‘I’m a psychic – here’s how to avoid fake mediums and addiction to readings’

One in four Brits have visited a psychic and over half of them say it’s helped them cope better with their grief. As a regular on ITV’s This Morning and a bestselling author, modern spirituality expert Theresa Cheung agrees.

Here Theresa shares her beliefs, explains how mediums work and details how to get the most from a visit – while avoiding the sham artists out there…

"In his autobiography, Spare, Prince Harry describes a visit to a 'woman with powers' who told him his late mother said he’s living the liberated life 'she couldn’t.' It brought tears to Harry’s eyes as he felt his mum was right there with him.

Visiting a medium can comfort those who are grieving when traditional grief counselling just doesn’t resonate. The psychic helps them cultivate a relationship that transcends death, offers them hope that death isn’t the end and helps them explore the mystery of human consciousness.

It’s worth noting there’s a difference between a psychic and a medium. Psychics (or clairvoyants) sense invisible things about a person. Mediums believe they can communicate with spirits. That’s why mediums are also psychics – but not all psychics are mediums.

I’ve lost count of the number of instances people have messaged me to say that a medium had given them this life sustaining hope.

A woman called Sue told me how the shock of her mother dying when she was a teenager was unbearable. Nothing helped her move on until she randomly decided to see a medium, who shared details about the circumstance of her mother’s death that nobody else could possibly have known.

A man called Peter told me how a medium accurately described the unusual necklace that was buried with his wife. The medium told him that his wife loved him deeply, thanked him for the necklace and was always beside him.

There’s a danger of becoming addicted to a medium’s reassurance. But the genuine ones won’t encourage repeat visits. Only a potential fraudster will do this. It’s a major red flag.

The real deal will offer one reading; if no 'proof' or healing comes through in that session, they’ll be honest, and ideally refund you if you’ve already paid them.

If you’re considering visiting a medium:

• Avoid going in the first year following the loss of a loved one – you need to adjust to the loss of their physical presence first.

• Avoid if they don’t have any credentials and a code of ethics. Although you can encounter sincere mediums at psychic fairs and spiritualist churches, ideally choose a certified medium, with training, or better still one that has been scientifically tested.

• Avoid if they are celebrity endorsed or have a cult-like following.

• Avoid if they encourage repeat visits (unless they are teaching you a specific spiritual technique or skill, such as meditation).

• Avoid if they charge fees higher than the price of a good haircut.

• Avoid if there is excessive marketing – this is about creating a spiritual celebrity, not about helping you.

• Avoid if they tell you what to do or believe – psychics are not trained counsellors or therapists.

• Avoid if they make you feel nervous or inferior in any way. The real deal will always make you feel confident and empowered. There will be a joyful, optimistic energy about them.

• Avoid if they insist on in-person readings. The most convincing scientific research to date on mediums was done via the phone to remove any chance of cold reading (reading body language and other unconscious clues.) But avoid psychic phone lines as their motivation is purely financial and they keep you on the line as soon as possible.

• Avoid if they bombard you with advertising or ask for your credit card before a reading.

• Avoid if they ask leading questions in the reading. Stick to yes or no replies.

• Avoid if they know anything about who you are before a reading (That’s the big red flag with the medium Harry visited. Too much information out there about him!).

Theresa Cheung is a modern spirituality expert and bestselling author. Her new book Empower Your Inner Psychic (Harper Thorsons, £14.99) is out now.


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