Sunny Singhawachna

RCC #20984

Sunny Singhawachna

Sunny Singhawachna is currently accepting new clients.

Sunny applies a person-centred approach, weaving existentialism, acceptance and commitment therapy, mindfulness approaches and feminist ideas with narrative therapy in their work. Their practice is very much trauma informed, and they integrate body and energy work, attachment focused therapy and internal family systems in their work with clients.

Sunny offers counselling in English, Thai, and Hindi/Punjabi.

Narrative
Relational
Anti-Oppression
Person-centred humanistic approaches
Existential Therapy
Internal Family Systems
Emotion Focused Therapy
DBT and mindfulness informed
Trauma Informed
Strength Based
Acceptance and Compassion Based

Sunny (she/they) is a Registered Clinical Counsellor and holds a masters degree in Counselling Psychology from Adler University. Their journey to  becoming a counsellor has been a life full of different experiences and identities. Amongst other things, Sunny is a daughter, an aunt, a business person and a social activist.  They have survived a toxic and abusive relationship, divorce, a “mid-life crisis”, grief and loss, and are currently parenting 2 nieces and are in the process of immigrating to Canada. Sunny identifies as a cis-gendered, queer female, born to grandparents of north Indian heritage, who fled the violence and survived the traumas of Indo-Paki partition in 1947 and settled in Thailand, which they now call their homeland. 

Sunny’s life experiences are shaped by impacts of intergenerational trauma, race-ethnicity marginalisation, and gender and sexual discrimination. This brings them to a deeper understanding of trauma, anxiety, grief, loss of identity and the impacts of uprooted-ness, immigration, oppression, and life transitions. Sunny sees therapy sessions as an adventurous journey into oneself to explore and understand the world we live in, communities we belong to and roles we perform.  As a relational and narrative therapist, they believe we can question and be curious about mainstream ideas, ideologies, and perspectives; while examining their roles in shaping our lives, beliefs, stories, and relationships. Problems and challenges are never viewed in isolation since we do not function in isolation. Problems are always contextual and relational, and Sunny uses their warmth, openness, humility, care and genuineness to support their client’s quest of discovering “their truth” and living life according to stories that work better for them.

Sunny’s informed consent form can be found here.

Sunny offers counselling services in English, Thai, and Punjabi.

What experience or background do you bring to your counselling and supervision practice that is uniquely yours?

The experience of conformity that comes from the need to feel loved, accepted and belong to my culture and community, but doing so with the expense of having to silence and hide my identity and way of being. And I think that is a challenge in any arena, whether it’s our gender or sexual identity, roles and rules tied to different identities, the way we think of our bodies, our race, our looks, and how we show up in our relationships. We live in a world where some ideas and ways of living are more welcoming and agreeable, and I am passionate about examining these dominant beliefs with my clients, and hopefully resisting and reclaiming spaces that are often marginalised and dismissed.

What is your favourite thing about working closely with people every day?

To have the opportunity to learn, to have the honour of being a witness to my client’s stories, and understand their experiences, are things that make my work so fulfilling for me. Working closely with folx, I have the opportunity to know more about languages, ideas and impressions that are held dearly but could be conflicting with their sense of being. I love the opportunity to be curious and to bring these conversations in the sessions, where we can dismantle these ideas and notions, and then either challenge them or support the ideas that affirm presence and state of being.

What is a personal challenge that you have overcome in your own life?

Belonging to a minority Sikh community and being queer, my biggest struggle is to be able to make space for acceptance of my gender and sexual identity in my family and my community which I value very much. This was and is still quite challenging, as minority orientations are often ridiculed, not accepted, and silenced. It has been a journey of perseverance and persistence, and I had to hold strong to my authenticity, be on my own side all along the way. Now I can use my experiences to create a space for folks who are also trying to find their voice and their place in this hetero-normative, supremacist, exploitative world.

What have you learned from your work?

I have learnt about resilience, about inner insight and wisdom. Most profoundly I’ve learned how a will to survive and a sense of actualization is present in each and every one of us, and that our struggles are mostly our learned ways of coping that would allow us to function and thrive. I feel like my work has taught me a lot about looking at myself and my fellow humans through the lens of understanding, recognizing that what we call sickness, addictions, disordered personality or diseased, are acts of resistance against the dominant, structural forces in our surrounding environment and culture. So this work gives me an opportunity to normalise my client’s rationalisations and strategies, acknowledge their efforts, and work together to explore and affirm the dignity of peoples and their communities.

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