top of page

River Valade  MSW 

River bio July 2023.png

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

  • 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. 

  • Instagram



River is accepting new clients 


Check out our other team members 

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
bottom of page