What Is A Medium and How Are They Different Than Psychics?

medium reader

A medium is a type of psychic that is able to communicate with the spirit world using extrasensory perception. Mediums can receive messages and warnings from loved ones that are deceased, angels, and even spirit guides.

During a mediumship reading, a psychic will use their divine powers to connect to the spiritual energies of loved ones that have already passed over to the afterlife. This process can help bring comfort, closure, and help with the grief that comes with losing a loved one too soon. Mediumship is very much a healing session in some ways.

In this guide, I’ll explain the 5 different types of mediums, the different ways they communicate with spirits, and the difference between a medium and a psychic.

The 5 Types of Mediumship

physical mediumship

Mental Mediumship

Mental mediums can communicate telepathically with spirits. The practice is known as “tuning in” and being able to listen, sense, and see what the spirits are trying to convey. It’s said that they accomplish this by raising their “vibration” to a frequency that allows them to tap into the same frequency as the spirits.

A mental medium can prove the legitimacy of their gift by accurately identifying key details that only the spirit and the client would know, such as a shared memory.

Trance Mediumship

Trance mediumship is where the psychic medium allows the spirit world to control the mind. The psychic goes into a deep, altered state, connecting with spirits similar to how it is done with mental mediumship.

These mediums don’t merely repeat the words spoken to them by spirits to a room during a reading or to a sitter (client). Instead, the psychic permits the spirit world to use his or her voice, gestures, and body to communicate.

Mediums are quick to point out that the spirit is not controlling them. It’s more of a cooperative endeavor, where the psychic “gets out of the way” and volunteers themselves to be the spirit’s instrument.

Physical Mediumship

Physical mediumship is one of the rarest types of mediums, and it’s said to require the most practice, patience, and skill. It could take a medium up to 10 to 20 years of dedication to become a physical medium.

A physical medium can make spirit guides appear by producing large amounts of ectoplasm in the pancreas, which gives the spirit world a conduit to perform with a physical manifestation. When successful, everyone in the room will be able to perceive the physical phenomena associated with the presence of the spirit. This could include knocking, bell-ringing, or other sounds.

There will also be a palpable energy in the room that everyone can feel, regardless of any psychic abilities. Other examples of this includes levitation and apports, which are paranormal transferences of objects from one place to another.

Direct Voice

In direct voice mediumship, the spirit world speaks directly through the medium. Though this method is easily verified, it can still leave people skeptical of the validity. This is because one might expect the actual deceased person’s voice to come through the medium.

However, replicating the exact voice is a virtual impossibility because the spirit no longer has physical vocal cords to use. Instead, he or she is relying on the vocal box of the medium to make their message heard. Though they can convey accents, consistent vocabulary, and even an attitude, they won’t be able to have their exact voice duplicated during a séance.

Direct voice mediums often work in darkness. This allows the ectoplasm to be produced. This ectoplasm can also be captured in photographs, further proving the validity of direct voice mediums.


During channeling, the medium leaves their body, allowing the spirit to enter it, control it, and speak through it. Broadly defined, channeling means being able to access information and energy from beyond time and space.

This form of mediumship is distinct from others, which often focus on communicating with a loved one. In channeling, the medium can work with a being that’s not connected to the sitter or anyone in the room. While most forms of mediumship have to do with the mind, psychic abilities that involve channeling can encompass the entire body.

Psychic Senses that Mediums Use to Communicate with the Spirit World


Mediums have a variety of psychic abilities that allow them to communicate with the spirit world.


Also referred to as “clear seeing,” clairvoyance is the psychic ability to see what other human beings cannot perceive with the naked eye. This includes people, animals, or objects. Some mediums see these imperceptible objects as part of their everyday life.

Others say that they have to train themselves with meditation and specific exercises to enter a clairvoyant state.


This psychic sense has to do with hearing. In some cases, the medium can hear the spirit speaking as though it was standing right next to them having a conversation. Other experiences could include hearing the verbal thoughts mentally or telepathically.


Feeling or sensing is the best way to describe clairsentience. This psychic sense is when the medium uses their intuition to understand what a spirit is trying to communicate. The medium may also experience different sensations based on what the spirit wants to convey.


Clairgustance means “clear tasting.” This psychic ability allows a medium to receive information about taste from a spirit. For example, if one is communicating with grandma about a long lost, secret spaghetti recipe, the medium could potentially taste the recipe and describe it.


Being able to know something without it being communicated through typical psychic channels or senses describes claircognizance. A medium that is able to sense when a message or situation feels right (or wrong) demonstrates the gift of claircognizance.

Is there a Difference Between Psychics and Mediums?

runestone reading

Yes, there is a difference between mediums and psychics, even though the terms are used interchangeably. Mediums are a type of psychic that can connect with souls on the other side by raising their vibration. They can be thought of as a connector between two worlds. Psychics, on the other hand, see and deliver information about the past, present, and future.

All online mediums, technically, are psychic because they’re able to receive information from sources not visible to non-psychics. However, not all psychics are mediums. Mediums have the unique gift of being able to communicate with other spirits, which is lacking among psychics who don’t possess this talent.

alissa monroe

Alissa Monroe is a self-proclaimed “psychic junkie” with over 10 years of experience in the world of psychics, tarot, and spirituality. Her goal is to help people find happiness through spiritual enlightenment and self-discovery.