Interview with Anne Reith, Ph.D.
This is a transcript of an interview conducted with Dr. Anne Reith, Founder & Director of IMPART.
Click on the links below to learn more about Dr. Anne
- As a child, were you aware that you were psychic?
- In retrospect, what were the signs that you had psychic abilities?
- When and how did your psychic skills begin to develop?
- So, is this when you started doing psychic readings?
- Was there evidence of your abilities when you were working as a Psychologist?
- When did you start your formal training within the metaphysical field?
- Did you end up taking her Psychic Development class?
- When did you initially become interested in mediumship?
- When did you become interested in the healing arts?
- When did you start working professionally in the metaphysical field?
- What was your background and training before entering the metaphysical field?
Unlike some professional psychics and mediums, I had no idea as a child that I had these abilities. However, when I began taking psychic development classes in my early 40’s, I quickly began to realize that the skills had been there all along, although they weren’t fully developed yet.
However, I do remember that even as a child/adolescent I repeatedly prayed for guidance about how I could better serve God. I thought everyone did this, but I later learned that it wasn’t.
Although my formal religious upbringing was liberal (i.e., Congregational Church), my world always seemed to be filled with spiritual issues, religion, and metaphysical topics. For example, my maternal grandmother, Lillian McCombs McClay, would read tea leaves, and my siblings and I would play with tarot cards.
But I have to attribute much of my interest in metaphysics to my paternal grandmother, Marian Brown Reith, who was trained by the famous psychologist Carl Jung in Zurich, Switzerland. She was one of the first practicing Jungian Analysts in the State of California. Among other things, Jung was very interested in religion, psychology, and astrology, as was my grandmother. We would talk about these issues for hours.
As is true for so many of my students, I can now look back at my childhood and see very clear evidence of my psychic and mediumship abilities. They were there, but I didn’t have anyone in my life to recognize them for what they truly were and explain how to develop or use them.
In fact, the skills that I did exhibit were often described as “problems” by others, which often happens with psychic children. For example:
- I was often described as “too sensitive,” “overly emotional,” or having a “nervous stomach,” all of which are very common in psychic children.
- It’s interesting to note that I was often sick or had a “stomach ache” when something traumatic was about to happen in my family-of-origin. I now understand that my stomach aches or sickness were a form of clairsentience or empathy. I was “taking on” the emotions or energy of those around me, which was making me sick.
- Other children often accused me of being a “know-it-all” or “Teacher’s Pet” in school. Additionally, adults would frequently say that I was an “old soul.” I didn’t understand what this meant, but for some reason it felt good, at least until I was was told that I needed to learn how to enjoy being a child. I now understand that these are labels commonly used to describe children who are claircognizant or intuitive (i.e., the ability to know something without being able to explain how this information is known).
My first love in metaphysics has always been astrology. Because of my paternal grandmother’s interest in astrology, I always joke that I learned that I was an Aquarian before I learned how to walk. I started reading books about astrology when I was about 13-years-old.
However, when I was 16-years-old, I received a birthday gift of an astrological reading from a “Master Astrologer” by the name of Margaret Granger. We had never met, and I was astounded at how accurately she described me! I began exploring astrology in earnest after that. To this day, astrology is still my passion.
It wasn’t until the early 1980’s that I began to explore psychic issues. While in a bookstore in Berkeley, California, my then-husband, Bob Banchero, asked if I’d ever heard of runes. He suspected that I might enjoy them because he knew of my interest in psychic phenomena. He also pointed out that runes are believed to be Celtic in origin, and I have a strong Irish/Scottish lineage (in this lifetime).
We ended up buying a set of runes, and Bob and I began to “play” with them at home. I quickly fell in love with them. I would “pull” a daily rune for myself, and I often found that it would provide me with helpful guidance.
Eventually, Bob began to approach me with questions for what he called “The Rune Mistress.” Later, when I began to share my use of this divination tool with close friends, they, too, would ask me to pull runes for them.
It’s funny, even after years of using runes with family and friends, I never thought of myself as a “psychic.” Let me explain why.
Most of the time, I would do this “psychic work” by pulling runes and then reading aloud the interpretation that was provided in the “book” that came with the runes. For me, I felt like I was simply repeating what the author had said. I didn’t think I was serving as a psychic.
