Q. Help! After my divorce six months ago, I became paralyzed at the thought of reentering the dating pool after 20 years. Then a friend suggested I see a psychic who specializes in love issues. Well, I’m hooked. I don’t make a move, romantically speaking, without seeing her — for $100 a pop. And while her insights are helpful, I’m still not in a relationship. Can you help me break this addiction?— Rosemary
A. After a devastating heartbreak, who hasn’t wanted to lay her head on the chest of an all-knowing, all-seeing, empathetic person (the ultimate mommy) and beg, "Keep me from ever making another mistake"? "People in these circumstances turn to psychics because they are longing for someone to give them certainty," explains Pam Garcy, PhD, author of The Power of Inner Guidance: Seven Steps to Tune In and Turn On. But, she cautions, "When we ‘outsource’ our sense of stability, we are susceptible to becoming dependent upon the person who is temporarily easing our worries."
Kimberlee Auerbach knows a thing or two about feeling the urge to let someone else do the emotional heavy lifting. Auerbach, 38, wrote a memoir about her experiences with a tarot card reader, called The Devil, the Lovers, and Me. The author says, "I initially wanted the [psychic] to tell me things I didn’t know. But a reputable psychic — someone who’s really good — is more of a lens with which to see your life [than someone who] predicts the future. Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, the answers were deep inside me."
While many professional psychics do possess a sixth sense, use your common sense to avoid being taken. While seeking guidance, Auerbach was approached by shysters asking for $100 to lift a "curse" they claimed had been placed on her. "Unfortunately, a lot of people prey on the vulnerable," she says.
Justine Kenzer, aka Psychic Girl, a Los Angeles-based spiritual intuitive healer, offers this advice on ferreting out the phonies: "It’s like having plastic surgery. You need to know who you’re dealing with. Get a referral from someone you trust."
Or call the Better Business Bureau to see if complaints have been lodged. Kim O’Neill, a psychic channeler listed with Houston’s BBB, explains, "In my practice, after one visit I encourage a woman to develop and rely upon her own intuitive instincts."
As Auerbach, the memoirist, puts it, "If you can learn to tolerate anxiety and be okay that some things will always be a mystery, you’re on your way. Life’s uncertainly can be immobilizing or an adventure."
I intuit, dear Rosemary, that you will bid adieu to this money-sucking psychic and consider booking a few sessions with a therapist to help you deal with the painful and frightening life transition of sudden singlehood. You will discover that, whether the deck is Tarot or not, when it comes to your life only you hold the cards.
Do you have a tough question about dating or relationships?E-mail Sherry at DatingExpert@More.com and your question might be featured in an upcoming column.