Is Your Psychic a Mentalist?

I encourage people try the experience of having a psychic read, but I strongly caution against becoming dependent on any source, no matter how remarkable, to get "inside" information. There is nothing controlled or 100% accurate about reads. With even the best psychic, one day is "on" and another is "off." It all depends on the correlations and interpretations they are making at that time.

But how do you know if you have the real deal? 

According to Wikipedia, a cold reading is “a series of techniques used by mentalists, illusionists, fortune tellers, psychics, and mediums to determine or express details about another person, often in order to convince them that the reader knows much more about a subject than they actually do. Without prior knowledge of a person, a practiced cold reader can still quickly obtain a great deal of information about the subject by analyzing the person's body language, age, clothing or fashion, hairstyle, gender, sexual orientation, religion, race or ethnicity, level of education, manner of speech, place of origin, etc. Cold readers commonly employ high probability guesses about the subject, quickly picking up on signals from their subjects as to whether their guesses are in the right direction or not, and then emphasizing and reinforcing any chance connections the subjects acknowledge while quickly moving on from missed guesses.”

Techniques to watch for (you've easily seen TV psychics use these a lot):

Shotgunning” (Wikipedia) “A commonly-used cold reading technique used, among others, by television psychics and spiritual mediums. The psychic or reader slowly offers a huge quantity of very general information, often to an entire audience (some of which is very likely to be correct, near correct or at the very least, provocative or evocative to someone present), observes their subjects' reactions (especially their body language), and then narrows the scope, acknowledging particular people or concepts and refining the original statements according to those reactions to promote an emotional response.”
Example: "I sense an older male figure in your life, who wants you to know whilst you may have had disagreements in your life, he still loved you."

Barnum Statements” (Wikipedia) “named after P.T. Barnum, the American showman) are statements that seem personal, yet apply to many people. And while seemingly specific, such statements are often open-ended or give the reader the maximum amount of "wiggle room" in a reading. They are designed to elicit identifying responses from people. The statements can then be developed into longer and more sophisticated paragraphs and seem to reveal great amounts of detail about a person. The effect relies in part on the eagerness of people to fill in details and make connections between what is said and some aspect of their own lives (often searching their entire life's history to find some connection, or reinterpreting the statement in any number of different possible ways so as to make it apply to themselves). A talented and charismatic reader can sometimes even bully a subject into admitting a connection, demanding over and over that they acknowledge a particular statement as having some relevance and maintaining that they just aren't thinking hard enough, or are repressing some important memory.”

Example: "You had an accident when you were a child involving water.”

The Rainbow Ruse” (Wikipedia) “The rainbow ruse is a crafted statement which simultaneously awards the subject with a specific personality trait, as well as the opposite of that trait. With such a phrase, a cold reader can "cover all possibilities" and appear to have made an accurate deduction in the mind of the subject, despite the fact that a rainbow ruse statement is vague and contradictory. This technique is used since personality traits are not quantifiable, and also because nearly everybody has experienced both sides of a particular emotion at some time in their lives.”Example: "I would say that you are mostly shy and quiet, but when the mood strikes you, you can easily become the center of attention."

Perspective: One time, a friend begged me to get a reading after she got one. I humored her. I wasn’t expecting anything extraordinary. Their wasn’t a psychic sensation in the whole shop. I sat down and the woman took my hand and tried the shock factor. “You’re not at fault! You must stop feeling so guilty!” A brilliant technique to make me rush through my mind for anything I might feel guilty about. Surely we all regret something. I gave her credit for technique. Like a good fly fisherman, she cast her line and could have hooked a sucker. Luckily, I expected her to play this game. I not only had no feelings of guilt in my consciousness, but as she spoke, she told me I should consider leaving my boyfriend, he’ll never marry me (I was married for decades at the time). She proceeded to tell me to repaint the room I painted red (no red in my house-I hate the color). I finally just got up and left while she was in mid sentence. A less savvy person might have replaced "boyfriend" with "husband," and considered "I once thought about painting my room red," anything to make it "fit."

This is not to say psychics don’t exist. I know for a fact that they do, as I myself have skills that I can neither explain or often times control. 

Autumnforest (my online psychic testing, just one of MANY such hits - but even with my consistent accuracy, a reading of a person is vastly different than the  turn of a card)

When you get a reading from a psychic, you need to ask yourself “how specific is this to me, or is it a broad statement that fits many?” “Are they waiting too much for me to respond and lead them in the right direction?” “Is this the kind of thing I might hear from a counselor and adviser?”