However, after finishing this oral recitation, the person would often ask something like, “What do you think is most important out of all that information?” I always seemed to have an answer, and much to my surprise, my “opinion” or “guess” often turned out to be correct.
In retrospect, I now fully understand that I was using psychic skills, but I just didn’t know it.
Again in retrospect, I now see that my psychic abilities were present during my work as a Psychologist. I just didn’t recognize what was going on at the time.
Here are some examples of what I mean:
- Even as a beginning-level trainee, I quickly became a popular counselor (i.e., I had a wait list of future clients). As someone who eventually ran training programs for counselors-in-training, I can assure you that this is not typical for beginning-level therapists. As I look back on what happened, I can only assume that “the word got out” that there was a counselor on staff who often “knew things” that would help her clients heal or grow. I thought all counselors could do what I was doing, which was not the case.
- Once I was licensed as a Psychologist, one of my clinical specialties was the training and supervision of counselors-in-training. During supervision sessions with a beginning-level trainee, I would sometimes make a prediction, such as, “Don’t be surprised if during your next session your client (fill in the blank).” The trainee would come to our next supervision session and say incredulously, “How did you know that was going to happen?!” As is true when we encounter something that we don’t understand, I would come up with what seemed to be a rational explanation. For example, I would often simply respond that “Well, I’ve just been doing this longer than you have.” That explanation seemed realistic, but I now understand that it wasn’t accurate. I was unknowingly using “other skills” that would have been hard to explain to a trainee in a traditional counseling program . . . let alone explain to myself!
- It was also interesting that I gravitated toward seeing clients who were grieving the loss of someone they loved. In retrospect, I now understand that this was due to my natural abilities as a medium. I also seemed to “know” what might be helpful to someone who was grieving. For example, I would run support groups for those who were grieving, and I always included an empty chair for the person who had passed. Having now spoken with hundreds of souls who have crossed into the Light, I’m absolutely sure the deceased was actually there in that chair (or at least felt welcome to be in the room) while I ran the group.
It wasn’t until my early 40’s that I began to feel “called” to learn how to be a psychic. Around this time, a friend told me about a psychic who had been amazingly accurate during a phone reading. I decided to set up an appointment, mostly out of curiosity.
Much to my surprise, this woman “nailed” all the issues that were going on in my life at that time . . . even over the phone! I was immensely intrigued and wanted to learn more about what she was doing.
I began reading everything I could find on the subject. I was like a kid in a candy store. I couldn’t get enough! Unfortunately, I was living in a remote area where classes in metaphysics weren’t available, but these authors became my first “teachers.”
Even after reading many books, I didn’t consider myself a psychic, nor did I ever consider that I would one day be working within this field. Far from it! I loved my profession as a Psychologist and had no plans to leave it.
However, after moving to Southern California, I met a woman who would become my teacher. I was going through a particularly difficult time personally, and a friend suggested that I go to a psychic fair. This is where I met Suzan. As with the phone reading that I’d received years earlier, Suzan “nailed” the issues that were going on in my life at that time.
At the end of this reading, Suzan asked me if I knew that I was psychic and that I would one day be doing what she was doing. Frankly, I thought she was completely nuts! She didn’t try to convince me. She just said that when I was ready, I might want to take her Psychic Development class, which she was teaching at the Learning Light Foundation in Anaheim, California.
I left there feeling totally unready to consider this option! Me, a psychic? I was a Psychologist, not a psychic! But the idea would not leave my head, and I thought about it every day.
Yes, I did end up taking her class! It took me only two months to decide, and to be honest, I was scared to death when I walked into that room. But Suzan immediately recognized me and welcomed me with open arms. That was in April of 2002.
Although I loved working as a Psychologist, I began to sense that I’d found “a spiritual home” within the field of metaphysics. And as was also predicted by Suzan during that initial reading two months earlier, my psychic skills developed extremely quickly. I now understand that this was because I’d already been using my psychic abilities my whole life (e.g., clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, empathy, claircognizance), but I just didn’t know what I was doing.
I quickly discovered that in addition to being a psychic (i.e., the ability to receive messages from angels & guides), I was also a medium (i.e., the ability to talk to deceased loved ones). I was also a natural channel (i.e., allowing entities to communicate directly on the Earth plane by merging with me).
