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пятница, 6 января 2017 г.

Psychics: the new therapists?

Madonna and Angelina Jolie have their mediums on speed-dial – even Cheryl Cole is said to have seen a psychic about her marriage. It seems more women are turning to those in touch with the afterlife in times of trouble

When Tracey Fawcett's three-year marriage began to break down, she turned to the one person she knew would get her through the trauma: her psychic.
Tracey is a middle-class mum and works as a bookkeeper - and admits using psychic readings the same way other women use therapists. Kooky? Maybe. Bonkers it appears not. Psychics are becoming the must-do therapy.
Cheryl Cole, 26, is reported to have visited celebrity medium Jusstine Kenzer for advice on her split from love-rat husband Ashley. And she's in good company. Stars like Katie Price, Teri Hatcher, Mel B and Pearl Lowe are also reported to have regular psychic readings.
"I've been using psychics since I was 15," says Tracey, from Thirsk, North Yorkshire. "Some of my friends think I'm crazy, but I'm convinced it works."

After watching psychic Katie Keeley on Psychic TV in 2008, Tracey phoned her for a tarot reading. "She described my marriage perfectly," Tracey says. "I'd had a crisis of confidence at work, which had begun to affect the rest of my life. I was struggling to be the bubbly woman my husband Nick* had fallen in love with, and he'd moved out. Katie said he was upset about the change in me because he knew I was unhappy. She was right."

Tracey's a big believer in psychic guidance
After the 20-minute reading, Katie told Tracey that her husband would come back. So, instead of moving on, she relied on her psychic readings for advice on how to make that happen. Over the next nine months, Tracey spoke to Katie twice a week, with each 10-minute reading costing around £25.
"I never told Katie what was happening, but she always knew," says Tracey, 32. "She'd tell me that Nick would call in three days' time, and he would. She'd tell me how I should react, that I needed to stay calm, and I'd take her advice."
Just before Valentine's Day last year, Tracey had another reading and was told to expect a surprise red gift from her estranged husband. "She said it would arrive two days before Valentine's Day - and it did," Tracey says.
Tracey with her husband Nick
On February 12, she came home from work to find a red Audi parked on the driveway. Excitedly realising this was the surprise Katie had told her about, she called Nick immediately - and the pair began talking more regularly. "Nick's generous gift was a huge step," says Tracey. "It was a positive sign for our relationship - and Katie had seen it coming.
"A few months on, Katie told me it was time to tell Nick how I truly felt and that, once I had, he'd be back in a week."
Tracey called her estranged husband and said they needed either to be reunited, or split for good. A week later, Nick, 32, who runs a car company, moved back home.
Coincidence? A fluke even? You could say so. But Tracey insists it was all down to her psychic guidance. "I only got through that difficult time in my life because of Katie's help and advice," she says. The couple are now expecting a baby later this month - Katie also predicted the pregnancy.
It appears that increasing numbers of people are turning to the occult for guidance. A recent poll** showed 60 per cent of Brits had visited a medium or mystic and 71 per cent believe they can predict the future. With readings now offered in department stores and high-profile celebs seeking guidance from psychics, it seems they are taking over the role of counsellors, offering support on everything from relationships to careers.
It's a trend celebrity psychic Jayne Wallace has seen growing. "We are the new therapists," she says. "People have always believed in the paranormal, but now it's become more acceptable to admit it. Consulting a psychic doesn't have the same stigma as seeing a counsellor and we can give people a peek into the future. A reading shows people new opportunities."
Seeing a psychic doesn't have a stigma
Psychic Katie Keeley, 51, from Blackpool, certainly feels that she provided Tracey with a type of therapy. "Once I had to pull over on the motorway to give her a reading because she was in such a state," she says. "But that's my job and I'll happily help out anyone who needs me.
"Often women who would feel uncomfortable seeing a traditional counsellor feel happier talking to a psychic. But they have to be prepared to make their own choices. I can only give someone the information my spirit guides give me. How they act on it is entirely up to them."
In Tracey's case, the information given to her by psychics has been startlingly accurate. "I first went to see one because I had no idea what I wanted to do in life," she says. "The psychic said someone would approach me and suggest a career I'd never considered. A few days later, I met a woman who owned a gym who suggested I train as an aerobics instructor and then gave me a job."
Since then, Tracey's contacted psychics about almost every major decision she has had to make. "I ask about relationship problems, health issues and worries about my son Taylor, 12. I've even asked about moving house and any business decisions that Nick's had to make. Each time they give me the guidance or prompting I need to reach a solution."
Tracey is sensible enough to realise that while a psychic may suggest a certain path, she is ultimately the one in charge of her fate.
Psychic advice should be treated with caution, according to Dr Max Blumberg, a research psychologist specialising in the paranormal. "Psychics make money from telling people what they want to hear," he says. "They have the edge over more 'traditional' counsellors because they hold the assurance of a solution and a vision of a promised future.
"In situations where you're emotionally vulnerable, they can seem like the perfect solution. I wouldn't recommend relying on them to make life-changing decisions. If you take their suggestions as truth, their advice can be detrimental."
But Tracey's certain her psychic support network will always have the answers she needs. "Why would I see a therapist when I've got a psychic?" she says. "You can talk through your problems and then have the added bonus of seeing the possibilities ahead of you. It's always worked for me, so why change now?"
"Nick told me he still loved me and had just needed some space to work out what he wanted from life," she reveals. "And I'd worked through my anger with Katie, so I was just happy to have him back."
The couple are now living together in the marital home and are expecting a baby later this month - the pregnancy was also predicted by Katie.

The Psychic

Sharon Rimmer, 46, was a psychic for 10 years. She lives in east London and is now an executive assistant for a private equity firm.
Sharon Rimmer
"Since childhood I've seen ghosts and spirits and my link to the 'other side' led me to work as a medium. I didn't do it for the money and would often do readings for free. But, eight years ago, I started to feel that clients wanted something I wasn't able to give them. More and more wanted me to take responsibility for their choices. I'd get calls in the night from desperate people, wanting answers I wasn't qualified to give.
Others relied on me to reassure them that they weren't making terrible mistakes. One woman had fallen for a man serving a long jail sentence and wanted me to tell her that he hadn't committed the crime. A less honest psychic would have told her what she wanted to hear. After a few years, I started to feel sick with anxiety before giving readings because of the pressure I felt under. So, two years ago, I stopped.
Some people see psychics not just as therapists, but as miracle workers too, expecting everything in their lives to be solved after a reading. It's frightening that they're prepared to relinquish control of their lives to someone they don't even know."

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