A good psychic too will have a "serendipity" where they say something like "you should always choose the yellow" and you feel your stomach sink because just that day you were shopping and debating over yellow and blue for a new shirt and not sure which looks better. They have a tendency to say something timely. 

I personally won't do a reading unless I can turn away from the person and the person says nothing while I'm doing the reading but may take notes if they wish. I don't want a reaction from them that will lead me down a wrong path or dead end and I do not want to read their expressions and postures. That is a sign of someone who is not baiting. In fact, attempt to sit through a reading, looking down at your lap, saying nothing and see how long the psychic can handle it.

Someone tapping into you psychically for a living shouldn’t be asking you to make decisions based on their findings, have you pour your heart out to them so that they know too much of your personal lives and therefore can lead you into thinking they know you so well, or request that you come back again and again because you're getting "closer" to some important knowledge.

Always take note how much you speak versus how much they speak.

I’ll be brutally honest. Anyone making money as a psychic may not have your best interests in mind. It’s a business. One in which you coming back is critically important, just like your counselor or psychiatrist. Your dependence on them assures their income. 

We don’t have any regulations on psychics, no testing, certification, or a board of examiners like medical professionals have. As a consumer, you need to be educated, suspicious, and cautious. It can be very therapeutic for some folks who need to deal with grief or to see what they are doing wrong in their lives and for the counseling alone it can be helpful, but always be cautious and feel free to leave and not return if you have gotten what you want out of the experience.

Don't do's

Do not be snagged by emotional subjects, such as the dead. It is easy for a psychic to utilize your unresolved grief and make you feel better and more resolved (note the infamous television psychic with the bad dialect and fake nails). Anyone who sits with you and seems to relate to you your grief is going to win your undying devotion. 

Do not follow a psychic referral to other practitioners, such as a feng shui specialist or possibly someone who does cleansings. This is a popular technique to keep recirculating you between them, each of them telling you that you need to revisit the other one again for more work. 

Do not become dependent on a psychic to tell you what to do. You just put them in a position of power like a clergyman and that can be abused for their own means. 

Do not pay them extra money to remove "attachments" or give you "magic" for some desired outcome. You might as well burn the money while you chant the outcome you want. People get taken by these techniques all the time. Remain icy about your wallet.


Do keep yourself open to signs of spontaneous information that did not come from you, your conversation, or broad statements. I had a psychic friend contact me recently and she said "why do I hear a man with a yankee dialect calling you Sherry?" Oddly, I had acquired a friend from the north who called me by my childhood nickname. She then gave me a statement she heard him saying and, yes, he had said that very odd and unusual statement the day prior to me on a phone call. I had not spoken to anyone about it. This proved to me something I suspected about her - she is well tuned to me. Not many people can read me, but she has a spontaneous connection. The truth is, some psychics' energies do not jive with your own, and some are astonishingly tapped.

Do feel free to go back again if you get a good reading and see if you are still being tapped effectively. If you feel the experience is a positive one and not being abused, then definitely refer friends. Psychics who work at this are under enormous pressure and the genuine ones are under more pressure because they have to make up for the bad ones. It's kind of like dentists - a good dentist has to try to calm you a lot more after bad dentist experiences.

Do try different kinds of reads to find out what works for you. Some enjoy tarot card reads, others psychic mediums to talk to the dead, and others might like aura photos. Find what sings to you and periodically go back in to see how things have evolved for you. I have enjoyed aura photos for many years and a yearly check shows me much including the fact that I consistently know where spirit energy is around me, where I get my psychic information from and even a loved one over my shoulder.

Here, I announced I would bring forward the spirits that are always with me. Interesting shapes around me.

Here, I said I would look up where I get my psychic information from and ended up with a pinkish white light there.

Here, I said my brother who died a few weeks prior was over my right shoulder.

There are plenty of healers, mediums, tarot card readers, palm readers, aura photographers and more. Don't be afraid of seeing a psychic, but be a properly educated consumer.


  1. A phone psychic can give you insight into your current and future romantic relationships. They are able to counsel you about the best way to pursue love, whether you are currently involved with a partner, or if you are single and still looking for that special someone. While they may not be able to give you the name of your future spouse, they can point you in the right direction and help you pursue relationships in a positive way.


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