Psychic business booms: Proceed with caution

Everywhere you turn, it seems that the economic news is dismal. As foreclosures and college tuition costs skyrocket, while jobs and 401K's evaporate, what are Americans doing about it? The answer may surprise you: they're checking in with psychics.

The reason is simple on the face of it. Lots of people want someone to tell them what to do. Should I sell my house, downsize and relocate, cash in the remnants of my stock portfolio? Should I tell me daughter that she will have to start at a community college because I'm not sure that I can pay the mortgage and still help her with tuition?

Here's what a legitimate psychic will tell you: "I don't know. I can't tell you what you should do. I can only tell you what you're going to do."

I've been a psychotherapist for 35 years. Most of that time, I've been fascinated by the paranormal. I've worked with psychics and mediums in the United States, England and Israel. I travel nationally doing seminars about psychic events in the lives of clinicians and clients. Here's what I know.
Mostly, we go to psychics for the same reason we go to psychotherapists. We're either anxious or depressed, or worse still anxious and depressed. If we're anxious, it would be wonderful if someone could tell us what to do to feel safer. If we're depressed, it would help a lot to know that the future looks better than the present.

There are some profoundly gifted, spiritual psychics. There are other psychics who are frauds. The former are genuinely talented, want to help and can often see pieces of the future. They give you specific information, see trends, images, events. What they cannot do is to give you something that it is safe for you to rely on.

So, for probably the first time in my life (at least this one), I'm on the same page as the skeptics. If financial problems are making you irritable, if you're crying, sleeping poorly, feel like a failure and are generally just plain miserable, call a licensed psychotherapist. Ask your physician for a referral.

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