Sunny is a bilingual licensed clinical therapist at AIM: Advaita Integrated Medicine who offers purposeful and holistic counseling services for individuals, families, couples, and groups in both English and Spanish. Sunny provides an authentically safe space that supports individuals in their healing journey while facilitating processes for self-discovery, self-compassion, and self-advocacy. Keep reading to learn more about Sunny!
Could we get some brief biographical info from you? Hometown, previous experience, education, etc.?
I was born in Bristol, TN but only lived there for a year until my parents separated. I then moved to Greensboro, NC and lived with my grandparents and mom there through high school. I went to UNC Wilmington for undergrad in 2012-15 and then moved to Mazunte, Mexico for four years before beginning my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at UNC Greensboro in August 2019. I moved to Durham in 2020 at the start of COVID and have been here and loving it ever since!
Tell us something that others may find surprising or interesting!
I make really yummy homemade granola!
What made you want to work in this field?
I am passionate about journeying with people towards inner peace and find that companionship and presence is so important in this journey, which feels natural and inspiring for me to offer. I really love being a therapist!
What do you believe makes AIM stand out in its field, and why?
I believe AIM: Advaita Integrated Medicine is an organization directed by genuinely good people that truly strives to embody its goals and values.
What does your ideal day look like?
My ideal day would be waking up to blue skies and ocean waves. I’d wake up slowly, snuggle my girlfriend and our dogs, stretch or dance a bit, have some coffee and then head outside and spend most of the day enjoying nature. I would swim and play in the ocean, read and journal in the sun, have deep conversations with loved ones, and eat delicious foods.
Can you name one role model you have, and why that person has had such an impact?
Judy Pellarin, my first grade teacher, was a huge inspiration for me throughout my life. She showed me so much care and thoughtfulness which always meant a lot to me. I’ve tried to follow in her footsteps by living with a servant heart ever since!
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
To put more energy into listening than into speaking – this is something I try to remember every day and have found it to help my anxiety and all my relationships a lot.
What is is one thing you want our patients to know?
That you are worthy of self-compassion, you are doing your best, even if sometimes that’s hard to believe. If someone else had all of the same life circumstances, biology, and experiences you’ve had, they would be reacting to stressors in the same way you do. What you feel, think and do makes sense-you are not crazy and there is nothing wrong with you, you have learned to survive in the best way you can.
Favorite Food: Thai yellow curry
Hobbies: Yoga, meditation, dancing, writing poetry
Favorite sports team: UNC Women’s Basketball
Pets: I love both dogs and cats
Dream Vacation: Months to backpack through India and East Asia!
Favorite Book: Eastern Body, Western Mind by Anodea Judith, Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach, The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk, Letting Go by David Hawkins, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Phillip Sendker
Favorite Album:Stadium Arcadium – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Favorite podcasts: TED Talks Daily, Sounds True, Therapist Uncensored, The Embodiment Podcast, Sleep With Me
What you wanted to be as a kid: Veterinarian
Favorite thing to do in Raleigh or the Triangle: Hiking!
Want to know more about Sunny and the role she plays at AIM: Advaita Integrated Medicine? Check out her bio!