Me, the Human
Anxiety Specialist for Asians
Hi, I'm Harry Au (he/him).
As a 1.5 generation immigrant who came to Canada as a kid, my identity has always been beautifully complicated.
I went through my own journey to rediscover all my true selves, and built an integrated mega-self – full of joy, love, fear, and every other feeling inbetween.
But let's be real, that journey never ends, at least not for us innovative dreamers. In our work together, I hope to support you to do the same.
My passion is help Asians such as yourself continuously embrace the unique life that you want to live.
Harry Au (he/him) - MA, MSW, RSW
As people, we're complex
Here are some of mine
I am often told I’m not Canadian enough, and also told I’m not Chinese enough. But I'm just here being me.
Some people assume I'm a model minority. But it's only cause they haven't seen me being fierce AF yet.
I want more time to chill and rest in my life. But I also often feel that I should be doing more.
I used to think life HAD to be hard...
I thought that feeling angry, guilty, and ashamed was normal. That being exhausted was normal.
Every now and then, that pain was punctured with feelings of hope. But those moments were fleeting. And it got to a point where I felt that life was just a never ending shitshow.
And here’s where I’m going to use a cheesy analogy…when I was at my lowest, I had no where else to go. And like a phoenix, rising from its ashes, I was reborn. And for the first time in my life, I spread my wings.
And unlike all my previous achievements and accolades…this time, I spread my wings for myself. For the first time, I was TRULY listening to myself. Not what others wanted from me.
I stopped following cultural rules and family rules that didn't work for me. I no longer conformed to mainstream norms of "success." Nor was I blindly following social justice rules. And to my surprise, my relationship with everyone became...better.
As I changed as a person, it became a chain reaction that changed everything. At first, it was painful. SCARY. I had to look at myself dead in the eye, and confront every part of myself. Nothing quite prepares you for your inner revolution towards self-love and self-acceptance.
And then, things began to fall into place.
As I changed, I began to have healthier relationships, with myself and with others. I learned from my past, but also learned to let things go.
And I even began to experience joy and calm as my norm.
Things began clicking. I realized how much control I can truly have over my life, when I trust myself to lead myself. I reflected on what I wanted in my life. And I built my own processes to go after those goals.
There will always be forces larger than us, trying to keep us down – racism, xenophobia, patriarchy, intergenerational trauma. And in my early quest to fight these forces, I neglected the one thing that would take me to the promised land. I neglected my inner child. My truest desires.
In my journey, I finally learned to listen to my true self. And I finally integrated all the other parts of me into a mega-self – and truly love and accept every part of me.
And my passion is to help you through your own journey, to embrace your unique mega-self, and live with a creativity you never thought possible.
"Harry has the ability to speak the truth, look for nuanced solutions, listen without judgment, and above all – believe in happiness for his clients."
n. gitanjali lena (they/them)
Life Doesn't Have To Be This Hard
Let’s finally unknot all the things that you have held on to for so long. Let’s work together to map out the freedom that you’re seeking. And let's build trust in yourself to lead yourself.
I’ll be here to support you during the lows, celebrate with you during the highs, and laugh with you at how ridiculous our world can be sometimes. Let’s discover who you truly are.
My Mission & Vision
Years ago, I’ve come to the realization that, above all things, I value self-discovery. But I was not ready for the emotions that came with this pursuit. And when I finally decided to seek the guidance of a therapist, it felt almost impossible to find someone who can understand my complex mix of identities and experiences.
My own journey has solidified my commitment to support the you's out there, wondering if you can find the right guide for yourself, so you can pursue your own freedom and vision for your life and for your world.
I truly believe that we all create rippling impacts in this world. And my vision for my impact is to support the flourishing of badass Asians to freely create their own thriving reality, so we can all create our own rippling impacts for a better world.
Courage: Facing your fears is not easy. Let's recognize the courage it takes to change yourself, and to change the world around you.
Intentionality: The decisions and changes you'll be making in your life are not random. We are intentionally creating a life and a world that you envision.
Small Steps: Change is hard. Let's take it one step at a time. Over time, these small steps will accumulate into big results.
Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression: Cause, fuck racism, and fuck structures of oppression.
Celebration: Each small step you take moves you a little closer to the life and the world that you want to live in. And it's important to celebrate this progress!
My Credentials & Experience
Master of Social Work Degree
Master of Art in Gender Studies and Feminist Research
Bachelor of Art in Cultural Anthropology
I spent many years in school, as a way to figure out what I want to do with my life. But lucky for me, all my schooling has given me in-depth knowledge and perspective on culture, race, gender, and sexuality.
Since 2010, I've had the privilege of supporting individuals in the LGBTQ, Indigenous, people of colour, and sex workers communities. Much of this work has involved activism and community-building.
Board of Directors
I'm a past board member of Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter (CCNCTO), a Chinese activist organization. I was also a past board member of Canadian Roots Exchange (CRE), an Indigenous-led organization that engages Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth around reconciliation work.
Violence Against Women Sector
I am very lucky to have had the opportunity to become the first male worker at a women's shelter in Toronto to work with boys who has witnessed or experienced domestic violence. I provided long-term trauma support to the boys and their family to help them cope and heal.
I was part of the Men's Advisory Council for the Reel Men Project, spearheaded by Women's Habitat. The project aims to talk with high school students about what it means to be a boy and a man in our society. It aims to provide mentorship and guidance for boys to develop healthy masculinity in their journey into malehood.
Additional Mental Health Support for the Community
I was a therapist at a mental health walk-in clinic, as a first line of mental health support for the community. I have also volunteered as a therapist at 519 Community Centre, providing mental health support for the LGBTQ community in Toronto.
In the past, I have also served as an external consultant for the workers of Butterfly, an organization serving Asian and migrant sex workers.
I speak and understand Cantonese fluently, with English as the primary language used during therapy session. I began to dabble in calligraphy after my trip to Beijing to study Chinese. Politics aside, the Chinese language is beautiful.
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