Interview with Psychic Brittany Quagan
Elfin empath goes from panic attacks to helping others heal.
Brittany Quagan knows the exact moment her whole life changed. She was 22 and working for a corporate insurance company. One day, while having a meltdown in her cubical, a woman she would later learn was a psychic medium and who has since become her friend, told her she the problem was not anxiety.
Quagan argued her therapist would say otherwise, but the woman told her, “You are feeling the energy from everyone around you.”
As strange as it sounded, Quagan knew it was true.
“It’s because when I was a little kid I always believed there was more. I refused to believe that I was just a normal person. I absolutely refused to believe it. There were so many things that I knew and so many things that I saw.”
She described a video shot by her father when she was only 18 months old. On it, she tells him, “I have an excruciating headache, Daddy. I think I’m pregnant.”
“The crazy thing was,” Quagan said, “my mom was pregnant with my baby brother, but she didn’t know it yet.”
Growing up, there were dreams that came true and information she “just knew. It was a feeling. It was a sense.” Often it freaked out her mother.
“It was interesting because everything was linked to my mom; there was this ridiculous link between the two of us: my mom and me. When I was five or six years old, I told my mom she needed to divorce my dad. ‘He’s not for your greatest and highest good. You and dad should not be together.’ She looked at me like I had 15 heads.”
Some time later, her mother did divorce her father.
As a teenager, Quagan was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, and labeled a hypochondriac. She remembered thinking, “I’m way too sound of mind to be so much of a basket case.” It was like two wolves fighting, she said, one saying, “This is not happening,” and the other saying, “You’re crazy.”
“I always had this sense that there was nothing wrong with me, just that there was something going on that I couldn’t explain, that no one could explain. … The doctor gave me medication, and it was great with numbing everything that was going on around me, but I still felt all the things that were giving me anxiety in the first place.”
In her late teens, she added alcohol to the mix to cope with the anxiety, explaining, “It was the only way to actually dull what was going on with me. I was just a world of fun when people knew me way back then.”
Only it wasn’t fun. It was, she said, “one of the darker cycles of my life.”
Panic attacks were a daily occurrence, and coupled with depression, there were times she was unable to leave the house.
After graduating college, she began working for a corporate insurance company. There came a day Quagan recalled telling the Universe, “I need a teacher … to guide me and help me to heal.”
Things began to happen. Fast. Two days later she got a new job. Two months after that, a mentor stopped at her cubicle to say she’d been noticing Quagan’s panic attacks and explained what was really going on. When Quagan sensed death, the woman could tell there was the spirit of a dead person behind her. When Quagan found herself upset, this woman could tell it was exactly how the person in the adjacent cubicle was feeling.
“My entire life changed from that day on,” Quagan said. “She took me under her wing; she taught me about guides and things like that, told me what books to read, gave me meditations.
“I started talking to her about energy, how others’ energy can effect us, and about how being empathic – and feeling what others feel, literally – could cause anxiety, and I started to research it further. Next thing I knew, I got a Reiki session done. I felt so good afterwards. All the static that surrounded my head and my stomach was alleviated.”
Quagan began to read extensively.
“I read about Reiki, body energy, empaths, building intuition, even connecting to Spirit energy. … Reading about paganism and wicca and those very nature-based spiritual practices and religions was the gateway for me to learning about energy and that it’s such a thing, which led me to read ‘The Secret.’” she said.
“The more I read, the more I studied, the more everything made sense.”
She learned not to absorb the energies of others around her and to combat her anxiety with intention and visualization.
“The anxiety I had was linked to what I felt from everyone else, just an abundance of energy. If someone next to me had a headache, I’d have a headache without them telling me they had one. If they were heartbroken or depressed, I’d be heartbroken or depressed for no reason. I was a sponge for everyone’s stuff.
“Once I learned that piece, that’s when I was able to take that awareness and apply it to whenever anxiety or panic started to creep in, and before I knew it … I hadn’t had an anxiety attack in two months.”
Quagan said, “I stayed on top of my own ass to make sure I didn’t fall back into the pits of negative thinking. You’re rewiring your entire brain to accept a new reality. … I had to remind myself, ‘This is someone else’s’ and ‘You’re not dying. Someone else is dying and they’re talking to you. You’re grounded and protected.’”
