What Are the Differences Between Psychics and Mediums?

by Anne Reith, Ph.D.
Transparent figure of deceased woman in front of windows
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Transparent figure of deceased woman in front of windows

Are psychics and mediums different?

I am often asked this question.  Unfortunately, I have found that there isn’t one “generally agreed to answer.”

To a certain extent, I have found that the answer depends on the geographic area in which you are located. For example, there are regional differences based on where you are located within the United State. Also, different countries have divergent opinions regarding this issue.

The descriptions and explanations provided in this Blog post are the ones I provide to my students. I have found that this approach helps them in two different ways:

  • They can see that there are both differences and similarities.
  • They begin to understand that there are many different ways metaphysical work can be done.

What are psychics?

Psychics are individuals who use the “clairs” to communicate with spiritual entities that do not exist in the dimension that we currently live in (i.e., Earth).

Because spiritual entities do not have a physical body, that means they don’t have vocal cords. In order to communicate with us, psychics use the “clairs,” which is based on energy.

The 4 most commonly referred to “clairs” include the following:

  • Clairvoyance = Visual images
  • Clairaudiance = Sounds
  • Clairsentience = Body sensations, smells (AKA Clairolfaction), tastes (AKA Clairgustation), and emotions (AKA Empathy)
  • Claircognizance = Thoughts (AKA Intuition)

Once psychics learn how to receive information using this Divine language, they can use the “clairs” to communicate with ANY type of spiritual entity. This can include (but is not limited to) the following:

  • Angels and archangels
  • Guides
  • Ascended masters (e.g., Jesus, Buddha, Mother Mary)
  • Fairies and other earth spirits

What are mediums?

Just like psychics, mediums are individuals who use the “clairs” (see above) to communicate with those not in our current dimension. However, their “target group” is souls who once lived on the Earth plane but are now in spiritual form. This can include:

  • Deceased loved ones (i.e., people you personally knew during this lifetime)
  • Deceased pets
  • People you have never known but are related to you in an important way (e.g., a grandfather who you were named after but who died before you were born)
  • Famous individuals who you have never met (NOTE: Actually, this is relatively rare because the energetic bridge between the other side and those on the Earth plane is love.)

NOTE: Mediums most often connect with those who have crossed over to the Light. However, some mediums are able to communicate with those who have died but haven’t chosen to “cross over” yet. For more information about souls who haven’t (yet) gone to the Light, I refer you to the follow Blog posts:

Comparing psychics and mediums

After reading the descriptions above, you will see that both psychics and mediums use the “clairs.” However, psychics focus on communicating with spiritual beings (e.g., angels, guides), whereas mediums specialize in working with souls who once lived here on the Earth plane.

Here is how I like to explain the difference:

  • All mediums are psychic.  Both groups use the “clairs” to communicate with those not located in our present Earthly dimension.
  • However, not all psychics are mediums. This is because not all psychics choose to “talk to dead people.”

Here is another way that I explain it to my students:

  • You can think of the term “psychic” as a very broad category . . . much like an umbrella.
  • Underneath that “psychic umbrella” are many different sub-groups or specialties.
  • Mediums are one of these specialties. They choose to talk with deceased loved ones.
  • However, there are other sub-specialties, including those that focus on communicating with other types of entities. Some examples include:
    • Angels/archangels (e.g., Archangel Michael)
    • Guides
    • “Earth spirits” (i.e., fairies, gnomes)
    • Ascended masters (e.g., Jesus, Buddha)

Whether to schedule a session with a psychic versus a medium

When deciding whether to seek the services of a psychic or a medium, it may be helpful to remember the following:

  • Psychics:
    • Most psychics deal primarily with angels, guides, and ascended masters. 
    • Some may occasionally connect with deceased loved ones, but this may not be their strength. 
    • However, some psychics actually choose not to communicate with deceased loves ones for various reasons.
  • Mediums:
    • Mediums focus on connecting with deceased loved ones.
    • Some may receive messages from angels, guides, and/or ascended masters, but perhaps not consistently.
    • There are some mediums who truly do specialize in only communicating with deceased loved ones. In this case, they choose to not communicate with spiritual entities for various reasons.

The bottom line is that you should do your research. Read the information that the professional provides online and/or contact them to ask questions. In general, if you want a psychic reading and guidance about life issues, then seek out a psychic. But if you want to connect with a deceased loved one, then make sure you are consulting with a medium who clearly has this as their focus.

Final note about the term “psychic medium”

Although not specifically addressed in this article, there is a relatively new term being used today: Psychic Medium.

From what I have seen, this typically appears to be used by professionals who want to make it clear in their advertising that they are focusing on communicating with both of the following:

  • Spiritual entities (e.g., angels, guides, ascended masters)
  • Deceased loved ones and pets

However, if you are seeking a specific type of reading (e.g., mediumship to connect with a deceased loved one), then be cautious if you see the term “psychic medium.” Before scheduling an appointment, be sure to tell the professional what type of service you are seeking and ask if this is one of their specialties.

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By Anne Reith, Ph.D.

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