Psychic: An Interview with Sylvia Browne

Psychic: An Interview with

Sylvia Browne

by Corinne L. Casazza

I’ve been a fan of Sylvia Browne ever since her book, Life on the Other Side, helped me wake up seven years ago. It’s been a long time since I’ve been nervous about an interview, and this time I was. Being a fan made me feel vulnerable: I wanted Sylvia to like me.

When Publisher Holly Luky asked me if I wanted to interview Sylvia with her, I couldn’t believe my luck. We got to meet America’s favorite psychic in person. Sylvia is very intense, honestly I felt intimidated by her direct gaze — kind of like looking straight into the sun. If you’ve ever read any of Sylvia’s books, or watched her on Montel, you know she has very definite opinions and makes them clearly known. What may not be so apparent is that she has a big heart.

Her autobiography, Psychic: My Life in Two Worlds, is no holds-barred from the first line. Sylvia discloses her difficult relationship with her mother who she considers a dark entity, and her father’s 15-year affair. She shares her first psychic experiences as a little girl, life with five husbands, financial and legal challenges, and finding the strength to rise up and create her companies and her life anew. Her story is extremely compelling, even heart-breaking. She really opens up and confesses all: Fans will feel they know the real Sylvia after reading Psychic. I couldn’t put it down.

Sylvia said she wrote this book because, “I want people to know that I’m not psychic about myself. I do know what they’ve been through because I’ve lived a life just like they have. I can keep you from walking through **it, but I can walk right into it myself. People want to know why I can’t win the lottery. I ask them, ‘have you ever been to a doctor that can operate on himself?’ You can’t. It’s not meant for you. I’m here to learn just like everyone else.”

She definitely had some tough lessons, but always learned from them. “I noticed through every single one of those instances, even with my mother, something good came out it. If it hadn’t been for Gary, (her first husband), I never would have gotten to California. If I hadn’t gotten to California … I never would’ve opened up my foundations and church.”

Sylvia believes she’s a better mother because of the challenging relationship she had with her own mother, and that there is a purpose and a blessing that comes with every challenge. “If you just keep in mind this too will pass and get through every day, at the end of it, there is always a rainbow. Always. What bothers me is that people get so absorbed with the bad that the good walks right by them and they don’t see it.”

Much good came of Sylvia’s relationship with her creative writing teacher, Bob Williams. He launched her career by announcing to his class of 75 students that she would do readings for them. Even though Sylvia would have preferred to keep her talent hidden, she didn’t consider skipping class that day. “I thought about ways to kill him,” she recalls, “but I didn’t want to be a chicken.”

I asked Sylvia why she thought her teacher was compelled to put her on the spot. “I think everything is an instrument from God. Everything.”

Indeed, after that class, people on campus lined up to have readings with her. Shortly after, police departments and fire houses began calling her for assistance. Sylvia stepped into her destiny and never looked back.

The integrity and giving that became the hallmark of her work life were also present in her personal life. Sylvia opened her heart wide to all those who needed her. At one point, a woman brought a child to her door telling Sylvia she couldn’t care for the little girl.  Without a thought, Sylvia accepted Mary into her home and raised her as her own daughter. Mary still accompanies Sylvia on tours today.

Sylvia’s third husband, Dal single-handedly ruined two decades of her work. He was arrested for fraud and he’d done everything with Sylvia’s name and businesses attached. She lost her house, her car and had to declare bankruptcy. For a woman who built her entire reputation on integrity, it was devastating, “Never before or since, have I been so devastated, so frightened and more humiliated.”

Years later, Dal showed up at Sylvia’s office, destitute and very ill. When most people would have run him out, Sylvia took him into her home, paid his medical bills, and nursed him back to health. I asked her why.

“Because that’s what you do. I don’t know how to explain to you, that’s just what you do. He had nowhere to go, he’d just had surgery, he’d been married and divorced and he was going to be homeless. I think the word karma is so overused, but I think there’s a lot of karma attached to that. Just because somebody hurts you doesn’t mean you have to be vicious.”

When I pointed out to Sylvia that it took a big person to be loving, gracious and overlook those serious injustices he’d committed, she responded with great humility, “I didn’t see it that way. I just knew he was sick and had no place to go, and I was the optimum one to take care of him.”

Sylvia spent her life taking care of others and was even recognized by the Pope her for her “humanitarian work for mankind.” She wants to be remembered for “showing people that there is a loving God, not a mean, hateful, humanized God.”

For Sylvia, the most fulfilling part of her work has been, “having people tell me that I brought them to God, or that their relationship with God was better [because of working with me or reading my books.] Somebody at a book signing the other day said, ‘I was going to commit suicide until I read your book.’ That’s what keeps me going.”

I can truly say that after meeting her, I am more a fan of Sylvia Brown that I was before. She has a huge heart and does everything in her power to help others be their best.

To learn more about Sylvia Browne, visit

One Response to “Psychic: An Interview with Sylvia Browne”

  • What a great story about Sylvia. I have read her books off and on, and I agree they are hard to put down..But sometimes my sceptic self comes in and says how can it be? How can she been to the other side and back, and can describe it so perfectly. How can we verify that?

    It takes a very strong person to let their life be so transparent, most people cringe at personal exposure. We want the world to think of us as pretty close to perfect. Few people can turn adversity into oppertunity-even thoughwe have read about doing so again and again. Sometimes the fracturing experiences of life leave people broken.

    But when a teacher like Sylvia comes on the scene, she teaches people how to face all of life as positive, and to take into stride all that is presented. She has indeed shown how to turn the dark night of the soul into a new dawn. Mantoshe Devji

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