During my time in Suzan’s class, I became ordained as a multi-denominational minister through the Universal Life Church. I also served as Co-Director of a metaphysically-oriented spiritual group that was founded by Suzan called Illuminations 22.
Sadly, the death of my mother when I was 17-years-old sparked an early interest in mediumship. I would often read about life after death experiences, which gave me great hope that my mother was happy and in a better place.
However, I never dreamed that I would one day work as a medium. To be honest, that idea felt “too good to be true”!
My training as a medium began when I was in my Psychic Development class with Suzan. One evening, she had the class practice doing mediumship readings. I was sure I wasn’t going to be able to connect, but I tentatively shared with my classmate what I was “getting.”
I was shocked when my classmate burst into tears and said that I had just perfectly described her beloved grandfather. I was beyond thrilled! After this positive experience, I started taking mediumship classes and workshops with several other teachers in order to hone my abilities.
I learned from this experience that you never know what you can (or can’t) do until you try it! Being a medium is one of my greatest joys! I love being able to connect people with deceased loved ones and deceased pets.
When I began providing professional mediumship sessions, I quickly learned that this approach could help heal grief relatively quickly.
- As a Psychologist, I might need to work with a grieving client for several sessions in order to work through unresolved issues with someone who has died.
- With mediumship, often unfinished business can be dealt with during one session, especially if the client is dealing with uncomplicated grief. This is because the person/client is able to speak directly (through the medium) with the deceased loved one.
My mother was a nurse and one of my brothers is a Physician’s Assistant. I have always lived in a “medical family.” Western medicine was and is often discussed within my family, and I briefly considered becoming a nurse.
However, once in college, I found that my interests were in healing the mind and not the body, which is why I majored in Psychology. Because I was raised solely around those working within Western medicine, I truly didn’t even know that there were healing techniques outside of Western medicine, such as Reiki.
It wasn’t until I was in my Psychic Development course that I heard about Reiki and other energy healing techniques. Suzan encouraged all of her psychic development students to learn this spiritually-based energy healing technique. In fact, she said it often would “jump start” someone’s psychic abilities.
Given my enthusiasm to learn as much as I possibly could (and to learn it as quickly as possible), I was very willing to take her next Reiki I class. And Suzan was correct: Taking Reiki definitely increased my psychic and mediumship skills, which is why I always encourage all of my psychic and mediumship students to take Reiki.
However, I was in for another surprise. Although I initially took Reiki to increase my psychic abilities, I quickly recognized that I loved doing healings. And although I didn’t believe it at the time, I intuitively sensed during my Reiki I class that I would eventually teach Reiki.
That intuitive idea was correct! I began teaching Reiki classes in December of 2002. I have loved passing on this amazing knowledge and ability to others.
As Suzan had predicted, I was on “the fast track” for my psychic development. Although not typical of most students, my learning curve was “fast and furious”!
By October of 2002, I began doing professional readings and healings at the Learning Light Foundation’s Psychic Fairs and other fairs in the Southern California area.
That same month, I began seeing clients for private sessions and teaching my weekly “Psychic Development, Mediumship, and Channeling” class at the Learning Light Foundation. I also began teaching weekend workshops in various subjects, including Reiki.
Within less than two years, what I thought would be a very part-time business had expanded very rapidly. I was already working over 40 hours a week at a local University, and I couldn’t keep up with both my “day job” and the metaphysical work.
In 2004, I made the difficult decision to leave my tenured faculty position and start working full-time doing readings, healings, spiritual coaching, and teaching. I have never looked back!
Believe it or not, I entered college as a business major. After struggling with the required economics classes, I began pursuing other academic options and found the behavioral sciences.
I eventually earned my B.A. from the California State University, Chico. My major was Psychology, but I also completed minors in Religious Studies, Sociology, and Family Relations.
I remained at Chico State for my M.A. in Counseling Psychology. I then went on to earn a doctorate in Counseling and Clinical Psychology from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Although currently inactive, I was licensed as a Psychologist in Indiana and then in California.
Although I have done private practice work, the majority of my professional work experience was in academic settings. I worked for almost 30 years at several major universities in a variety of capacities, including academic advising, career counseling, personal counseling, and teaching.
Before leaving academia to pursue metaphysical work full-time, I was a tenured faculty member in the California State University System. At that time, I was working with and providing testing to university students who had learning and attentional disorders.
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By Anne Reith, Ph.D.