The control she applied to that energy set the tone for taking control of the rest of her life.
“From there, the intuition just came,” she said.
She took a Reiki class and went on to become a certified Reiki master. She took classes, including an eight-month course on medical intuition.
“That’s all about understanding energy and why we have physical symptoms and ailments, and how that’s all linked to mental, emotional and spiritual energy within our body and mind,” Quagan said.
Without quitting her insurance job, she began offering Reiki sessions and intuitive readings.
“It all happened very quickly,” she said.
“I was doing a lot of teaching, a lot of life coaching. My sessions turned into these intuitive counseling sessions. As I was going along on my journey, I was learning a ton in classes and through my own self-learning and my own personal growth about energy, about chakras, about relationships … about everything.
“It really just turned into this smorgasbord of knowledge that I was able to teach people from my own perspective and experience, and people were really growing and transforming and finding peace and finding empowerment.”
Along with her personal growth came business growth.
She was 26 when she quit her full-time job, walking away from a steady paycheck, health insurance and job security. It was as scary as it was empowering. She said it was also a beneficial and transformative time.
“I left my boyfriend of four years as we were renovating a house; I left my job; I cut all of my hair off – it was down to my butt – I got a pixie cut. I got rid of anything that wasn’t good for me. … People thought that I was batshit crazy.”
She has had no regrets.
“I will never be more thankful for those risky decisions I needed to make to find myself,” Quagan said.
She outgrew the room she had been using in the back of her mother’s hair salon and opened Journeys School for the Soul in Windsor, Connecticut in July 2015. She continued coaching clients who found their way to her, mostly by word of mouth.
“Anxiety is my specialty,” she said. “People who have experienced it make the best teachers and healers; it’s not something you can read out of a book.
“I coach people what I have experienced myself, things that have worked for me … whether it’s simple anxiety and stress techniques or overcoming drug addiction and alcohol abuse, abuse in relationships, or simply trying to understand why certain relationships have come into your life and how to heal from them. Even just finding your own level of empowerment and letting go of those fears we all have, especially being judged by others.”
Her own daily struggles drew her to embrace holistic and wellness practices.
“That’s where I found my peace, and that’s where I found my healing and my calling. This was my path. This is what I felt connected to – to help people find their clarity and their peace,” Quagan said.
She sees herself more as a life coach than a therapist, approaching situations with a fresh perspective and offering practical techniques for dealing with issues in the heat of the moment as well as methods of deep healing.
“I get down to the raw and the nitty gritty. I won’t ask how something makes you feel. I want to talk about why you feel that way,” she said. “There is no judgment. It’s about you becoming the best version of yourself that you can be.”
Quagan believes the body contains energy that is comprised of mental, emotional and spiritual belief systems that are linked to physical well-being. By addressing those beliefs through coaching and awareness, she said, “you can heal physical ailments wholly.” She assures clients that healing is “within reach. No one is a lost cause and no one is stuck where they are.”
With only a few clients at first, Quagan had some free time and began writing.
The first in a fiction series was released in August 2016 – “Ren: Awakened.” It’s about Ren Nagel, 17, who was committed to a psych ward because she saw things no one else did. She breaks out and learns who she is, then must control a power she never knew she had and organize a coalition of people she never knew existed – to remind humanity why fighting the darkness is a big part of being human.
The second book, “Ren: Reposed,” is due out in March.
Quagan said of the series, “It’s kind of like my autobiography, but on fiction steroids. There are a lot of parallels to the world today and all the darkness that we face, collectively and individually, and how it’s affecting the world around us.”
She is writing the third book in between clients.
“The series is helping a lot of our empaths find comfort and find clarity,” she said. “It opened them up to a whole new reality.”
Recently, Quagan moved to a new space, this time in Simsbury, Connecticut, with a new name – Journeys Holistic Wellness and Anxiety Relief Center. She has three energy healers who are available by appointment, and two licensed counselors. Some can accept insurance.
She is working toward a master’s degree in clinical psychology so she can become a licensed professional counselor and be able to accept insurance.
Transitioning to a new space followed a transition in the focus of the work she was doing.
