Somatic Psychology Wellness

Sunny Donaire MA, C.L.C. Somatic Life Coach

About Me

What you should know about me as a person and a coach/therapist

Hi my name is Sunny Donaire. I am a transgender male born and raised in Tupi South Cotabato, Mindanao, Philippines, where I earned a Midwifery degree in 1999. I Arrived here in America in 2001, graduated from the Skyline College's Respiratory Therapy Program in 2006, and went on to earn a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies and Masters in Psychological Studies, and trained in Somatic Psychotherapy from California Institute of Integral Studies in 2016.

How I become the person I am today

Courage, resilience and a willingness to keep moving forward are what made me who I am today. I have had hard experiences in life. I was bullied because I am different; was told I was not very smart and wouldn’t go far in school; and, for 13 years of my life, I was in pain because I could not be the real me. I wished my life would end tragically. I was not happy even though I “thought” I should act happy all the time. I was discriminated against by a teacher in grad school because my practice was different. However, I got through all that and, with the support of friends, some family, and a partner in my life that saw me just as I was, learned to get back up and keep striving. All those challenging experiences helped me learn and get stronger. There are times when I have wanted to give up but then, despite what others say and think, I tell myself that only I am in charge of my future.

Qualities that have supported me on my journey

My curiosity – about life and about future possibilities; my resilience; and my courage have all supported me on my journey. I believe that we need to be curious about the possibilities for our future because if we don’t do that, we’re giving up. There's always a better version of ourselves and we need to continue moving forward in order to discoverit. Every step is hard work, but we deserve to take our place in this world because we have worked hard. I do my best to always move forward and even though I have failed many times, I still persevere. I practice somatics and believe that because of the path I have walked, I can guide and walk with someone on the path they/he/she chooses.

My greatest strength

I am a good observer and listener and my work with somatics has enriched that gift. I read between the lines well and often understand what was not said. Body language helps me discover and understand the unknown and my patience is almost limitless though, believe me, I am firm when necessary. I find calmness in complicated situations, and am able to process complex circumstances.

I have changed since I was a child

Growing up, I was insecure and I deeply cared and believed what other people thought of me. I let them drive and define who I was. It wasn’t easy but now I understand that those experiences made me stronger, wiser, and more confident. I walk my path with dignity and integrity no matter what others may think of me. I have respect for everyone's hardship and am happy to see him/her/they be successful. I don't judge for I have learned that nothing good comes out of it!

My somatics journey

I started practicing somatics when I knew I couldn’t be who I was meant to be. I started reaching out to friends who I knew would support me on this journey. Back home in the Philippines, the word somatics is not popular and is rarely heard, unlike in the US. My friends and I practiced somatics by talking to each other almost every day. We hiked and talked; we were there for each other. One of our greatest needs is to be seen as human beings. We show affection by hugging and we also laugh out loud at our problems. Being in nature, being authentic and supporting ourselves and each other are some of the ways we practiced somatics. We Filipinos believe that laughter is medicine. Not that we are not serious about life and its problems, we just instinctively know that it is important to always be able to laugh at ourselves. Laughing helps us process our problems. We Filipinos would say "problem na nga! proproblemahin mo pa!pano mo ma solve kung aborido ka! ma buang ka lang!" This translates as: "It is what it is! How can you solve a problem if you’re too busy stressing about solving a problem? You are just going to lose your mind!” You see, we Filipinos do practice somatics even though some of us don't know that’s what it is called.

My decision to study Somatic Psychotherapy

One of the reasons why I wanted to become a therapist was because I accompanied someone who has mental health issues for ten years. Having that person in my life opened up a new chapter and a window that led me to become a better version of myself. That experience made my life full, made me believe in myself, that I am a special person, a person that can carry a lot and yet still have more to give. That window allows me to understand and be able to adapt and walk in two very different cultures and makes me want to understand other cultures. I remember my therapist telling me at the end of the first visit: “Your state of mind is amazing and how you view life, taking care of your body and mind, is outstanding. You are what we need in somatics practice; you can guide so many people just by being who you are.”

My somatics practice is different

I am different from other coaches/therapists because even though I might be consideredyoung, I have the heart of an old soul and I can walk with you wherever you want to go. I can talk privately within four corners of the room or outside in the world where everything can be healing. If you choose, I can guide you in meditation or different theories of somatics. And, if you are the type of person that needs less meditation and more action, you and I can garden, build something, walk in the park, or go for a hike. I can accompany you wherever you are comfortable until you are ready for me to walk along with you.

