River Valade MSW
River is a Mixed-Race (Black, Métis, and Ukrainian) Trans-Masculine Non-Binary person with lived experience of complex trauma, chronic illness & chronic pain, neurodivergence, poverty (generational), and queerness. River currently lives in Hamilton with their cat, Phoenix.
River's lived experience of existing in-between &
outside of binaries of race, gender, sexuality, and
disability is central to their approach as a
therapist. In practicing therapy informed by
Indigenous approaches to helping, River
believes that strengthening the relationship
between themself and the person they're
supporting requires them to share parts of
their own life/story as well.
River's therapeutic approach is rooted in the
Mi'kmaw concept of 'Two-Eyed Seeing'; the bridging of Indigenous & Western knowledges. River applies this through the blending of Indigenous knowledge & practices with Western therapeutic techniques - such as blending Narrative Therapy with Indigenous traditional oral storytelling.
River's professional background includes community organizing, peer support, and Indigenous mental health. River got their Bachelor of Social Work from McMaster University in 2020 and their Master of Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2023.
Approaches to Therapy
Indigenous approaches to helping/therapy
Trauma-informed & Trauma-focused
Internal Family Systems (IFS)
Arts-based therapeutic practices
Areas of Focus
Sexuality & gender identity
BIPOC & Mixed-Race Identities
Non-traditional relationships including non-monogamy & kink dynamics
Neurodivergence (Autism Spectrum, ADHD)
Chronic illness & Chronic Pain
Individual therapy session (1 hour) - $125
Please note: if these rates are not affordable for you, get in touch with us and we will try our best to figure out a rate that is doable. It is important that money isn't the barrier to you getting support.