I Saw a Psychic instead of a Therapist for My Anxiety

Being open to alternative types of treatment can be helpful

Christine Schoenwald
5 min readApr 29, 2020


Photo by Jose Antonio Gallego Vázquez on Unsplash

If you experience fear and anxiety, you know that they’re similar but they’re not the same thing.

Fear is thought of as a reaction to a clear and present danger, while anxiety is a reaction to something more general and harder to pin down.

Anxiety may be unfocused but that doesn’t mean it isn’t as powerful as fear or that it won’t cause your body to react as if it’s in danger with a rapid pulse, sweating, and the release of stress hormones.

Both fear and anxiety can rule your life.

I fear all the usual suspects: death, blood, crowds, and heights; but I also have a few personalized phobias such as driving on the freeway and losing control of my vehicle.

Most of the time, my coping mechanism is avoidance. If I don’t put myself in a situation where the things that frighten me could occur — I feel safe-ish.

However, if a situation doesn’t allow me to avoid my fear, then I get extremely anxious, my body temperature goes up, I’m sick to my stomach, and my heart feels as if it’s going to make a hole in my chest and beat its way out.

I’ve seen therapists, been on medication, but generally, I just try to ignore whatever feelings of fear and/or anxiety that I’m feeling. However, I’ve found ignoring them doesn’t make them go away— it makes them more insidious and stronger.

One of my friends, A, was having great luck dealing with her issues by having sessions with a psychic. I trusted her judgment, so I thought I’d give it a try too.

I only needed to see Patricia, A’s psychic once to know that I needed to see her on a regular basis.

Patricia ended up being more than a medium or a fortune-teller; she was my therapist, friend, surrogate mother, and confidant. She taught me how to deal with fear, anxiety, and life. I liked feeling as if she had an inside track to the afterlife.

“What have you heard about me?” I liked to ask Patricia at the beginning of every session.

Although she’s an empath — someone who feels the energies and moods of the people…



Christine Schoenwald

Writer for The Los Angeles Times, Salon, Next Avenue, Business Insider, and Your Tango Christineschoenwaldwriter.com