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Who is Catalina Ortiz?
Catalina Ortiz is a therapist at C.O.G. Counseling, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Marriage and Family Therapist, National Board Certified Counselor.
Catalina graduated with her Bachelors degree in Psychology in 2009 from Barry University in Miami, Florida. In 2013 she earned her Masters degree in Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy from the same institution. Catalina has worked in Mental Health clinics providing counseling, psychotherapy and psychoeducation for adolescents, adults and elders. For six years, she worked with the City of Miami Beach in their child and youth-oriented programs assisting individuals and families.
Catalina was born in Miami and raised between the US and Colombia. Growing up in a multi-cultural environment gave her the opportunity to better understand the common obstacles people face in life and how psychotherapy can help them overcome these challenges. She has also worked in private practice with culturally diverse clients in Miami and Qatar, and Catalina and her young family now live in Thailand.
In her own words...
When I first became a mother, my world was flipped upside down. Like every parent, I suddenly had to contend with little sleep, no time to myself and way too many questions. I thought the first few months would be the hardest. But I soon discovered that this was actually my ‘vacation’.
When my child’s personality started coming out, everything changed.
Why didn’t the hospital send us home with a manual when he was born? Why wasn’t there a list of do’s and don’ts to help us through?!
As a therapist who works with children, I felt even more pressure to raise my child ‘properly’, and that I should know how to mold his behavior. Naturally, I tried different techniques and interventions, and was surprised when they didn’t work as well as I thought they would. He was his own little person, and nothing I did could change him.
I’ve always been curious about astrology, so I decided to look into his birth chart. At first, I was surprised to see some new characteristics starting to show. And as the months and years went on, almost every element on his birth chart seemed to slot into place. It really seemed as though people do come with a manual, and it’s written in the stars.
Each child is unique, and many people believe their personalities are born when they are, depending on the position of the sun, stars, moon and planets at the exact time of their birth. Through exploring the intersection of psychology and astrology, I realized that my child was here to teach me lessons; about accepting and respecting his essence, and who he is, rather than who I want him to be.
My problem in those early months and years wasn’t the parenting techniques I was using; it was not acknowledging that we are all different, and we all respond to things in different ways. The same method of communication or boundary setting may work for one child, and fail terribly for another. Younger kids don’t afford us the luxury of clear communication, so it’s important for us, as parents, to try and better understand the signs they are sharing with us.
The earlier we discover, embrace and respect who our child is, the less harm we do by imposing our own wants and beliefs on them. If we do it properly, we can actually help them choose the right tools to help reach their own goals according to their unique personality.
I’ve seen first-hand how different cultures raise their children – some more spiritual, some more social, some more religious. Most importantly, I’ve realized that there is no real right and wrong when it comes to raising our children – there are just different tools and techniques. That’s how I view this guide: it isn’t a hard science, but a useful tool to help you understand your children a little better.
With this guide, I’m striving to bring balance and harmony to your home. I hope that it serves as an accessible and friendly tool to help you better understand the beautiful gift you have received from the stars (your child!)
After all, and in the sage words of clinical psychologist and author Dr. Shefali Tsabary: “Your children are here to fulfill their own destiny, not yours.