I found The Great Awakening
by Michael Sharp to be very useful on the subject of spirit guides. The book offers tips on preparing for spiritual awakening but if you want info on spirit guides skip to Roadside Communication chapter.
Get clear about what you are needing assistance with and start projecting the thought - it is really that simple, like having a conversation with a friend. I wouldn't put too much effort into it as that can greatly obstruct any connection.
As for psychic abilities - everyone possesses a natural talent for this but for most people it remains dormant due to social conditioning.