Dr Judith Orloff's Blog

Do You Have Intuition?

Judith Orloff - Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Dear Friends:

I am excited that a new updated edition of Second Sight is about to be released. Intuitive medicine has progressed so far in the last decade and I am honored to be a part of that progress. I pride myself in being a bridge between traditional medicine and intuition. I hope the book inspires you to trust your inner voice always!

Here is an excerpt from the new edition of Second Sight that has a new introduction by me and contains other surprises!.

"I'm a psychiatrist and intuitive in Los Angeles. What I do isn't my job. It's my life's passion. With patients and in workshops, I listen with my intellect and my intuition, a potent inner wisdom that goes beyond the literal. I experience it as a flash of insight, a gut feeling, a hunch, a dream. By blending intuition with orthodox medical knowledge I can offer my patients the best of both worlds. Now, listening to intuition is sacred to me, but learning to trust it has taken years. I've described the details in my memoir Second Sight which is meant to assure anyone whoever thought they were weird or crazy for having intuitive experiences, that they are not!"

I grew up in Beverly Hills the only daughter of two-physician parents with twenty-five physicians in my family. From age nine, I had dreams and intuitions that would come true. I could predicts illness, earthquakes, even the suicide of one of my parent’s friends. This confused and alarmed me, as it did my parents who were entrenched in the hard-core rational world of science. At first they tried to write my intuitions off as coincidence. Finally, though, after I dreamed my mother’s mentor would loose a political election--which to my horror, came true--she took me aside and told me, “Never mention another dream or intuition in our house again!” I’ll never forget the look in my dear mother’s exasperated, frightened eyes, nothing I ever wanted to see again. So from that day on, I kept my intuitions to myself. I grew up ashamed of my abilities, sure there was something wrong with me.

Luckily, I’ve had many angels in human form who’ve pointed me to my true calling as physician. In the sixties I got heavily involved with drugs in an attempt to block my intuitions out—not something I’m recommending to you! Following a nearly fatal car accident at age sixteen when I tumbled over a treacherous 1500 foot cliff in Malibu Canyon, my parents forced me to see a psychiatrist. This man was the first person who ever “saw” me--not who he wanted me to be, but who I was. He taught me to begin to value the gift of intuition, and referred me to Dr. Thelma Moss, a intuition researcher at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. She was to become my mentor and guide to developing my intuitive side.

While working in Thelma’s lab I had an amazingly specific dream which announced, “You’re going to become an MD, a psychiatrist, to help legitimize intuition in medicine.” When I awoke, I felt like someone was playing a practical joke on me. I’d never liked science, and I was bored around all my parent’s doctor-friends. I was a hippie living in an old converted brick Laundromat with my artist-boyfriend in Venice Beach, working in the May Company’s towel department. (I’ve had a great love of towels and sheets since!) The last thing I envisioned doing was medicine. But because I was beginning to trust my intuition, I enrolled in a junior college just to see how it would go. So one course became two, became fourteen years of medical training--USC medical school and a UCLA psychiatric internship and residency.

The irony was, that during my medical training I strayed far from the intuitive world again. Traditional psychiatry equates visions with psychosis. Working in the UCLA emergency room, I’d keep seeing psychotics who were wheeled in screaming, strapped to gurneys, accompanied by cops with billy clubs. These patients professed to hear God and to be able predict things. They also felt their food was poisoned, and that the FBI was on their tail. No one tried to sort through this mishmash of claims. Typically, patients would shot up with with Thorazine, hospitalized on lock-down inpatient units until their “symptoms” subsided. Seeing this so many times I doubted whether it was safe or appropriate to integrate my intuitions in medicine.

