03/08/2012 12:29 BST | Updated 03/10/2012 06:12 BST

When Psychics Go Bad... How Divination Can be Destructive

First up I need to be clear. I am a tarot lover, I have been reading the cards since I was 13. At first for friends, but now I do so professionally. I love and praise the genuine guidance tarot can offer, they are like an objective best friend. From my perspective tarot can help you figure out what you already, deep down, know. A good genuine reading should compliment your intuition about your own life. A healthy reading does not offer answers or prediction so much as it offers clarity and perspective.

I believe that a good reading should present the options. It should not make outlandish predictions or give a person specific instructions. I read cards with a client's free will in mind at all times. I view each reading as loving spiritual guidance that empowers the client to do what they feel is correct in their own circumstances. I would never interfere with a life path by issuing directives.

The reason I tell you this is because I'm concerned. Of late I have had several clients come to me because they had been to see a psychic or tarot reader who has left them distraught. They hoped I could redress the balance and tell them the other reader was wrong. I explained to each person that the reader was neither wrong or right in their predictions but more importantly they had deprived the client of power by making specific and ultimately harmful predictions.

One Woman came to me having been told by a tarot reader that she would divorce her husband. The silliest thing was that this totally backtracked on what the reader originally told her. At the start the reader had said everything was going to be great, with no major changes. But as the reading commenced this transformed into divorce! It doesn't take a psychic to see that this is nonsensical. Not only did the reader change her prediction as she got to know her client's life.... She also told her a definite outcome, in essence taking away all of her client's choice and personal power. If that client had not then come to see me for some straight talking she may well have allowed that reading to become a self-fulfilling mess. Whether she gets divorced or not is irrelevant, it's inevitably her choice. What matters is how badly she felt about the reading. How sad and low and desperate it made her. No good reading should ever do this.

Another client of mine was told years ago by a psychic that she would never have children. This had preyed on her mind for some time. She let it eat her up inside. My answer to her was simple. I too have been told by a psychic that I wouldn't have children. Well guess what.... I just gave birth to my first child 8 weeks ago. Go figure!

It is my thought that If you leave any psychic reading feeling anything but happy, empowered and positive I would consider that reading to have failed. Predictions of doom and gloom have no place in the spiritual empowerment that such readings can provide.

I speak from experience as I too have been the recipient of a distressing reading, more than once. When writing my first book The High Heeled Guide to Enlightenment I placed myself in the hands of people touting all manner of divination techniques. Many were truly insightful but at least one of those rendered up foul results, leaving me questioning everything in my life. What that person told me broke my heart. And worse, with hindsight I can see she was emphatically wrong. But had I chosen to abide by her words my life would look very different indeed. Scary stuff.

So where does this leave the tarot reader in me? Well It leaves her very wary of ever overstepping my mark. My mark is simply to guide, to give advice, to counsel too sometimes. I see tarot as a form of intuitive therapy, it helps the client move forward. It does not tell her which way to go. I refuse to give clients any kind of answer, because I believe deep down they already know it themselves. Tarot can be a powerful sign post to your own heart and mind, it can help you attune to what you already believe, think and feel. In this respect it is a precious gift.

Tarot or any psychic art should never rob you of the opportunity to make your own choice. That way madness lies. If you are looking for answers or decision making in the bottom of a teacup or amongst a set of cards, you are looking in the wrong place. The answers are always within, always. Cards and crystal balls can reflect back your own soul. They can shine a brilliant light on your muddled mind. But as far as prediction and prophecy goes I advise you to make your own, and to know wholeheartedly that it is only you who ever truly can.