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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. 

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Approaches to Therapy

  • Narrative Therapy

  • Peer Support

  • Indigenous approaches to helping/therapy

  • Trauma-informed & Trauma-focused

  • Internal Family Systems (IFS)

  • Harm Reduction

  • Arts-based therapeutic practices


Areas of Focus

  • Trauma

  • Sexuality & gender identity

  • BIPOC & Mixed-Race Identities

  • Youth/adolescent issues

  • 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. 

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