Olga Ward, owner of Beaverton Neurofeedback is a first generation immigrant who moved to the US on a student Visa to attend college and improve her English.
She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, but she says deep down she always wanted to find a way to be a helper to others on a physical or emotional level.
“ I had entertained the idea of going back to school to re-qualify as a nurse, but something always got in a way. Perhaps it was God's way of saying: ‘This is not your calling’. It wasn't until my husband and I decided to expand our family through adoption, I realized where I could practice my desire to heal,” she explains.
When she and her husband adopted her daughter from the Oregon DHS foster system it opened her eyes to the world of childhood trauma and she recognized a great need to support the foster care community. They also decided to open their home to foster kids in need of a respite stay.
Their daughter joined their family at the age of eight already having suffered abuse and neglect at the hands of her biological family, she also had additional trauma in her first adoptive home which was promised to be her ‘forever’ home.
Olga says, “Raising a child often comes with challenges. Raising a special needs child who has lost trust in adults, takes ‘challenging’ to a whole other level. No amount of praise or comments such as ‘You are such nice people’ or ‘She is a lucky girl’ can make you feel better when you are exhausted and burnt out. In fact, these comments, without actual support, feel like mockery. I tried very hard to maintain our family ‘normalcy’, but the everyday challenges were making it difficult to hold down an inflexible full-time job. Eventually, I put in my notice, and quit my stable job without a plan for replacing the missing income.”
Around this time she also felt so emotionally burnt out that she chose to seek mental health support from a professional counselor. She found being validated by someone who understands the impact of secondary trauma helpful, but her home life was still in crisis on almost a daily basis.
“Our daughter was struggling and so did the rest of our family, including myself! It was my own therapist who introduced me to NeurOptimal neurofeedback. Trauma affects the brain on a physiological level. While talking to a professional can help you feel heard and validated, it will not change your overreacted brain to switch from the Fight/Flight/Freeze response. The fact that there's a professional device that can help retrain the brain be more balanced and better regulate emotions fascinated me. I delved into the research and tested it on myself.
The results were undeniable! Within only 3 neurofeedback sessions I felt more peaceful and patient. I felt happier and more relaxed. I could think more clearly! It was at that moment I knew this was my "healing" calling. I made an investment into the NeurOptimal training and purchased my own equipment. I wanted the same results for others as I had experienced for myself. In April of 2018, I opened my own practice, Beaverton Neurofeedback, and have been passionately serving others in my community.”
Olga says that as a current foster parent to children with trauma, she is required, and enjoys, taking continuing education courses on the subjects of parenting children with trauma and attachment issues. “There are several influential figures who have done the research and wrote books to help others understand how trauma affects the brain and what we can do about it. Dr. Valdeane Brown, the researcher and inventor of NeurOptimal neurofeedback equipment (which is what I use in my practice), Daniel Siegel, MD and Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, the authors of "The Whole Brain Child", and my current neurofeedback mentor, Catherine Boyer, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, are to name a few,” she explains.
Her biggest struggle when she first started her business was feeling isolated.. When she left her full time job, she lost support that comes with having co-workers to share ideas and concerns with. She says finding the MOB Nation community was a huge relief. Not only did she feel supported as a business owner, she also found amazing friends.
Olga says she would advise new business owners to pursue their passion and understand their “why”.
“Doing what makes a difference in the world and what makes you happy and fulfilled is an important motivator, especially when things get tough. Ask yourself ‘What would I love to do even if money was not an issue?,”
She also reminds business owners that they can love what they are doing without giving it away for free, to find a mentor or like-minded person who will encourage and support them when they are stuck, to hire a coach to get clarity, and to get plugged in to a networking community that will be there for them in good days and in bad.
She would tell her younger self to not take things personally if others don't understand what you do or do not want to support you. Do not interpret it as less important or amazing. There will always be those who don't care and those who want to see you succeed!
Olga says her motivation to keep going when things are tough comes from seeing the difference she makes in her clients’ lives and hearing their testimonials.
She loves working for herself because of the flexibility she has. “Working for myself not only provides me with much needed flexibility, but it also allows me to do exactly what I want to do when I want to do it. There are weeks when my family obligations require me to work less and there are others when I put in a lot more time and effort than I would have into a 9 to 5 job.”
She says the MOB impact on her business has been huge. “I found a supportive community and so many friends! I've been able to outsource several different services. I personally had difficulties with myself and got many referrals to my own neurofeedback services. We can't be great at everything and it's okay to ask or hire others to help us. We need each other for different stages of our personal and business lives and that's the power of the MOB,” she explains
Olga’s ideal referral are Moms who feel like she once did (burnt out, emotionally drained) and kids with trauma, learning disabilities, sleep issues, or behavior difficulties.
MOB Alliance members receive an enhanced session with energy work for no additional charge!
Connect with Olga and Beaverton Neurofeedback: