Are Psychics Real?

Sam Headshot Contributing expert: Dr. Sam Youssef, Ph.D. - Updated: Feb 16, 2023


Psychics tend to work within nuanced, in-between, and unseen spaces. Their results are interpreted through the experience of other people. Answering this question may only be possible on an individual basis. There are plenty of stories involving psychics that just can’t seem to be explained. Unfortunately, there are also frauds and scam artists that sully the reputation of psychics and tend to cast them in a bad light.


Our article guides you through the basics of what psychics are, how they work, and what to know before consulting one for a reading.

What Is a Psychic?

Being psychic is more than being able to predict the future. A psychic is someone who is able to use senses beyond the natural taste, smell, sight, touch, and hearing. These extrasensory perceptions enable a psychic to discern information outside the physical world we experience through our basic senses. Psychics then use these abilities to perform psychic readings for people through things like clairvoyance, intuition, tarot cards, and palmistry to name a few.

Contributing expert Dr. Sam Youssef explains that scientific studies have found evidence of psychic ability in humans: “According to Lui (2021), telepathy or mind communication is a form of communication that does not require any physical connection between two people. The existence of ESP as a kind of extrasensory perception has been debated for a long time and research has progressed… As the results of a recent scientific investigation into the accuracy of mediumship, conducted by Tressoldi et al. (2021), show, it is possible that some mediums are able to gather accurate information about those who have passed away by simply asking for the name of the deceased and not conversing with any of their sitters.”

What are the different types of psychic powers?

You can find long lists online containing a variety of psychic powers. Many psychic practitioners even claim to be gifted with multiple abilities. Some of the most well-known powers are included in our list below:

Types of Psychic Powers
Clairvoyance Often referred to as a “sixth sense,” someone who is clairvoyant may be able to see, hear, feel, or know things without any prior knowledge.
Astral projection This type of ability is associated with out-of-body experiences where someone’s consciousness or spirit temporarily leaves their physical body and travels somewhere else.
Energy medicine Energy healers use techniques like Qigong and Reiki to heal others through the use of their own energy.
Mediumship A medium is someone who can communicate with spirits who have died and passed on from the physical realm.

Types of psychic readings

With many psychic powers comes many types of psychic readings. From trying to communicate with a loved one who has died or receiving messages from your pet, there are multiple types of readings to answer your important life questions. Here’s a list of some commonly practiced psychic readings:

Types of Psychic Readings
Tarot Through the use of illustrated cards, a tarot reading aims to help you answer the big life questions that keep you up at night.
Relationship A psychic can offer guidance on how to approach your love life through their intuitive reading of the relationships in your life.
Astrology The celestial bodies in the sky above can be used by astrologers as a map to tell you about your past, present, and future and how their placements can affect your life.
Spiritual If you consider yourself a spiritual person, then this type of reading can help you connect with the spirit realm and all of it’s wisdom through your psychic guide.

How Does a Psychic Reading Work?

When you finally decide which type of reading you’d like to book, you can expect a few things in the process. If you’re booking a psychic through an online directory, you’ll create an account on their website and provide a payment option. You may also want to search locally for a psychic near you in order to meet in-person.

How do psychics work?

For a strictly online psychic, you’ll set up a timeframe to get on a call with them and most likely be charged on a per-minute basis. If you’re working with an individual psychic, they might have a variety of packages for you to choose from and an option to meet virtually or in person if they’re local. Your practitioner may ask that you come prepared with a list of questions or concerns you’d like to cover during your reading. 

How does tarot work?

Are Psychics Real

Tarot is a divination tool used by psychics to enrich and bring symbolism into a reading. If you book a tarot card reader, they’ll have you pick one or more questions to prepare beforehand. As they shuffle their deck, they’ll hold your question in their mind. They will then pull a certain number of cards to lay out and interpret for you as an answer to that question.

How do you select a psychic?

During your selection process, it’s important to find someone you would feel comfortable talking to about your deepest concerns and life issues. If you don’t feel free to express yourself, then you may not get much out of the reading. There are many reputable psychic websites that screen their practitioners before allowing them to use their platform. Do some research about any local psychics and their reputation if you’re interested in finding some near you.

How much does a psychic cost?

The popular psychic websites usually charge for psychic readings on a per-minute basis ranging anywhere from $1 per minute to $30 per minute. Individual psychics who don’t work through large online directories usually offer package options at a flat rate. How much you pay for in-person or local psychics really depends on what kind of reading you purchase. A one-hour Reiki session could cost $65 while a reading from a renowned medium could cost over $300 for an hour.

How to Avoid Psychic Scams

Unfortunately there are people out there who will pose as psychic practitioners with the hopes of scamming the people they take on as clients. Reputable psychics are usually known for their good reputation and high ratings. Using a review website like Trustpilot before booking a psychic could save you the hassle of being disappointed by someone you’ve never worked with before.

Even if you find someone that seems like a good fit, it’s important to be prepared for suspicious behavior before a psychic reading. Here are some clairvoyant and psychic-specific warning signs to look out for:

  • Promising an upcoming event 
  • Offering a lottery number or good luck charm for a fee
  • Threatening impending trouble and providing the only solution
  • Only willing to help you out of that predicted trouble if you pay a fee
  • Using curses as a threat if you don’t pay

How to scammer-proof your reading process

The best way to prevent being a victim of a scam is educating yourself. Before you even consider consulting a psychic, be sure to do your research on what to look out for and specifically on the practitioner you’re wanting to work with. Read their reviews and ratings, both good and bad. If you put in the time to research beforehand, you could be saving yourself a lot of trouble. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. If someone is making promises, threatening you, or demanding cash then steer clear. 

What to do if you’re a victim of psychic fraud

Being the victim of a scam or any other kind of fraud can leave you feeling violated. When you put your trust in an individual or a company, you expect them to provide what they promise. Unfortunately, the police don’t take psychic scams very seriously. In the eyes of the law, you willingly gave your money to someone. Oftentimes, the embarrassment of falling for a scam is too much and the fraud goes unreported. Regardless, you should contact your financial institution right away if you think you’ve been the victim of fraudulent charges. You can always submit a report to officials, but know that you might not get the help you’re looking for.


Liu, Y. (2021, October). Detecting Telepathy: A Meta-analysis for Extrasensory Perception Experiments in Last 20 Years. In 2021 6th International Conference on Modern Management and Education Technology (MMET 2021) (pp. 428-432). Atlantis Press.

Tressoldi, P., Liberale, L., Sinesio, F., Bubba, V., Pederzoli, L., & Testoni, I. (2021). Mediumship accuracy: a quantitative and qualitative study with a triple-blind protocol. EXPLORE.