Ajona Olsen, MSN, APRN, ANP-C, is the medical director of Daytryp Health and Wellness in Phoenix. “Our core beliefs are structured around using psychedelics in an environment that holds medical safety at the highest standard and where ‘set, setting and psycho-spiritual integration’ are the pinnacle of our practice.” Learn about Ajona Olsen…
Hometown: I was born in Southern California and my family moved to Phoenix when I was 5 years old. I now live in Chandler.
First job: Waitress at Sugar Bowl in Old Town Scottsdale.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in AZ: Hiking in the Superstitions when the weather is nice and hosting parties at my house for friends and family.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: Going through IVF to have my first child. This was the most grueling thing I have ever done. It was a constant rollercoaster of emotions, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Similarly, I’m forever grateful that this treatment exists so I could become a mother. I knew, at the age of 4 years old, that I wanted to be a mother one day and it was devastating when I learned this would be a challenge for me. I have two beautiful children, and I feel so privileged to be their mother.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: Taking the big leap of faith when I left my corporate job that was “safe” in terms of having a steady paycheck and benefits (insurance coverage and 401K) to taking part in this “psychedelic revolution” and helping to develop Daytryp. Overcoming leaving something safe as per societal standards that I knew was so damaging for my system and joining a team of incredible people doing something so purposeful and yet still has a stigma around it but makes me feel alive and joyful everyday – even the challenging days.
Someone who inspires you and why: Recently, Richard Schwartz Ph.D., the founder of Internal Family Systems model of psychotherapy because it is non-pathologizing (does not reduce a client to their diagnosis) and seeks to understand and harmonize the mind and thereby the larger human systems. This particular modality seems to work intuitively with psychedelic medicines.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Acknowledge the wisdom in our Western Medical Model, acknowledge the wisdom in the indigenous cultures from all around the world, and learn to weave these wisdoms into your own practice.
Favorite quote: “The ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve” –Albert Schweitzer
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I have an irrational fear of bears.
What makes someone fabulous: A person with self-awareness who recognizes how flawed we all are and has love and compassion in their heart. Someone who does not pass judgement on others and instead seeks to understand what matters to them and why. A person who is always open to doing their own work.