The Real Magic of Psychics
So few interactions give us unbridled permission to imagine
Six months ago at Café Gratitude in Venice, California — while deliberating between an “I Am Immortal” latte and an “I Am Stellar” blue smoothie — a thought popped into my head and I blurted it out.
“I’m going to stop wasting money on psychics.”
Across the table sat my friend and fellow psychotherapist Sara, with whom I often compared notes on therapists, healers, bodyworkers, psychics, and spiritual teachers. “Totally,” said Sara. “I really can’t hear another prophecy about the man who’s coming and the perfect family I’m going to have with him. I mean, I’m 60 for god’s sake. I’m going psychic-free for a year.”
A year? Suddenly I felt depressed. And trumped by Sara. Rising to her level of liberation would mean committing to being stuck with my feelings, and the indigestible unknown — 12 months without a download of glittering hope.
Of all the healing artists, psychics are the trickiest for me, simultaneously letting me imagine a brilliant future while triggering doubt about its likelihood. And then, of course, there are the false predictions.
The last psychic I’d seen kept telling me that my father back in England was about to die and to quickly tie up any loose ends in our relationship. So I made more transatlantic calls than usual, as well as a few gentle inquiries: “Everything okay, Dad? How’s your body feeling?” My 78-year-old dad’s responses were routinely chipper: “Taken a licking but I keep on ticking!” and “Morale is tip-top!”
After Sara’s challenge, I began to sort through my rising panic about going psychic-free. Between my history in Hollywood and running in healing circles, I was always meeting psychics, or “intuitives,” and there were just so many interesting ones. It was easy to be captivated, especially since — as a psychotherapist — I was noting my own experience of becoming a little bit psychic.
In the early days of my therapy practice, I was hypervigilant about looking through the lenses of the famous psychologists I’d studied, and the prestigious mentors who had trained me. Over time, however, my own review process evolved quite naturally. Seven years into my 14 year-long private…