We had the good fortune of connecting with Amber Jekot and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amber, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
These past few years have illuminated the need for burnout prevention and trauma trainings, especially for front line workers. I myself have crawled through the process of burnout. When you see so much need around you, it’s challenging to slow down and provide the same kindness and tenderness to yourself that you easily provide for the folks you serve. By diving into neurobiology and the crevices of my own soul, I have crafted a structure for myself and neurobiologically informed practices that embolden me to continue to do the hard work of being a therapist… and I want to share that.
I’ve utilized my own experience to provide space for other therapists and front line workers to find a way to follow their lives’ passion while not losing themselves along the way. The greatest lesson I have learned is to listen to my body. If we don’t listen to ourselves, our bodies will let us know when we have nothing left to give. When we are able to listen to the micro-experiences of our bodies, we can then address our fatigue before it turns into burnout.
I’ve provided these trainings for teachers, schools, relief workers, and therapists. I’m currently in conversation with nurses to provide much needed support. I have also led a trauma training for a participant of the survival show Naked and Afraid – providing information about what happens to our bodies when they are deprived of their needs, and how to overcome these challenges in extreme environments. I see opportunities like this as an avenue for making trauma-informed care a more accepted pillar in our society.
The natural world is such an abundant source of healing for our world, and it deserves our responsive care – there is reciprocity in our healing. My trainings share how to utilize the gift of the natural world to soothe your nervous system… and how to give back while doing it. If I can recommend one thing for human flourishing, it is to go outside and connect with natural world.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Ecotherapy Austin has been a seed, a dream of mine for the past five years. The onset of COVID-19 rapidly changed all of our worlds in a matter of weeks, and in the soil and compost of this pandemic, Ecotherapy Austin was born.
I had never conceptualized myself providing therapy services and trainings online, but challenge breeds innovation, and here we are. Though the transition was initially trying, it ultimately became a better fit for most of my clients. Cancelations declined significantly because my clients can zoom into therapy sessions from anywhere. I see clients from their cars, closets, and dinner tables. People have this extra layer of exhaustion from living through two years of uncertainty, so it feels nourishing to be able to meet people exactly where there are, sweat pants and all. And truly, that’s what therapy is all about – bringing our raw selves to a safe place to unfold and become exactly who we were created to be. The pandemic has brought an awakening to mental health consciousness and has shifted the reality of mental health challenges from taboo to a human need.
I work primarily with teens, adults, parents, and healers, integrating mindfulness, ecotherapy, and expressive arts with traditional talk therapy. I work to incorporate neurobiology and the healing gifts of the natural world to teach clients how to balance their own nervous systems. In the therapy room, I openly acknowledge the broken systems we live in, that oppress and make living whole lives challenging, but not impossible. I’m passionate about making my research and experience accessible to folks so that they are able to thrive on their own. I believe in the inherent power within each individual to heal; I work to provide the skills needed so they can reclaim their power in their healing journey.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’d start the day hiking on the greenbelt, and then hit up the Tacodeli on Spyglass. After that we would venture down to Deep Eddy pool for a dip and follow up with Pool Burger just up the street. We’d then dance the night away at the Broken Spoke, a local favorite two-stepping spot. Any additional time we’d have together we would be exploring live music venues and exploring all the green spaces that Austin and the surrounding areas have to offer.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Shoutout to Austin Family Counseling who provided an amazing opportunity to grow my skills a therapist before starting my own practice. I’d also like to thank my dream team of fellow therapists who have provided so much necessary support during the pandemic – this is a job where we need community and I feel abundantly grateful to have it.