What is Therapy?

This might sound a bit corny, but I’m going to say it anyways – it takes a lot of courage to look for a therapist. Especially because you’re probably someone who has felt the need to be self-sufficient for most of your life. So thank you for taking this huge step to building the life that you know you can live. Though that might still feel so far away, I’m excited for you!

I know the process to find a therapist can be a bit overwhelming. There are so many therapists, how can you possibly know who is the right one for you?

Research shows that the most important thing for effective and successful therapy is to find someone who’s a good fit. This means that you feel understood.

 

While therapy can bring up uncomfortable emotions, the therapist can help you feel safe to explore these emotions. And as therapy progresses, the therapist can provide good insight and new ways of thinking about things, and help you make connections to things that you may not have thought about.

And this is exactly what we’ll be looking for, when we do our consultation – “are we a good fit?” I do believe that every person deserves to be working with a therapist who is the right one for them. That is why I offer a 30-minute consultation, to make sure we both have time to get a good feel for each other.

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What Therapy Is

Therapy is about getting 100% clear with yourself. We’re trying to get to know not just the surface you, but the deeper aspects that makes you the person you are today. This includes both the beautiful parts of you that makes you the amazing person you are, and the parts that you bury and reject (which, by the way, is also beautiful and important!).

This is a radical kind of honesty here. The kind of honesty that may scare you. And in this journey of self-discovery, we will be finding answers to questions that you didn’t even know you had.

And through it all, you’ll learn to build trust…in yourself. And instead of trying to hide your true self, you will become well-versed in truly showing up for yourself and for others.

What Therapy Isn't

Therapy is not about waiting to be ready to take this journey. It isn’t about playing it small, or playing it safe. You’re trying to change the rest of your life. Playing it safe just won’t get you there. And you’re never truly ready for life changing events.

We don’t want you to play it small and play it safe. We are here to help you become the biggest, baddest version of who you want to be. And while therapy may initiate a big change in your life, you will undoubtedly have more large-scale changes in the future. And your therapy, right here, right now, will help prepare you to know how to pursue and embrace changes that you want to create for yourself and in your life.

Therapy is not easy. It is an investment. It requires your time, energy, and emotional investment. But if we approach this in the right way, it will be well worth it all. This is the rest of your life we’re talking about.

Finding Freedom

Pre-Therapy Pains → Post-Therapy Changes

You feel that life isn’t going your way. But in a deeper sense, you don’t really know what you want with life. You just know that you’re unhappy. And you feel helpless to life’s circumstances, often feeling defeated.

You have an inner critic that is always criticizing you. And it makes you feel anxious all the time, like you did something wrong. You wish you can just relax.

You’re kind and generous, and want to make everyone happy. But some people take advantage of you, and some even bully or mistreat you. That leaves you feeling angry, resentful, and powerless.

At times, you wonder why you feel lonely, and find ways to distract yourself from it. You might have lots of people around you, but you don’t feel very connected to them, nor feel that they truly understand you.

You’re constantly working, and always on the verge of burn out. When you finally allow yourself to take a break, you often end up feeling uncomfortable. So you pour yourself into your work again.

Every day, you’re discovering more about yourself, and what you want in your life. You dare to dream, because you feel confident in your ability to handle the challenges that life throws at you, and keep moving towards new possibilities.

You understand your inner critic better, and that it has actually grown from wanting to help you. You now know how to be kinder to yourself. Over time, your inner critic comes up less often, and is less intense.

You’re still kind and generous. But you’ve also learned to be kind and generous to yourself. You feel different about yourself; as a result, you won’t accept other people mistreating you or bullying you.

You become better acquainted with your feelings of loneliness, and know that it is ok to feel this. As a result, you understand yourself better, and are better able to be genuine with the people around you. This makes you feel more connected and fulfilled in your relationships.