When I opened my Los Angeles psychiatric practice in 1983, I had every intention of it being traditional; I’d use medications, psychotherapy, but I didn’t intend for intuition to play a role. My practice was extremely successful. Since I was a workaholic and also loved helping people, I had twelve hour days, though very little personal life. But then I had a heart-wrenching wake-up call that changed everything. It was an intuition that a patient, on antidepressants, was going to make a suicide attempt. Because she was doing so well--nothing supported my hunch--I dismissed it. Within a week she overdosed on the antidepressants I’d prescribed and ended up in a coma for nearly a month. (Had she not survived I would’ve been devastated.) The hardest part, though, was that I thought I’d harmed her by not utilizing a vital piece of intuitive information. This was intolerable for me. From then on, I knew, as a responsible physician, I had to integrate my intuitions into my work.

After this episode, my journey to bring intuition into my medical practice began. I didn’t know how I’d do it, but I put out a silent prayer to the universe to help me. Soon, I began meeting people, more angels, who showed me the way. Gradually I grew comfortable with my intuition, set out to write “Second Sight.” This took me seven years to complete because I had so much fear about coming out of the closet as an intuitive. I was afraid of what my physician-peers would think, that they’d mock me or blackball me from the profession. My mother warned, “They’ll think you’re weird. It’ll jeopardize your medical career.” Ah Mother: I loved her, but thank god I didn’t listen. Finding my voice as a psychiatrist and intuitive has been my path to freedom.

Sure, there’s a risk when you stretch yourself, but the rewards are enormous. Now, I’m blessed to travel around the country giving workshops on intuition to auditoriums full of extraordinary people--health care professionals and general audiences alike--who long to embrace their inner voice. I’m heartened to see that many physicians are eager to deal with patients in the new way I offer. Recently I gave an intuitive healing workshop at the American Psychiatric Association convention, a annual gathering of the most conservative psychiatrists in the world. I’m pleased to report the response was wonderful.

I’m sad to report that my mother didn’t live long enough to see this. In 1993 she died of a lymphoma. But, on her deathbed, she decided to tell me our “family secrets.” She told me, “I want to pass the power onto you.” I was astounded to learn that I came from a lineage of intuitive healers on her side of the family--my Jewish grandmother who did laying on of hands in a shed behind the pharmacy she and Grandpop ran in Philadelphia. East coast aunts and cousins I’d never met since I grew up in California. Also, my mother, herself, had a strong inner voice which told her how to treat patients for over forty years. She’d listened to this voice and secretly used her innate healing powers to keep her lymphoma in remission for many years. “Why didn’t you tell me?” I asked her. She said simply, “I wanted you to lead a normal, happy life, not to be thought of as weird like your grandmother was.” Oh Mother... I’ll always be grateful for what she shared, but, still... she’d waited so long. Even so, I believe in the wisdom of the paths we’ve been given. Mine has been to fight for what I believed in despite what my parents or anyone said. An invaluable but rugged lesson in empowerment.

These days, no matter what I’m going through, especially when my heart is torn in a million pieces my intuition has sustained me. I hope that my journey in my book “Second Sight” can help you. One thing I’m certain of: if you follow your intuitive voice, you can’t go wrong. Stay true to it. Intuition is about empowerment, not having to conform to someone else’s notion of who you should be. It’s about being true to yourself, and all the goodness that comes from that.

Purchase Second Sight at Amazon.com


Judith Orloff, MD is author of The Empath's Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People, upon which her articles are based. Dr. Orloff is a psychiatrist, an empath, and is on the UCLA Psychiatric Clinical Faculty. She synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff also specializes in treating empaths and highly sensitive people in her private practice. Dr. Orloff’s work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, the Oprah Magazine and USA Today. She is a New York Times best-selling author of Emotional Freedom, The Power of Surrender, Second Sight, Positive Energy, and Guide to Intuitive Healing. Connect with Judith on  Facebook and  Twitter. To learn more about empaths and her free empath support newsletter as well as Dr. Orloff's books and workshop schedule, visit her website.

Mary Jane Hurley Brant commented on 25-Feb-2010 07:14 PM
Dear Dr. Orloff,

I don't normally happen upon a story where a psychiatrist is not only open and authentic but who also had a "Grandpop." That's what I called mine. I'm also from the Philly area - grew up in Collingswood, NJ and have a private practice in Bryn Mawr, PA just across the Ben Franklin.

