Amanda is a licensed DEI Trainer and Consultant and lead instructor at Empathy Academy. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. Currently living in Sonoma County, California, Amanda considers herself “bi-coastal,” as she also spends a fair amount of time in New England where she grew up. Amanda’s sensitive and loving spirit bring an exuberant passion to all that she does. In addition to her DEI work, Amanda is a photographer of the natural world, animal lover and kitty foster-mom, and teacher and researcher of racial and social justice issues.
Q&A with Amanda Ball, MS
What brought you to this work?
The books and then meeting Karla at Kripalu.
Something that really struck me about this work is how emotions are valuable and necessary and we can learn to work with them. It was a sort of “well, duh” moment for me … something I had felt for a while, but didn’t have words for!
What other work do you do and do you combine DEI with that work?
I work in a high school as a manager and social-emotional counselor. I co-created a workbook for teenagers to learn about their emotions and gain skills and practices for supporting and working with their emotions.
I’ve also worked in non-profit organizations for 20 years and have experience working with youth, managing volunteers and interns, recruiting and training foster parents, event planning, data management, and program creation and facilitation. I didn’t always know it, but looking back I was always working with my emotions to navigate these various professional roles and relationships.
What type of clients do you work with?
Adults and teenagers – individual and groups – for consultation/counseling work. And adults from different parts of the world for teaching.
Amanda’s Teaching Philosophy: Learning to understand and work with emotions in healthy ways is quite possibly the best way we can improve our personal well-being and our relationships with others. Emotions have very important and necessary information to share with us. I enjoy helping people learn about their emotions, develop skills for working with them, and welcome them into their lives.
What are some of the highlights of the work you’ve done with DEI?
There are several! First, the Emotional Genius for Teens Workbook – I loved seeing how much teenagers already knew about emotions. They were often easier to work with than adults, because they hadn’t received as much emotion-shaming messages as many adults have.
Also, the Emotional Genius Online course with Sherry – This was my first formal teaching of this work. It was intimidating in the beginning, but now I just love meeting and working with all the different folks who join this course!
There’s the DEI program with Karla, Sherry, and Jen – I love the team we’ve built and the friendships we’ve made with each other and with students/licensees.
Finally, antiracism studies (and work) have been the most revealing. It’s helped me see just how much emotions inform every part of our belief system and behaviors, and how we can change anything when we understand our emotions and learn how to welcome, honor, and support them.
How has DEI most impacted your own life?
Learning about my own emotions and how to listen to and work with them. I don’t think I could find a “most” as it’s constantly changing and evolving. But recently, my most helpful DEI skill has been setting boundaries empathically in my more difficult and challenging relationships. I’ve silently stayed in painful roles for many years in some of my closest relationships because I don’t want to hurt people. Learning to work honorably with my anger and shame – among other emotions – has been a lifesaver in helping me make healthy and supportive changes in these relationships in respecftul and caring ways for all involved.
What are your most recent projects?
EGT [Emotional Genius for Teens], studying racism and capitalism, and looking for other ways to live together empathically and humanely.
Where do you see yourself in regard to this work in the future?
Well, I hope to continue my current role and get more involved in continuing to share this work with the world!
Any final thoughts?
Amanda Ball, MS is double-licensed as a Dynamic Emotional Integration® Trainer and Consultant. She lives in Sonoma County, California, and offers DEI workshops and trainings throughout the Bay Area. She also spends some of her time in Massachusetts and offers trainings and workshops throughout the New England area. Additionally, Amanda offers individual DEI consultations through phone or video conferencing. Amanda has her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling, and is a lead DEI instructor at Empathy Academy. Amanda’s expertise in DEI includes the Four Keys to Emotional Genius, helping people understand the messages and actions behind each emotion, and teaching and practicing the skills that support emotional awareness. Visit her website here: Brilliant Emotions.