You know that you use your work as a distraction from your emotions. You now have ways to understand and process these emotions in a healthy way. Instead of using work to help you cope, you now have the clarity to reflect and prioritize your energy for things that help you live the life that you want.

The Consultation

As we mentioned before, our consultation will be figuring out whether we’re a good fit. But don’t worry, we’re not going to be giving each other a test. We’re going to simply have a conversation, and get to know each other better.

While there’s no “right way” to have a consultation, here are a few things that you can think about that might be helpful to think about:

  • Why now? What is the reason that you have decided to look for a therapist at this current moment in your life?

  • What do I hope my life would look like in the future?

  • What are certain things I want in a therapist? What questions do I want to ask, about this therapist, and about therapy?

And seriously, feel free to make the most out of this consultation time. I’ve even had someone ask me to define “model minority,” to make sure we’re on the same page about it!

In the consultation, I will also spend some time discussing the logistics and structure of our therapy together, which you can read more about in the next section…

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How Therapy Would Look

I want our work to create lasting change in your life. Which is why I see clients on a weekly basis, as research shows that consistent, frequent sessions is better at creating sustained and lasting changes in your life.

And if you’re on a particular budget for therapy, I always advise that having weekly sessions is more effective than spacing out the sessions over a longer period of time.

So this is how the schedule of our therapy would look:

  • During the first three weeks of each month, we will have weekly sessions. For consistency, we will meet each other weekly at the same day and time (e.g. 3:30pm on Mondays).

  • For the remainder of the month, we will take a break from sessions. This can give you some time to reflect on how the sessions are going, and implement the things that we have discussed. During this break, I will also reflect on our work together, and do any necessary research that would help our process.

So if you're ready, let's get started! Schedule a consultation, and let's chat!

Frequently asked questions

How will we meet?


We will meet virtually, on a secure video platform. Once we have decided that we are a good fit, I will send you details on how we will meet. As long as you live in Ontario, then we are able to work together.




How much does Therapy with Harry cost?


Your time, energy, and commitment. And maybe your soul. Just kidding, but only barely. You're changing the rest of your life. It'll be scary and uncomfortable, to truly see yourself, and to truly let someone else see you. It's not easy, but I believe in your resilience. My current rate is:

  • $300 for 50 minute sessions
  • $900 for the month




Can I claim my insurance/work benefits?


Yes, most extended health benefits or employee benefits should cover my services. You can check your insurance provider to see if they cover social worker services. After each session, I'll have a receipt ready for you. You can use that receipt for your claim.




I think you're a great fit for someone I know. How do I refer you to them?


So great of you to be thinking of the well-being of those close to you! Please feel free to refer them to my website. Once they feel ready, they can schedule a free consultation.




How long can I expect to be in therapy?


If I can have it my way, I wish everyone would have life-long therapy support. But I know that’s not realistic for everyone. And that’s really too bad…because the therapeutic relationship is one where you allow yourself to be truly seen. It’s a space where you can feel safe to take risks with the most tender and fragile parts of yourself.

So practically speaking, therapy can be anywhere between 6 months to multiple years, to the rest of your life. Or you may take a break, and return to therapy. There’s no simple answer to this question. It depends on you. And in our therapy journey together to explore your deep selves, you’ll find that answer for yourself.




Why do you only work with Asians?


It’s true, I primarily work with Asians. But I also work with people who do not identify as Asians, if I think that we’re a good fit.

I find that in my therapy work with Asians, I have an innate understanding of Asian experiences. And in my own professional development, I find myself drawn to learning about larger societal forces (e.g. on-going history of racism and xenophobia), and how that plays out in our daily mental health.

There’s, unfortunately, only a handful of scholarship written about Asian mental health in the context of North America. So part of what I do is to piece things together. The trick is to find the balance between understanding where our commonalities may lie, but also not stereotype our individual experiences. Because as Asians, we are freaking diverse.

So, in short, why do I work with Asians? Because it's where my heart takes me.