It’s a word that has a wide range of associations, including some pretty negative or dismissive ones.
Many people connect “psychic” with storefront charlatans and stage performers. The Wikipedia page defines a psychic, also called a sensitive, as a person “who professes an ability to perceive information hidden from the normal senses.”
But the page also notes a 1988 report by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences concluded there is “no scientific justification from research conducted over a period of 130 years for the existence of parapsychological phenomena.”
I don’t have any particular psychic ability, but am fascinated by it, and appreciate the more sympathetic depictions in movies such as “Hereafter” directed by Clint Eastwood, starring Cécile De France and Matt Damon as a professional psychic.
In our interview, Judith Orloff, MD noted she had intuitive capacities at an early age, but her family did not encourage her to develop her psychic abilities. She is now integrating these talents with traditional medicine, and is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA, and also has a private practice and leads workshops on intuitive ability and healing.