I receive a lot of questions at lectures about mediums and psychics: what are the differences, and who is legitimate and trustworthy? In response to these questions, in my book Ghosts of Long Island II, More Stories of the Paranormal, I included a chapter on well-known, Long Island medium and personal friend, Richard Schoeller. In a no-holds-barred interview, Richard explained how he became a medium, the difficulties he encountered, and how he uses his mediumship today to help communicate messages from the other side, or to help others through their grief. It truly is an amazing story and one in which I hope you will read.
People are often confused as to what the difference is between a medium and a psychic. I have had readings from both, and they are two totally different experiences. The medium's sole purpose is to act as a channel of communication between those living on the earth plane and those in spirit form. In other words, they communicate with the dead and provide valuable messages for us. Oftentimes, mediumship begins at an early age. Parents often disregard it. I have to point out however, that many children do see spirits. Children have just come from that world and they are more open and accepting of the spirits than adults usually are. So don't disregard a child's "imaginary friend" or tell your son or daughter to go back to bed when they claim to see someone in their room. This is not to say that children who experience these things will be mediums later in life. Most children outgrow these experiences. It is the ones that continue to see spirits as they age, who probably have the gift.
For adults who become mediums, it is often quite alarming. Although Richard did experience spirits in his room as a child, it wasn't until he was an adult that he actually became a medium. His mediumship was brought on one night and he actually thought he was dying. He saw both sets of his grandparents in his room, all of whom were dead. So for the person who has been given the gift of mediumship, it requires careful training to be able to control it. It is imperative for the medium to be able to function normally in society. The medium who has learned to control this gift, can then share it with others. They offer a valuable service to those who are grieving or those who simply want to communicate with their loved ones on the other side. The medium provides people with messages that are beneficial to them. Many people, especially skeptics and those who don't believe in an after life, are blown away from the experience. Mediumship is a way of proving that life definitely does exist after this one, and that the after life, Heaven or whatever you may choose to call it, is a wonderful and positive place. It also gives us the comfort of knowing that our loved ones who have passed over are still with us and are helping us on our own life's journey. They are there for us. All we have to do is ask for their help and guidance.
A psychic is something different, although there are quite a number of mediums who are also psychic mainly because they are already "sensitive" to things. A psychic who is not a medium, however, does not communicate with the dead. In general, a psychic is someone who obtains information through ESP (extrasensory perception). Psychics usually tell us things about our own lives and can often tell us of future events or happenings. Interestingly enough, everyone has the ability to be psychic, but most of us choose not to tap into it. Some people are born with psychic ability, some people tap into it later in life, while still in other cases it can be brought on when something triggers it. Like mediumship, psychic ability is considered a gift and should be used wisely.
Since human nature tells us to be frightened of the unknown, many people are skeptical when it comes to mediums and psychics. It goes back to my old saying, just because you can't prove something, it doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. On the other side of the coin, you should definitely be cautious when choosing to have a reading from a psychic or medium. It's like anything else in life. Check the person out. Make sure they are reputable and/or come recommended. When you are in need of a doctor, lawyer, accountant or any other professional person, are you going to open up the yellow pages and just pick one? Most times you are not. You will ask your friends and family who they recommend and what their experience was. The same thing holds true when looking for a reputable medium or psychic. Do not open your phone book and call 1-800-psychic, ask around or do a thorough internet search until you find someone you are comfortable with. When you do, you will have a wonderful and rewarding experience.
During any reading, be open to the spirits and they will come. You will be amazed at the information you will receive. It truly is a remarkable gift.