it's smart.

My mother would tell me, 'I hate you!', then she would say, "No, I don't hate you - I hate that you're not my son who died". In our sessions, I found that I tried to let my dead brother live through me, even though I am female. Birmingham, England

Discarnates are everywhere! Martyn Carruthers sometimes says, "Why dedicate your life to helping the dead?"  I often help people who have discarnates in their bodies, and sometimes I clear discarnates from haunted houses and so on. (Martyn teased me about doing my daily exorcises.)

Page break needed around here

Striking a Happy Medium

Talk to self-proclaimed mediums at a psychic fair. Many mediums seem to have exactly the symptoms and sensitivity that Carruthers describes as typical of identified people. This haunted archetype seems common - I would guess that 5-10% of the people I meet are emotionally entangled with dead people.

Many mediums not only show symptoms of dead person identification - they boast about spirit helpers - about dead people who aid or protect them. Perhaps it's wise to consider the consequences before entangling with dead people. These consequences seem to include identification (possession), early death, death of a child and dysfunctional relationships. Stories of magical powers include the payments expected by the entities enlisted. Martyn says that the principle payment is your happiness.

Ouija Board

My boyfriend died in an accident ... and my friends and I bought a Ouija board to see if he would come through and he did. We talk to him almost every night and he is always with us. He said he would never leave me and he will always wait for me.

An entanglement with a dead partner will likely influence a future partnership. Also, a future child may identify with the dead boyfriend ... to bring him back into this woman's life. I often use Martyn's
systemic coaching to manage such consequences.

Which Witch is Which?

My studies into "Can the dead communicate?" brought me to spiritualism, parapsychology and psychic research. While most people were well-meaning with good intentions, for a few groups and cults, however, you may be prey. (If you have difficulty leaving an occult group - see Exit Coaching.)

Shamans of many cultures claim to use the spirits of dead people to influence or harm the living. Solving these attacks can be wild rides, mostly because of a client's fears and beliefs. How I do that is beyond the scope of this article but Martyn can provide this service online.

Cross Cultural Horror Show

All over this planet, people use similar ways to honor and communicate with the quiet dead - and have similar unpleasant stories about the unquiet dead - the undead. Central European vampires, werewolves and Egyptian mummies may reflect Hollywood films, but my talks with native Canadians and with immigrants from Cuba, Africa, Vietnam and Afghanistan included eerily similar stories.

Martyn says "Preoccupation with death and dying is a common symptom of dead person identification", but there are other, less scientific, explanations. What is the difference between a dead person and a ghost? Or between dead person identification and possession? Between dissociating a dead person and exorcism? Or between a systemic counselor and an exorcist?

A few of my cases ... Haunted House . Curses . Black Magic . Ghosts . Demon

Death and Dying

As I investigated the lives and family histories of people with symptoms of dead person identification, a deep concern arose. These unpleasant symptoms provide doors between the world of the living and the world of the dead. Some of these doors can be easily opened, but may not so easily be closed.

The symptoms of dead person identification can predispose people towards melancholy and suicidal depression. I met many people with these symptoms who tried psychiatry, spiritualism, psychotherapy, energy work and religion, but found lasting relief using Martyn's systemic psychology.

Ghosts, Ghosts & More Ghosts

Since I retired, I collect and research ghost stories. I have many first-hand descriptions of ghosts - and my memories of the people who told me the ghost stories. A possessed person archetype might include wide-open eyes, a fixed stare, dark skin under the eyes, slack facial skin, lowered shoulders and down-turned mouths - often staring at the floor. Interestingly, these are some of the non-verbal signals that Martyn associates with dead-person identification.

To go beyond second-hand stories into first hand experience, I found a bridge in lucid dreaming. With that I can do more than listen to ghost stories. Martyn teaches ways to join people in their dreams that he learned while living in Hawaii (see Hawaiian Spirituality). He calls it Moe Uhane (Dreamwork) or Ho'omoe (Dreaming Together).

Shared dreams seem to overlap onto objective reality! Changes made in the dreams seemed to cause, or at least be related to, rapid changes in the reality in which we live. My question became, "Where does a dream stop and reality begin?"

Entertaining Demons

Dead Person Identification is about relationships with dead people. Yet our human world includes many never-living entities that were once worshipped by people. Can something die that was never born? How would a dead deity or even a dead idea be different to a dead person? And how can we recognize a groups or organizations of people who identify with dead people or an undead entities?"

It is often said that man creates gods in his own image. If so, the gods of identified people might appear to demand, or at least request, that symptoms of dead person identification be perceived as normal. Could Martyn's systemic symptoms (of DPI) be transformed into recognizable belief systems?

Dead Person Identification

  • Chronic sadness and melancholy
  • May have psychic sensitivity
  • Preoccupied with death and dying
  • Fascination with cemeteries
  • Fascinated by places where people died
  • May avoid becoming a parent
  • May fear that own children will die

Dead Person Identified Cults

  • Sadness and melancholy are holy
  • Psychic sensitivity is sacred
  • Preoccupation with death is holy
  • Cemeteries are sacred places
  • Places where people died are holy
  • Celibacy is a sacred duty
  • Childhood deaths are holy

Do these rules only apply to the darker esoteric cults and occult societies? Can whole cultures be influenced by dead people? Can entire communities be haunted?

Answering these questions began some strange ghost stories ... how the dead influence businesses, organizations and cultures! A chain of CEOs who died of heart attacks in an office over an abortion clinic. Religions based on dead people. I may write down more of these stories one day.

Haunted House . Curses . Black Magic . Ghosts . Demon

Do deceased loved ones want you to communicate with them?
We help bereaved and grieving people continue or conclude
their relationships with people whose bodies have died.

Afterword by Martyn Carruthers

Your willingness to walk across a cemetery at night may expose whether you live in a world where not all dead people rest in peace. Trespass into other realities may be fun at first - but the consequences can be unpleasant. Entanglement with visitors from a separate reality can upset you and disturb your health - and that of your family.

Do you want solutions? We can teach you to safely access and use world-views in which you can explore and satisfactorily manage the esoteric phenomena so well described by David Marsden.

Resolve emotional problems

Consult a physician about medical symptoms and opinions about mental illness.

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright David J. Marsden 2003 All rights reserved
David Marsden is a retired therapist who investigates ghost stories.

If you like our work, please link to us. If you know someone who might benefit,
please mention or

For online help, email us at:

Soulwork systemic coaching in America & Hawaii


Soulwork systemic coaching in England, Wales & Scotland

Soulwork systemic coaching in Croatia & Serbia

Soulwork systemic coaching in Poland



Have You Suffered Enough?

 Where are you now? Understand your emotions, fixations and enmeshments
What do you hope for? Know your goals and stop sabotaging yourself
Do you feel resourceful? Learn to develop your inner resources
Do emotions block you? Relationship problems and mentor damage
Do your beliefs limit you? Change limiting beliefs and end dependence
Do you feel connected? Resolve identity issues to recover lost resources
Is your partner happy? Build healthy partnership (or separate peacefully)
Are your children healthy? Happy parents better manage family problems
Do you want team success? Team leaders and their teams develop together
Do you have complex goals? Specialty coaching, counseling & therapy

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers 1996-2017 All rights reserved. Soulwork Systemic Coaching was primarily developed by Martyn Carruthers to help people solve emotional problems and relationship conflicts to achieve their goals. These concepts and strategies are for general knowledge only. Consult a physician about medical conditions and before changing medical treatment. Don't steal intellectual property ... get permission to post, publish or teach Martyn's work - email