Our Team

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  • Therapist

Valerie Jaharis


Licensed Social Worker

Live Oak Founders’ Fellow




Supervised By:

Values & Philosophy

I am a trauma therapist. I apply an anti-oppressive, relational and client-centered frame to the work, and I believe that therapy is about a relationship of trust and mutual growth. In our work together, I see you as the expert on yourself and your own life. While I have knowledge on therapeutic modalities, I prefer to tailor our approach to your individual needs. I have practiced sex and relationship counseling and am currently pursuing a certification in Sex Therapy through the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work.

I am a white, queer and trans, disabled, fat, chronically ill, and high risk to COVID individual. I am a strong believer of abolition and do my best to engage in decolonization as a daily practice both in my personal and professional life. As such, I practice from an abolitionist, decolonial, anti-oppressive lens with a focus on interdependence. I specialize in working with people who are chronically ill, at a high-risk with COVID and/or with Long Covid, people with disabilities, neurodivergent individuals, LGBTQ+ folks, and people who identify as fat or suffer due to fatphobia. I am kink, sex work, and poly positive and hope to guide clients through any sexual or gender identity experience.

To me, therapy is a collective journey of trust in which the therapist and client cultivate a healing journey both from individual traumas as well of the traumas that come from existing in systems of oppression. I believe that when a system is the root of a harm, one person cannot undo a system of harm alone. Thus, I find it extremely important to support those who work with me in building their networks of interdependent support, extending the healing journey well beyond our therapeutic relationship. As a disabled, chronically ill, trans individual, I know that our survival necessitates interdependence and mutual aid, which are core tenets of how I hope to help my clients navigate through their healing process. As your therapist, I hope to be in community with you and grow the sacred space of our sessions together.

Education & Training


Licensed Social Worker, 150112718
Chicago, IL, 2023


University of Chicago, 2023

BA in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Barnard College of Columbia University, 2019


Candidate for Certification in Sex Therapy and Sex Education
University of Michigan School of Social Work, April 2025

Areas of Focus & Specialization

  • Disability experience and disability Justice-affirming therapy
  • LGBTQ+ Affirming Therapy
  • Survivors of Trauma
  • Sex and Relationship Therapy
  • Poly & Non-Monogamy Affirming Practice
  • Kink, Sex- and Body-Positive Practice
  • Neurodivergent affirming practice
  • Body Neutral and Fat Affirming Practice
  • Depression, Anxiety, and Stress


  • Abolition and Liberation Principles
  • Trauma-Informed Practice
  • LGBTQ+ and TGNC Affirmative Practice
  • Anti-Racist and Intersectional Feminist Perspective
  • Disability Justice Principles
  • Body Neutral and HAES
  • Sex- and Body-Positive Approach
  • Sex and Relationship Therapy
  • Polyamorous/Non Monogamous Affirming Practice
  • Client-centered, Strength-Based Approach
  • Psychodynamic Therapy
  • Narrative Therapy