You are here

Six Criteria for Choosing the Best Psychic or Medium

How to choose a psychic or medium.

Six criteria for choosing the best psychic or medium

by Bob Olson, founder of & host of

There are many psychics and mediums who are legitimate but amateurs, meaning they don’t live by any ethical principles, have little or no integrity, don’t follow any professional standards, don’t know what they are doing, and/or don’t know how to use their gift responsibly. While these psychics and mediums aren’t purposely malicious or inherently bad people, they can do a lot of harm.

Listed are a six criteria to help you tell the difference between poor, good and great psychics and mediums. These are the criteria I teach psychics and mediums when I train them in my psychic & medium workshop.


Among all the legitimate psychics and mediums, there are different levels of ability, just as there are different levels of ability in any talent or skill: music, writing, carpentry, engineering or computer programming. Some readers are born with a high level of natural ability, yet there are many who are not. Of the latter, they might have taken a class and learned to connect with spirit, but without advanced training and a lot of experience, their readings will always remain second rate.


In the first year of my investigation into the afterlife (which includes my research of psychics and mediums), I tested readers only for legitimacy. But today I look beyond legitimacy toward the psychic’s or medium's ethical principles, integrity, professionalism, and responsibility in the delivery of their messages. Psychics and mediums hold a lot of power over people due to the nature of their gift, so it’s imperative that they use their gift properly. This is why ethics, integrity, professionalism and responsibility are an essential requirement to their overall practice.


One interesting discovery I made as I continued testing psychics and mediums over the years was that some readers who tested poorly actually had exceptional innate abilities, but the structure of their readings was critically lacking. These psychics and mediums usually hadn’t been trained, or at least weren’t trained well. It's important to note that not all training is alike, so it’s important that the training comes from either: a) a credible psychic or medium who is also a great teacher, or b) a highly regarded school for psychics and mediums (such as the Arthur Findlay College in England).


When evaluating a psychic or medium, I place much more weight on advanced training than mere training for beginners. Advanced training teaches a psychic or medium how to improve her reading, but it also teaches ethics, integrity, professionalism, reading structure and responsibility in the delivery of messages. However, most training programs for psychics and mediums last a day, a weekend, or a week. They aren’t very long. So what you want to look for is ongoing training over a number of years— training with different teachers and/or return visits to Arthur Findlay College.


Experience is also a major factor in a psychic’s or medium’s ability. Practice does improve ability in this field. Yet it’s important that this practice comes from giving readings for a fee, because a psychic or medium is held more accountable for their messages when the sitter is paying for the reading.

If the reading is free, people are much less likely to complain when the reading isn’t good, which can create some very poor reading habits. If the psychic or medium doesn’t know when she is doing something wrong, it’s easy to understand why she might keep doing it and create a flawed pattern in her reading style.

When evaluating a psychic or medium, I want to know how many professional readings (readings for a fee) they've given rather than how many years they've been giving readings.

I always laugh when people tell me that a psychic or medium has been in business for twenty years, because that tells me very little about them. A reader who has spent twenty years giving ten readings a week (over 500 readings per year) has got a lot more experience than one who has spent twenty years giving only a few readings a month (36 readings per year). So when I hear that someone has several years of experience, I always ask how many clients per week that person reads on average.


I’ll finish this list with a note about professionalism, because I’ve recognized how important it is for psychics and mediums to present themselves with high professional standards. You can find highly gifted psychics and mediums who have no professionalism and that in itself can ruin your reading experience. On the other hand, you can find psychics and mediums with mere average ability who demonstrate excellent professional standards, and your reading experience can be remarkable as a result.

For instance, I know of a medium who's been known to answer the phone while giving readings—up to five times during a half-hour reading. Another medium who works out of her house has been known to stop a reading to change a load of wash. I also learned of a medium who refused to give a refund to a client even though she cancelled the client’s appointment three times. And I’ve heard of psychics and mediums who give readings from their cell phone while driving in their car or shopping at the grocery store.

To me, this low level of professionalism is an insult to the profession and severely diminishes the positive benefits that a reading can provide people.

When I personally train psychics and mediums, I’m a stickler about readers not asking their clients questions during a reading, not forcing unacknowledged messages to fit, not diagnosing people, not acting as a therapist, not allowing clients to feed them information, and not making predictions, to name just a few of my principles for giving a proper reading.

Very few psychics and mediums are able to work according to the standards that I set, and I understand this. But I give psychics and mediums these higher standards as a goal to meet, and almost everyone who takes my workshop improves substantially as a result. No reader is expected to be perfect. But I’ve proven in my training that most can be twice as good as they currently are, which is a testament to the importance of the principles I’ve mentioned here.

So, no, not every psychic and medium is the same. But now you have some criteria upon which to determine the difference.

by Bob Olson, founder of & host of

Bob's the author of ANSWERS ABOUT THE AFTERLIFE and THE MAGIC MALA, which you can learn about at


© Copyright 2011 Bob Olson,, All Rights Reserved


A former skeptic & private investigator, and the author of ANSWERS ABOUT THE AFTERLIFE: A PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR'S 15-YEAR RESEARCH UNLOCKS THE MYSTERIES OF LIFE AFTER DEATH, Bob Olson has been an Afterlife Investigator & Psychic Medium Researcher since 1999. In his search for evidence of life after death, Bob has tested hundreds of psychics, mediums & other afterlife-related practitioners. Bob is the host of AFTERLIFE TV, founder of BEST PSYCHIC DIRECTORY and BEST PSYCHIC MEDIUMS, and offers his PSYCHIC MEDIUM WORKSHOP to help psychics and mediums improve their abilities and business. Visit Bob on AFTERLIFE TV's FACEBOOK page & on TWITTER.