Olha Samborska was born into a family of former residents of the village of Skorodne in the Nizhne-Ustrytske district (former Ukraine, now Poland). Her parents, along with thousands of other natives of the Syan River basin and the amazing Beskyd mountains, were forcibly deported in 1951 by the Soviet military to the south of Ukraine, to the Mykolaiv region, to the town of Kryve Ozero, where Olha was born. The Beskyd became her second homeland, because her family lived with the memories of that place. Raised in an environment of exquisite displaced culture, at a young age she felt blessed to be born among the conscious highlanders, who were aware of their identity. Rich in rituals and traditions, the culture, deep wisdom and spiritual resilience of her fellow countrymen have amazed her since childhood. However, in the midst of all this, the trauma of resettlement loomed large.
When she set out on her own, she began to study the history of resettlement, which was silenced at the time. After graduating from the Department of Genetics at the Taras Shevchenko State University of Kyiv, Ukraine, she started her doctor’s thesis in graduate school at the Institute of Cell Biology and Genetic Engineering. However, the voice of her parents’ lonely homeland outside of Ukraine lured her to distant lands. In the 1990s, she traveled to Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, where she discovered similarities between the dialect spoken by her parents and mocked by locals in southern Ukraine, and Slovak, Czech, and Polish. So she felt at home both in Ukraine and abroad. Research on this story was brought her in 2000 to Berlin, Germany.
Olha conducts research in psychology, epigenetics, hypnotherapy, and transgenerational traumatology. The aim of the research is to establish the connection to the trauma of the highlander being evicted from their homeland and proceed with its development in the next generations. The ultimate goal is to open a trauma center for the rehabilitation of victims of various types of trauma (parental displacement, war, domestic violence, and relationship trauma) located in Ukraine.
Currently, Olha helps Ukrainian refugees to cope with the trauma of war using the Rick Hanson HEAL method. In particular, she works as a teacher of a graduate school for a class of Ukrainian students. She shares her experience and research on her blog www.olhasamborska.de