Cassandra Damm, LCSW, is a graduate of Loyola University with a passion for working with those who identify as LGBTQ, as well as those who are in the kink, polyamory/consensual non-monogamy and sex work communities. She is also a board member of Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP) – Chicago and runs the Sex Worker Support Group as a partnership co-sponsored by SWOP and Lifeworks. Join us in welcoming her to LifeWorks Psychotherapy Center!
What drew you to LifeWorks? Maybe you can say a little about your previous position?
I heard about LifeWorks through a LifeWorks clinician, and the more I learned about the practice the more I admired their work and felt an affinity for the practice. Through our collaboration organizing and facilitating the Sex Worker Support Group – I found that LifeWorks values around sexuality, growth and healing aligned with mine. I also bring experience doing community mental health work with Thresholds and spent many years on the diversity committee helping the agency improve on areas related to LGBTQ and related rights. I knew LifeWorks would support my ongoing growth and would appreciate my passion for social justice. Learning how to support marginalized identities in ourselves and others creates important change in the world.
What new passion, interest or area of interest/expertise do you hope to bring into your work here?
While I have a general interest and expertise in areas of gender, sexuality, HIV-impacted populations, sex work, and addiction, right now I am most excited to bring the use of a trauma-specific treatment called Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing, or EMDR, to this practice. If you are unfamiliar, EMDR uses guided memory recall combined with eye movements or bilateral stimulation to process and resolve anxieties and traumas from an individual’s past. For many people who have done other traditional therapies, EMDR can offer additional support or a new approach to target and reduce some of the triggers and create space for resolution.
In the short amount of time, since you joined LW, what has surprised you most and why?
I knew that LifeWorks was a place that would support self-reflection, but I was pleasantly surprised by the depth with which we are encouraged and supported to explore and understand ourselves.