This YouTube link below is James Randi‘s debunking of psychic’s abilities and their unique “insights”. He immediately shows us that what we perceived about him as he came on stage was what we believed to be so & what we assumed - not what actually occurred or was accurate.
Randi is poignant and humorous as he exposes what he calls “charlatans” who take your money & your emotions – leaving you with nothing.
While watching his video… I found myself drawing parallels toand therapists.
Both psychics and psychiatrists make use of “cold readings” whereby you, the patient or audience, believe that they have abilities and powers that you do not, and therefore, they are better able to make interpretations of your life’s experiences and/or the path your future should take. Both interpret your thoughts; both interpret your past; both will tell you what others think (like Grandma who died 20 years ago) and both can easily lead you to make decisions (like stay in long-term therapy) or display certain behaviors (like multiple personalities) that you otherwise would not have.
Psychics depend on your gullibility. Psychiatrists depend on your trust. Both depend on suggestion.
Both can inflict pain and long-term harm. And both allow you to leave their presence with a lighter wallet.
The skeptic’s dictionary defines cold reading as “a set of techniques used by professional manipulators to get a subject to behave in a certain way or to think that the cold reader has some sort of special ability that allows him to “mysteriously” know things about the subject. …In cold reading, salespersons, hypnotists, advertising pros, faith healers, con men, and some therapists bank on their subject’s inclination to find more meaning in a situation than there actually is.
Remembering previously buried memories easily fits into the cold reading category. Are we inclined to find memories that aren’t there just because someone tells us they are? Are we inclined to find more than is there to find? Are we inclined to keep looking? Are we going to force pieces of the abuse-puzzle to fit even though we can plainly see they don’t if we were honest with ourselves? You bet. Why is that? Because we are human and misfitting puzzle pieces leave us feeling uncomfortable and the cognitive dissonance is distressful so we need it rectified.
Whether it is a magician, a psychic, or a psychiatrist, we need to make sense of what we experience and perceive, particularly when we place our lives in the hands of a mental. During therapy to find buried memories, I held onto every that made the puzzle come together about my alleged , but ignored all the wrong information those memories uncovered. Behavior that ocurrs easily when receiving a cold reading from a psychic.
The Psychiatrist & The Psychic: making “Cold Readings” by Jeanette D. Bartha is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.mentalhealthmatters2.wordpress.com.
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- Psychic Charlatan Sylvia Browne Gets a Dose of Skepticism (skepticalteacher.wordpress.com)
- Tricks of the Psychic Trade (illuminutti.com)
- Story on mediums failed to include skepticism of technique (syracuse.com)
- Psychic Services (darcydeedrogorub.wordpress.com)
- A Psychic Comes Clean About His Trickery in New Book (patheos.com)
- I Was One of America’s Top Psychics — And Like All of Them, a Complete Fraud (alternet.org)