Anxiety specialist for Asians and BIPOC
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 re-discover 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 curious dreamers out there.
In our work together, I hope to support you to do the same.
My passion is working with Asians and BIPOC, to help you continuously embrace the unique life that you want to live.
"Freedom" can seem scary and impossible. But can you afford not to pursue it?
Your whole life, you've pursued what you thought you were supposed to. Being the perfect child to your parents. The perfect supportive friend and partner. The perfect role model for siblings and cousins. The perfectly woke community member. But when you're home, alone, that's what you truly feel you are – alone, confined within the expectations of a seemingly unyielding world.
But that's not what people see. They see a well-put-together, caring, happy, kind, and intelligent you. And you seem to be at your best when people confide in you about their problems. But you also can't help but feel like a fraud, knowing that once you're alone, the un-identifiable dread seeps in. And what scares you the most is the undercurrent of resentment, always threatening to come crashing down like a wave, ready to drown you – any place, any moment, and with anyone.
Things have worked out so far. And things are still working out, and still manageable. But you ask yourself, "how long can I do this for?" Between family expectations, stressful and unhappy workplaces, and holding everything together for friends, family, community, everyone...it's not so damn easy, being perfect, and taking care of everyone. What about your own dreams and needs and freedom? Where are the people who truly understand you? It's not so easy, having such a complicated mix of identities, feeling like nobody truly knows you. And in some sense, you feel like you don't truly know yourself.
So let's ask all those questions. Let's explore who you are. Let's discover what you want. And let’s show the world who you want to be, and who you CAN be. And let’s do this in a way where you can improve your relationship with your parents. Your partner. Your friends. Your colleagues. Your communities. Because a thoughtful, self-empowered change can have powerful positive impacts on the people closest to you.
Let's work together to define the freedom that you're seeking. And in this journey, continue to explore the things that stop you from truly feeling free and happy. It's hard work, it's scary work. But you're already used to asking the hard questions. You may not always know what the questions or answers are. But know that you have a guide in me, in your journey of introspection. Let’s finally unknot all the things that you have held on to for so long, and build a life where you wake up excited for the possibilities of a new day.
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 fully commit to your growth.
WE ARE COMPLICATED AS PEOPLE. HERE ARE SOME OF MINE.
MY CREDENTIALS & EXPERIENCE
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 a very unique range of knowledge and perspective on culture, race, gender, and sexuality. I have degrees in the following:
Master of Social Work Degree
Master of Art in Gender Studies and Feminist Research
Bachelor of Art in Cultural Anthropology
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 Director
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 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 am currently 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.