Being Human Podcast - Episode 112: Insights From the East (Part Two), w/ Mother Natalia & Her Parents

podcast Jan 01, 2020

Welcome to Episode 112 of the Being Human Podcast: Insights From the East (Part Two), w/ Mother Natalia & Her Parents

In this second of a two-part episode, Dr. Greg and Mother Natalia finish their conversation from last week, this time diving deeper into the inner workings of Mother’s mind and heart as she vulnerably shares about her internal struggles. Together, Dr. Greg and Mother connect the dots between a psychological approach to understanding her experiences and the writings of the Desert Fathers and Eastern Catholic spirituality.  

Discussed in this episode:

  • The internal lies that have influenced Mother Natalia’s behavior;
  • Why do we still act out of certain false beliefs?
  • The reaction of Mother’s parents to her sharing of her internal struggles;
  • How “parts theory” (Internal Family Systems) can help us to understand ourselves; 
  • Following the example of Christ when listening to and understanding each of our parts;
  • Acceptance of our parts as a way to avoid “dialogue with the devil”;
  • The way that our natural survival instinct is at odds with our impending death, and the impact this has on our psychology; 
  • The Eastern view of sin as an illness and the corresponding emphasis on Confession as a healing sacrament; 


Resources mentioned or relevant:

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About Mother Natalia 

Mother Natalia entered Christ the Bridegroom Monastery in Burton, Ohio in 2015 and has been a rasophore nun since 2016. She made her life profession on September 26, 2021. As a military kid, Mother Natalia grew up in a variety of places from Cuba to Denver.  She earned her B.S. in Engineering Physics from Colorado School of Mines.  Her route to monasticism passed through urban missions both with A Simple House of Sts. Francis and Alphonsus and teaching high school math in the inner city.  Though her role in the monastery is wide, Mother Natalia spends much of her time coordinating all the guest logistics ensuring visitors are received with hospitality.  She co-hosts the What God Is Not podcast with Father Michael.


About Dr. Greg and the CatholicPsych Institute

Dr. Bottaro is a clinical psychologist and founder of the CatholicPsych Institute. He received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Institute for the Psychological Sciences, a graduate school that integrates Catholic philosophy and theology with sound, empirically validated psychology.

Before his degree, Dr. Bottaro discerned a religious vocation with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (CFRs). He lived four years in the Bronx, serving the poor in the tradition of St. Francis of Assisi. Under the mentorship of Fr. Benedict Groeschel, this experience helped him form a spirituality based on Abandonment to Divine Providence which he now applies to psychological principles in his practice. He learned from Fr. Benedict how to discern God's voice and live a life in service to others.

Six years after leaving NYC as a friar, he returned as a psychologist. The CatholicPsych Institute began there in 2012 and has since grown to 5 offices with 12 therapists serving clients around the globe.

Dr. Bottaro now lives in Connecticut with his wife Barbra and their seven children. He actively avoids watching the news and spends his free time thinking up crazy new ideas on how to make the world a better place.