The poem "Bread and Roses" (Oppenheim, 1911) reminds me to not just focus on surviving, but also on thriving. We all are wounded and we all deserve to experience the beauty and joy that this life has to offer. I work to bring this balance to all of my clients.
"As we go marching, marching, unnumbered women dead
Go crying through our singing their ancient call for bread.
Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew.
Yes, it is bread we fight for, but we fight for roses too."
Cynthia Degnan, Phd, MSW, LCSW
Cynthia Degnan, PhD, MSW, LCSW
Intake and Trauma Therapist
I approach therapy from a place of deep and non-judgmental curiosity, seeking to explore and understand each client's unique experiences, strengths, identities, and challenges. My therapeutic practice is based on the feminist relational model, which shapes my two core beliefs about therapy. The first is that clients have the tools they need to heal and my job is to partner with them and empower them to learn how to use those tools. The second is that the unique relationship between therapist and client can provide an enormous source of healing and growth. I also draw from Internal Family Systems concepts to help clients understand how they were shaped by their trauma, how different strengths and strategies allowed them to survive, and how those strategies might change to better fit the lives they are now living.
Areas of Expertise and Services Offered
LGBTQIA+ identities, cultures, and experiences
Trans and non-binary affirming
Kink and polyamory/non-monogamy affirming
Education, Training, and Advocacy
BA in English, Bryn Mawr College
PhD in English with a focus in Queer and Gender Studies, University of California, Davis
Masters in Social Work, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA) certified Sexual Assault Crisis Counselor
How We Might Work Together
I work with those who are seeking to heal from the impact of sexual trauma and trauma they have experienced through important relationships either as children or adults. I see clients who experience anxiety, depression, dissociation, and struggles with attachment and relationships. I also partner with clients who strive to understand and heal the emotional and somatic impact of living through racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, xenophobia, ableism, fatphobia, and other oppressive systems.