Learn a little more about our summer 2023 intern, Maggie Testani!
1. What inspired you to enter this field? I attended Clemson University for my undergraduate degree(s) in Secondary Education and English. I had always wanted to be a middle school or high school teacher! I was accepted early into Teach for America, and following graduation in 2019 I opted in to join the program. I was placed to teach high school English on the southside of Chicago in the Englewood neighborhood. During my time as a teacher my passion has transitioned from teaching into a focus of mental health. Many of my students experience a lot of trauma, and there are not many accessible resources for mental health support available in their area. I was realizing that I was starting to care way more about how my students were doing and managing on a deeper, personal level than I was about their grades. I thoroughly have enjoyed working with adolescents, and I find their time in life to be very formative and ever-changing. They make a lot of decisions, as well as navigating their identities and relationships. I’m very excited to transition from teaching to counseling!
2. What is your favorite thing about living in Chicago? There is always something to do! When the weather is nice, I love going to the lake or walking through the different neighborhoods. As a huge foodie, I think the Chicago restaurant scene is wonderful, and I am still working on my restaurant bucket-list here!
3. What are some tools you use to decompress? Personally, I like to decompress by doing something mindless. I enjoy going to OrangeTheory or taking walks with music because it gets me moving and out of my head. Sometimes, calling my friends or family to vent is helpful, too. If I just need to be restful, I will read a book, take a nap, lay in the sun, take a shower, or watch a TV show.
4. How would you recommend a client prepare for a session? I recommend clients prepare for session by making a list of things they would like to talk about and examine with the therapist. I believe it can help to stay focused, as well as being able to see your thoughts or concerns on the page rather than keeping them in your head.
5. What are you most looking forward to for summer? This summer, I am really looking forward to learning more here at Fleming Family Therapy and practicing using my counseling skills! Chicago summer weather is nice, too! 🙂