Persist wonder and let it linger

This is the commonest method of all, and a very reliable one. It is capable of dealing with more or less any negative response.

It involves three phases:

(a) The psychic persists with the offered statement and tries to encourage at least partial agreement

(b) she acts puzzled, and invites the client to share the blame for the 'discrepancy'

(c) she leaves the discrepancy unresolved, in case the client finds a match later on

Let me take you through a typical example. It might start like this:

"And I'm getting the name Sarah, now why's that significant to you?"

"Mmm... I can't think. No. No-one I know."

A negative response! First of all, the psychic persists with the original statement. Given a bit more time and encouragement, the client might well come up with a link she did not think of before. When this happens, it looks like the psychic was right all along. Another reason for persisting with the original statement is that most people are reluctant to say they are 100% definite and certain about something, especially if the psychic puts them on the spot. They may well come up with some sort of link just to save feeling uncomfortable. It might go something like this:

"You're quite sure?"

"Pretty sure. I don't think I know anyone by that name."

"You're absolutely positive about that?"

"Well, I can't think of anyone. No, not really."

"You're saying you're certain that you know absolutely nobody with that name or one that sounds close to it, and you never have done?"

This may sound like rather aggressive bullying, but the psychic's manner and personality can make it seem quite acceptable. I have heard more than one radio psychic (under some pressure to deliver 'instant' results) use this kind of approach.

Very few clients will stick to their guns under this kind of questioning. However, if they do, the psychic simply moves on to the next phase - acting puzzled, and inviting the client to share her bewilderment. Incidentally, some psychics will also mention that they do not want the client to try and make the statement fit. This comes across as endearingly honest, but in fact it generally encourages the client to try even harder to help out. Continuing the same example, it might unfold along these lines:

"Well, all right, I don't understand it any more than you do. I'm getting this impression of the name Sarah, and whether it means anything to you or not, all I can tell you is the impressions I get. I'm not asking you to try and make it fit, that's not the point, but on the other hand I have to call it as I see it, and to be honest with you, I'm not often totally wrong. So will you carry on thinking about that? Because I feel sure there is a link there somewhere, but obviously it's not one that springs to mind for you... "

If the client does eventually remember someone called 'Sarah', the psychic gets extra points for the depth of her insight. If no such triumph emerges, the point simply gets forgotten and the psychic never mentions it again.

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