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 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 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 - 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 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.
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.
Our Therapy Core Values
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!
The idea of "fitting in" can be...weird for us. We want to fit in, but don't want it to come at the expense of who we are.
These are blogs and shorts that I’ve written that might just resonate with you.
"Freedom" can seem scary and impossible. But can you afford not to pursue it?
You ask yourself, is this all to life? Trying to be perfect for everyone around you, trying to make everyone else happy. And at the end of it all, you sit exhausted and alone at home, oscillating between guilt and anger, trapped by the expectations of the unyielding world. And the question creeps up more and more…how much longer can you do this for?
Life doesn’t have to be like this. 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. Let’s show the world who you want to be, and who you CAN be.
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 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 a very unique range of 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.
As Featured In
Webinar at York University
This Isn’t New: Anti-Asian Racism, Black-Asian Solidarity, and Our Mental Health (June 23, 2021)
Interview on CBC Radio Metro Morning
Anti-Asian Racism (Mar 30, 2021)
Explore Your Freedom
You’re smart, you’re reflective, and you know there’s more that you want in this life.
But even the very best of us can use some support.
Let’s find a time to talk.
If you’re looking to explore your identity, I highly recommend Harry
Harry has a deep understanding of racism, sexism, and colonialism. Having known and worked with him since 2013, Butterfly, as an organization, specifically sought out his consultation services for our workers, because of his ability to integrate social justice into his therapeutic work. If you’re looking to explore your identity and your place in the world, and bring growth and change in your life, I highly recommend Harry!
Elene Lam (she/her)
Founder and Executive Director of Butterfly (Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network )