Child Therapist Provides Emotional Support for $2

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If we’re being honest with ourselves, we could all benefit from a little therapy sometimes. Other times, we just need someone to listen to us. Well, if you’re in New York City, there’s a 6th grader who may be able to help you.

Since October, 6th grader Ciro Ortiz has spent two hours every Sunday listening to problems and giving advice to anyone who sits across from him at a table he sets up all over the city, usually in Brooklyn. He charges a mere $2 for a five-minute session, a bargain compared to most therapists.

“I help people with their problems because, a lot of people, sometimes they feel sad or they feel angry for particular reasons,” Ciro explains. “Maybe they’re in a relationship or maybe they’re not getting along with their family, or maybe they’re just growing up and feeling nostalgic.”

Ciro recalls being nervous the first time he set up his makeshift therapy office, but people have taken a liking to him. He’s quickly developed a great reputation, as well as the nickname “Emotional Advice Kid.”

Just in case you’re worried about Ciro’s safety on the mean streets of New York, his mother, Jasmine Aequitas, often tags along. She also takes photos for his Instagram account, which has quickly gained quite a following.

“The most rewarding part is actually making an impact on how people feel about themselves and other things,” Ciro says. “Just seeing the stands might give them hope for something, make them feel better about themselves and the world in general.”

Charging $2 for a five-minute session doesn’t exactly allow Ciro to make much of a profit. He also keeps very little of what he brings in; instead, he shares it with some of his classmates who can’t always afford to buy lunch at school.

Between paying it forward to his classmates and helping those who seek advice or just need someone to listen to them, Ciro says he has no plans of stopping anytime soon.

If you can’t make it to New York to speak with Ciro in person, he has some advice that everyone can follow: “Try to accept change. Everything changes. We have to change too.”