My intuition has been my companion since the 7th grade when my father died. I respect it and live by it. I'm so delighted to have found you tonight through an intuitive road to wholeness thanks to a mutual FB friend.

I look forward to reading your book. God bless your work and your mission.

Mary Jane Hurley Brant, M.S., CGP
Marie Lanier, MSW commented on 03-Mar-2010 02:35 AM
I had a quiet, but wonderful experience of tip #5: "to practice anonymous acts of service whenever you are feeling unhappy or in a bad mood." It was the day after Christmas; my two boys were age 5 and 2, and I was feeling blue and useless; wrapped in an endless cycle of diapers, cleaning, laundry, dishes, etc. So we went for a neighborhood walk with a "slight" heaviness in my heart, wishing for the days when I was a "working" social worker; contributing in a more "meaningful" way. An elderly man walked toward us, a bit disheveled which made me wonder if he was homeless. He stopped and asked me if he could have some of our water, which was in the stroller cup holder. "Well, er..um"...I said quietly,"that's my son's water..." But in almost the same moment, I remembered that Jesus had once said, "Whatever you do to the least of these, that you do unto me," (Matthew ch. 25) So I offered him the water, and listened to the little voice inside of me to ask how he was. He said he was very tired, reached in his pocket and pulled out a 3x5 card containing his name and some phone numbers to call in case he got "lost." Bing! The bell rang and I realized he had memory problems (good thing I specialized in serving the elderly in my social work training -- duh!) So I called the first number and it was the man's pastor and friend. He was thrilled that the man had been "found" and informed me that a group from his church were praying for him within the last 2-3 hours in which he had walked away from his home. So I brought him to my house, gave him some more to drink, and drove him home to a very grateful caregiver. The obvious lesson is as you said, Dr. Orloff, to reach outside of ourselves in small ways and make a practice of it. It was a moment of purpose which I almost missed had I not talked to myself in a a positive way and been willing to step outside of myself.
J commented on 08-Mar-2010 10:46 AM
I wish I'd had a book like this while growing up. As a child, I had strong intuitive experiences but was punished for them, told constantly I was a liar, or possessed, or doing something bad. I was threatened, punished and mocked by my family, even after time and again what I said came true. I learned to hide my reality from others. The gifts receded during high school and college but came back very strongly when I began meditation practices in my early 20's. I was totally unprepared for it and the therapists I consulted were convinced I was having some kind of breakdown. It was only by following my intuition and stopping meditation for a few years that I was able to understand what was happening, and I am gradually learning through trial and error how to control my gifts so that they don't overwhelm me. They can. I wish there was some place to go or person near me to consult for training as you had at UCLA. Thank you for a great book. It was reassuring to know that others have the same experiences and it can be a 'normal' part of one's life, whatever life holds for you!
Renee Pisarz commented on 07-Apr-2010 12:51 AM
I developed my second sight, after my son Stephen, at the age of 18 transitioned to the spiritual realm. I have been told this was a kundalini awakening. All my chakras (energy centers) opened. I healed, because I embraced the unknown and surrendered. I am multi-dimentional, and use my aura to see into other dimensions. I feel and see subtle energy. I know my son continues. This has been a blessing, and a gift from God. I wrote a mini book, titled Angel 54 A Mother's Sacred Journey from Grief to Healing, available on Amazon. It is my hope to help others, embrace and know this ability we all have. This saved me.
Many Blessings
Pam commented on 29-Jun-2016 12:03 AM
I would tell you about the incredible gift i was given at age 9 but it would take too much space to tell you about it here and you may not believe it. Every word of it is TRUE. Small summary: I know things are going to happen before they do and I have dreams that literally come true in days, weeks or months. if you want to know more email me.I have had premonitions and dreams about certain celebrities that have died, before they died and exactly how it would happen and it happened. I have never told anyone except my mom who didnt believe me until i had a dream about our house burning down 6 months before it did and then it did.

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