Throughout his career, Yao has worked with diverse populations, including youth, adolescents, individuals with mental health disorders, survivors of sexual assault, and those struggling with substance abuse. He has had the opportunity to work with dynamic and dedicated people, using innovative modalities and programs such as Harm Reduction Psychotherapy, Alternatives to Violence, Social Presencing Theatre, Soul-Centered Therapy, Focusing/Embodied Listening, AEDP (Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy), Hakomi (Mindful and Somatic-Based Therapy), Indigenous Focus-Oriented Therapy (IFOT), and other trauma-informed models.
In 2004, Yao spearheaded an initiative to educate and bring awareness to male sexual assault survivors, which was funded by the New York City Council. As part of this effort, he provides individual and group psychotherapy, in addition to giving presentations and training to community-based groups, agencies, organizations, and professional service providers.
Yao is a member of several professional organizations, including ABSW, NASW, New York State Men as Allies Coalition, New York State Crime Victims Academy (Instructor), National Acupuncture Detox Association Board of Directors, and the Cures Not Wars/Harm Reduction Working Group. He is a former member of the Male Survivor Board of Directors and an active participant with the South-South Institute on the Victimization of Men and Boys, based in Cambodia.
Yao has also partnered with the Alliance of Families for Justice's Self-Knowledge Circles and the development of Songa Mbele, an initiative that focuses on Young Men of Color and trauma/violence. He has also recently begun collaborating with Reciprocity, an organization dedicated to providing wellness programs to LGBTQ youth.
Yao's passion for his work and his commitment to social justice are evident in everything he does. His dynamic personality and extensive knowledge make him an inspiring and engaging speaker and workshop leader. He is dedicated to creating a more just and equitable world, one conversation at a time.
Please note Yao is also known as Rommell Washington in his professional career.