By Nancy Scheel, guest author
Is your psychic or medium friendly — or your friend?
There’s a big difference. And it matters.
In the psychic and medium space, conversations can become very personal. Maintaining healthy boundaries is crucial.
Unfortunately, sometimes clients and providers unwittingly create sticky situations by blurring the line between a personal and professional relationship.
Comments like these raise a red flag that healthy boundaries are lacking:
- “Sometimes my reader likes to go out to lunch with me, and we just talk about whatever we want.”
- “My psychic just told me about his messy divorce. I feel so bad for him.”
- “I call my psychic whenever I need to make a decision. She drops everything to help me out.”
- “I’m becoming friends with my reader — she’s awesome!”
It’s understandable to want to form a personal bond with someone who knows such intimate details about your life. However, it’s not recommended, and not particularly healthy for you in the long run.
The lack of clear boundaries around the role of the reader could potentially harm your professional relationship, and it can ultimately create a lot of emotional pain as well.
The Importance of Healthy Boundaries Between You and Your Psychic or Medium
Boundaries are like imaginary walls. Their purpose is to protect. As a client, you may be emotionally quite vulnerable; that makes keeping healthy boundaries even more important for your well-being.
A lack of healthy boundaries can hurt the quality of your readings:
- The medium’s ability to provide you with evidence from Spirit is compromised. If you’re hanging out together in a personal way, the reader will learn too much about you and your life.
- The reader’s ability to be objective can also be compromised. They may inadvertently filter messages and information in a certain way because of how they personally feel about you.
- You may lose respect for your reader. You may hear about poor personal decisions they have made, and no longer trust in the guidance or messages that they pass through from Spirit
And, other difficult problems can occur:
- At the more difficult end of the spectrum, you may be taken advantage of — intentionally or not — by a reader who is emotionally needy or financially stressed.
- If problems, disagreements or hurt feelings crop up in the personal relationship, you can be deeply hurt, and it will likely become difficult or impossible to engage in effective readings together.
What Leads to Unhealthy Boundaries Between Readers and Clients?
Some psychics and mediums have good technical skills but lack strong personal and professional boundaries. This can be due to personality traits, belief systems, or just a lack of awareness.
For one thing, boundaries may not come naturally to them. They may have an innate and authentic tendency to want to help people in a giving, loving way. For them, boundaries may feel “cold,” “impersonal” or “selfish.” Although they are motivated to be in service when helping or giving, sometimes they inadvertently allow emotional dependence from clients.
Sometimes, readers do not properly “open” and “close” their connection to spirit. They remain open even when not reading. In this state, it’s hard to maintain boundaries of any kind.
Related: Dispelling 6 Myths About Psychics and Mediums
Ungrounded, they can miss clear signals where it would be appropriate to maintain personal and professional boundaries.
Poor Boundaries — but Good Intentions
Even when readers have poor boundaries, they usually have good intentions. Still, negative impact is likely to occur sooner or later. (Think of all the times you did something with the best of intentions, but still offended or hurt someone.)
Boundaries go both ways. As the client, you might be the one crossing a boundary with your psychic or medium because you’re a natural caretaker. You’re a helper and a giver; again, your intentions are in the right place.
But it’s never okay to “take care of” your reader — whether emotionally, financially, or socially. A reader who maintains boundaries won’t let you do that. They will gently maintain a layer of professionalism in which they remain in service of you and Spirit, and not the other way around.
Aren’t There Exceptions?
The thing about healthy boundaries is that we are constantly negotiating them.
Depending on the circumstances, there may be occasions when it’s fine to have a lunch or dinner with your reader, especially if you are with a group, or part of a class or event.
Or, once in a while, your reader may share a relevant personal detail, especially if you are a long-time client. After all, you are both humans with an authentic connection.
Even in these cases, hold clear boundaries. Sharing one meal or one story should not lead to a deepening of a personal relationship.
If there is a desire on both sides to create a personal friendship, then you can apply healthy boundaries by both deciding to let go of the professional relationship. Your now-friend (ex-reader) does not read for you anymore, and you find another professional provider for that need in your life. That’s a perfectly reasonable evolution of your relationship.
You and Your Psychic or Medium: How to Protect Boundaries
It’s best to think of your reader in the same way that you might think about your physician, or accountant, or dentist: You see — and pay — them for their professional services.
Maybe there’s a little personal chit-chat, but everyone is clear that you are there for a service and they are providing it. You can care about their well-being and they can care about yours, but that’s as far as it goes. You aren’t friends. You aren’t their counselor.
This clear-cut distinction can be harder to make during psychic and medium readings because the time together often feels very personal. You are usually talking about your loved ones, your grief, your life, your desire for guidance. The reader is there to provide messages to you. But, harsh as this may sound, it needs to stop there. There should be no further emotional ties or enmeshment.
The intimate work happens within the boundaries of your session, not outside of it.
Adjusting Course: When Boundaries Are Blurred
If you think that boundaries have been blurred with your reader, talk about it!
Not sure where to start? Be clear and straightforward. Say something like, “I appreciate the quality of your readings, and because I’d like to continue working with you over time, it’s important that we keep our relationship professional.”
Their reaction will tell you everything you need to know. Ideally, they will say that they understand and will make the adjustment with you. If they express hurt or upset — or somehow make you out to be the bad guy — then it’s time to move on to another reader. This person may have strong technical skills, but they have not yet dealt with their own “personal stuff.”
As well, tune in to your own feelings about boundaries to see if you may be the one pushing the reader. Do you feel guilty setting or keeping boundaries? Do you tend to put others’ needs above your own? If you feel that you struggle with your own boundaries, consider seeking support from a therapist or coach.
Just as boundaries are constantly being negotiated, relationships are continually evolving. Whether it’s you or your reader who is responsible for pushing a boundary, acknowledging and discussing it could be the key to saving your professional relationship.
Guest author Nancy Scheel, M.S., PCC, is a personal growth coach with the Whole Medium Academy™. She teaches with Amy Utsman, and coaches students and other individuals to further their personal and spiritual development.
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