“Before it was a lot of ‘What’s going to happen in my future?’ ‘What’s this?’ ‘What’s that?’ … I like to focus more on the now and the lead up to the future.”
She teaches clients to develop their own intuition.
Everyone has some degree intuition, “some level of being an empathy,” she said, explaining, “If you’ve felt awkward tension before, then you’ve felt energy. We all have the ability to gage the energy of another individual” and know if you are feeling something versus syphoning it or absorbing it from another source. Like any other muscle, intuition can be toned and strengthened. Everyone can benefit from using it in both personal and professional lives.
An exercise Quagan is fond of assigning to her clients requires a regular deck of cards. After calling each card as red or black, flip it over. Do this again and again and again.
“The point is not to be correct. The point is to understand how your receive the information. You could be feeling it or hearing it or seeing the color of the card in your mind. Or maybe you just know.
“I do that to get you in the mindset of being aware of what you’re seeing and feeling when you’re holding the cards. One of the biggest struggles is that little need to be correct. That screws you every time. When we need to be correct, we do not listen to our intuition and we do not listen to our guides. Stop trying to be right and just tell me what you’re feeling. I don’t care if it’s the craziest things – tell me. It means something. … It’s the things that sound the craziest that are the most accurate.”
In addition to intuition classes, and life and wellness coaching, Quagan teaches a wide range of development and healing classes, Reiki certification and a new intuitive healer certification. She also offers one-on-one mentoring.
She makes herself available to clients day and night, in person, by phone and with Skype.
“I get the occasional 2 a.m. phone call,” she said, explaining,
“It’s my life and my lifestyle, so the more people I can help the better.”
While most clients are from central Connecticut, she has others on the West Coast and as far away as England, Ireland and India. Most find her by word of mouth. Some find her through her blog or the column she writes for The Door Opener, “Messages, Magic, Madness and More: Windom and Insight from a Present Day Fairy.”
Quagan is looking forward to research results that will be published by Yale University. Late in 2015, she participated in a study comparing schizophrenics to psychics.
“Some people who see things and think they’re being attacked. I see dead people and I’m cool with it. I’m hearing voices. This was an extensive study that I’m excited for them to publish it. The results [will indicate] there is a very fine line between the two of us,” making misdiagnosis easy.
Quagan offered three signs that could help identify whether or not you are an empath.
Do you go from feeling energized or happy or even complacent or indifferent and feel your mood change, or do you feel drained?
Do you find that any physical symptoms you’re experiencing are the same as those people around you are feeling?
Do you have digestive issues? (A lot of energy is absorbed by the solar plexus. Anxiety comes from a buildup of absorbed energy physically, mentally and emotionally.)
“It’s interesting because when you’re aware that energy is a very real and prominent thing in all of our lives, you really start to realize how much you are affected by others around you, by the entire world coming alive, even season or the moon – all of these things affect us. So many of us are influenced by our external environment and allow it to influence our entire lives … without realizing it.”
Some days, Quagan said, she wakes up and finds she has thoughts, emotions or experiences that are out of character.
“It takes me an hour to remember I’m a psychic, an empath,” she said. “Then I listen to my guides [say], ‘It’s not you.’”
Some empaths and energy sensitives don’t realize they are being affected.
“It’s almost as if you are so busy being other people, you lose yourself, she said, later explaining, “It’s down to our perception and our ability to control the energy around us.”
She set boundaries and limits so she could go to the mall or the movies and not be “on call.”
“I find that just like with anything, there’s spiritual politics; there’s opposing viewpoints with spirituality.” Some think you can’t turn it on and off, but she disagrees, saying she’s worked with her guides to develop a system to turn it on and off.
Being an empath can be managed. While it’s a gift, there is some choice involved. You can set boundaries, you can stop the information if you desire, she said.
While Quagan learned to step away from it, she said others don’t and are sometimes labeled bipolar.
“Energy can shape our entire reality, including the boundaries we put up between ourselves and the spirit world, and between us and other people,” she said.
Reach Journeys Holistic Wellness and Anxiety Relief Center online at journeyssoulschool.com or on Facebook at Journeys: Holistic Wellness & Anxiety Relief Center. Call 860-580-9736 or message @journeyssoulschool.