In closing, I believe that every experience, whether good or challenging, has a purpose in our lives. I am grateful for all the people that supported me and my success and also for those who judged me, discriminated against me and put me down. Without you all I would never have undertaken this journey and become the confident, positive, upbeat, hopeful person I am today. THANK YOU!

My Practice

Somatic Practice

Somatic methodology is a pathway to individual and collective transformation and integration , a holistic approach to creating healing shifts in embodied experience that nourish us over time and translate not only into new ways of being and perceiving, but into new depths of connection and empowered action.

Gender Identity

Gender Identity is the innermost concept of self as male, female, a blend of both, or neither , regardless of sex assigned at birth. Imposing rigid gender expectations on a baby can be damaging to the psycho-social development of the child from infancy to adulthood, restricting the degree to which they feel free to define, declare, and present gender as they experience it. Often erroneously discussed as a dysfunction, gender dysphoria may be experienced by anyone at any phase of life. Discarding the toxic messaging of socially-sanctioned, arbitrarily prescribed, gender norms in favor of authentic self-determination opens the way to harmonizing the inward and outward experience of gender, instead of suffering from dissonance between the two.

Multicultural Adaptation

Living in a new culture can be very confusing and difficult to process, especially when that culture is drastically different from your own. How does it feel not to be able to read street signs because they are written in an unfamiliar language? Or to have an outfit you are wearing deemed unacceptable by your peers? Building a strong foundational skillset with which to navigate the small and large, acute and persistent, stresses of cultural adaptation is not a quick and easy process. A person being introduced into a new culture may experience a variety of responses, including frustration at not being able to communicate and anger when confronted with cultural norms that seem to make no sense. For instance, in Filipino culture, burping after eating is a complement, while in certain other cultures it may be considered the opposite. These differences can be extremely uncomfortable! Cultural adaptation theory helps to contextualize and ground coaching work supporting you through these difficult emotions.


The confidentiality agreement helps keep an individual or business’s proprietary information confidential by preventing a recipient from disclosing such information to others.


The reason I would refer Sunny because he is first and foremost, compassionate. When speaking , feel free to talk about anything without feeling ashamed or feeling judged. I'm right at ease when we talk and I think that empathy is the most important quality for a life coach to have. It makes me feel safe and cared for. Anyone would be lucky to have Sunny as their life coach.- JG

Sunny’s sensitivity to his clients’ diverse needs, and skillfulness in supporting and co-creatively journeying with—rather than directing—them, allows clients to tap into the wellspring of their own internal resources while simultaneously acquiring new, transformational skills with which to overcome life challenges and achieve personal, professional, and relationship goals.- A.C.


Sunny is distinguished by his warmth of heart, generosity of spirit, non-binary view of life and individual experience, commitment to authenticity, multiculturalism, and to social justice-fighting racism, homophobia, trans-phobia, able-ism, and all forms of prejudice born of systemic oppression. Sunny is the real deal, with a wisdom born of transformed pain that you can't fake. His strength as a healer is deepened by a willingness to be vulnerable, his technical skills set balanced by a fearlessness to go with you to the heart of your deepest suffering, and then travel outward with you, at your own pace, and on your own terms, into a new expansiveness and celebration of life.- Hyejo K. Somaticdream

Services Offered

LGBTQ, Somatic Practice, Psychological studies, Multicultural Adaptation,

Gender Identity and Expression

All services offered in Tagolog & English

It is my privilege to accompany you in one-on-one on a journey to excavate and heal pain of body and mind, unlock potential, and build toward empowered, integrated embodiment.

Couples coaching creates a safe space in which to shine the light of awareness on unaddressed resentment, fear, and avoidance, clarify boundaries, needs and agreements, overcome painful patterns, build or rebuild trust, and co-create a vibrant new relationship vision.

Family coaching creates a safe space to bring old and new wounds out into the light to be healed, untangle misunderstanding, break down and release judgments, and bridge differences. Every family is unique. Some families are better suited to group sessions. In other cases, a single family member hiring a coach may be more appropriate and can still have a powerful ripple effect on all parties involved.


Or, if you prefer you can reach me by phone at:

(510) 289-0397