The Goop Lab, Gwenyth Paltrow’s Netflix series about everything from psychedelic experiences to contact with the dead, has recently done a lot to bring psychics into the mainstream. With an episode on mediumship, it had everyone talking about the possibilities that the alternative sciences have to offer.

Of course, not everyone buys it, and there is good reason to be skeptical. Psychics throughout the years have conned and scammed people of their money, often making misleading claims that are harmful to someone who has come to them for help.

However, many people have had incredible experiences with psychics. They will tell you stories that you’ll find hard to dismiss, about psychics who knew stuff they had never told anyone. The problem is that this is a field that is not regulated. Unlike when you go to a doctor or therapist, there is no professional certification needed to practice, and no consequences if the psychic really is a fraud.

This is why it’s important to know more about the subject before you either go in search of a psychic or dismiss the idea out of hand. Do you know that there are different kinds of psychics, each offering different services?

Here’s what you need to know.

Fortune Tellers

The most well-known and well-publicized kind of psychic is the fortune teller. A fortune teller is someone who can tell you information about what will happen in your future by reading signs from your palm, tarot cards, astrology, crystal balls, or other external markers. Their methodology will generally be connected with their culture. Most cultures have a tradition of fortune tellers, who use a particular system to tell the future.

Fortune tellers rely on these signs to give you information, but they’re also generally good at reading people. If you feel comfortable with them from the start, it’s because they are excellent at building a rapport, and using their intuition about you to help interpret your reading.


The main difference between a fortune teller and a clairvoyant is that a clairvoyant mainly depends on their own senses for readings. Instead of consulting tarot cards or astrology, they see, hear, and otherwise sense information about you and your future.

The word clairvoyant is actually French for “seeing clearly.” After all, who sees more clearly than someone who knows how to use their extrasensory perception.

While fortune telling is a skill that most people can learn, not everyone has the heightened sense or patience to become a clairvoyant. It involves learning to effectively use senses you are now barely aware of. We all have those senses, but few are naturally attuned to use them.


The difference with psychics is that they don’t rely solely on telling you what will happen in the future to give you a reading. Rather, psychics are more sensitive to what is going on in the present. They will read you and assess why things are going the way they are.

With this sense of why, they are able to give you better advice on how to turn things around. The future is not fixed, but unless we do something to change it, we have no control over what happens to us.

Psychics are therefore closer to counselors than clairvoyants or fortune tellers are. They can give you insight into the future, but the most important insight will be in finding out why the future looks the way it does.


There are definitely snake-oil salesmen out there, trying their best to get money out of you with false claims. However, many mediums are earnest in their desire to help you. They want to give you the best service they can to make your life better.

It is important to know as much as you can before you go see someone. Start with knowing the difference between fortune tellers, clairvoyants, and regular psychics.