Ciro Ortiz is not your average psychotherapist. While some charge hundreds of dollars per session, Ortiz charges only $2 a pop. His office, located on the platform of a subway station, has rather limited hours: He's only available from 12-2 p.m. on Sundays. And did we mention that he's only 11 years old?
Ortiz is not even in middle school, yet he has set up shop on a Brooklyn subway platform dispensing emotional advice to anyone who needs it. New Yorkers are flocking to his table to hear what he has to say.
His parents, Jasmine Aequitas and Adam Ortiz, told the New York Post that their sixth-grader has always been more mature than other kids his age. And that, unfortunately, led to some bullying a few years ago. But rather than channel his frustration into anger, Ortiz became the kid who other bullied kids would turn to for advice. So he decided to offer up his services to a wider audience as a way to give back to his community and make a little extra money.
Ortiz recently hung out his shingle with a Peanuts-style card table in the middle of New York's Bedford subway stop in Brooklyn. For $2, he offers five minutes of "emotional advice" to clients in need of some quick counseling. On a good day, Ciro rakes in about $50 — not bad for a Sunday afternoon.
How does he spend that hard-earned money? His parents say he uses the bulk of it to buy snacks and lunches for kids at school who can't afford it.
Ortiz's clients come to him for advice on everything from marital disputes to dealing with stress, but he told the Post that the most common reason people seek out his services is a resistance to change, especially by adults.
"We have to accept it. It’s going to happen — it’s always going to happen. Life is always changing."
That will be $2, please.