Robyn Kopriva always knew she wanted to do something meaningful with her life. She just couldn’t put her finger on exactly what that was. That was until she met with a counsellor and began neurofeedback. “My counsellor at the time was offering Neurofeedback, which I had never heard of. So I tried it out and it was amazing. A lightbulb went off inside my head and I knew this was something I could offer the community and it happened to fall within my scope of practice as a Registered Social Worker. I felt it was meant to be.”

Robyn successfully completed the certification course but that’s only half the process. “On my 30th birthday I figured it’s now or never and I ended up taking the leap on that day and I purchased my first system,” she says. “Seven or eight months later I opened Great Lakes Neurofeedback in Sarnia.” Robyn started seeing clients in January of 2020 and was seeing 15-20 clients a week on top of doing her full-time job.

So, what exactly is Neurofeedback? “A lot of people have heard of biofeedback, so I say it is biofeedback for the brain,” Robyn says. “It’s a tool that teaches your brain self-regulation. A metaphor that people find very helpful is that neurofeedback is much like holding a mirror up to your brain so that it can observe its functioning for the first time and adjust and adapt where it sees fit." The Neurofeedback system uses real-time EEG sensors to detect inconsistencies and sudden changes in electrical activity that may be preventing optimal brain function. "Our body naturally wants to move towards efficiency and stability so when it has the opportunity to observe its functioning, it can move and make those shifts. So naturally, the brain and central nervous system use the information to learn and move towards optimization.”

Getting started meant having to purchase the system which costs $16,000. “The system is a tablet that has an amplifier that is a bit larger than a cellphone,” Robyn says. The system listens to brain activity through the five wires that are attached to their head. “The activity then goes through the amplifier and back to the brain in milliseconds to get real-time feedback.” Robyn, 32, shares an office with other health professionals and says her lofty goal is to get Neurofeedback into the hands of everyone in Southwestern Ontario.

In December 2021 Robyn, 32, moved her practice into Point Edward and is opening a Wellness Collective. She is now offering neurofeedback full-time. She’s added neurofeedback home rental systems as well as counseling services to her practice. She hopes to continue building an incredible team of therapists to offer affordable counseling. “Having worked in mental health for almost 10 years, I always considered myself a paradigm shifter in wanting to change the status quo,” Robyn says. “Today we often talk about taking care of the body, but let's not forget about our brain. It is connected to every part of the body system and if we can have a better functioning, more optimal brain, life can be easier.”

Robyn takes great pleasure in helping others. “The most rewarding part is helping people who feel stuck,” she says. “It could be somebody’s missing puzzle piece to their wellness, it was for me. It is a non-invasive, natural, non-pharmaceutical option. It is gentle and empowers people’s brains to work more effectively and efficiently.”