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Meet Erin Clarelli of SUNRISE Therapies

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erin Clarelli.

Hi Erin, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start, maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
Ahh, getting here today… I truly believe that everything I’ve experienced and continue to experience is meant to be and is setting me up for exactly what I’m meant to do is this world. 

Fast forward three years later, I have, yet again, left a full-time secure job to create my own journey. This time around feels very different – in all the right ways. In the past three years, I’ve learned so much about the business side, and reading through my responses when starting yoga, I can remember how uncertain I was in the aspect of numbers and business. Since then, I’ve experienced a leadership role in the field of pediatric therapy that has taught me so many valuable skills to continue to strengthen me as a small business owner.

As the director of sensorimotor and communication therapies at a local pediatric autism clinic, I learned the ins and outs of our healthcare system and insurance, worked closely with parents and caregivers and learned how to manage a team and myself while experiencing a global pandemic together. I also learned more about me and how I want to impact this world and the neurodiverse communities. I continue to be fueled by the fire I mentioned three years ago – guiding children and young adults with varied abilities and their families in embracing their truest selves, experiencing the beautiful world we live in, and feeling confident while doing so.

After six years of living in San Diego and learning and growing as a pediatric occupational therapist, I am nowhere… owning an inclusion-focused pediatric therapy company, SUNRISE Therapies. 🙂

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Smooth is boring 😉 I mean, the fact that I am here three years later shows that no path is linear, but every path you chose by following your heart and gut is the right one. Bumps, cliffs, and sinkholes – still the right one. I do think it was hard for me to swallow my pride and push my ego aside to accept a full-time job when I stepped away from yoga a bit, but if I didn’t do that, I wouldn’t have the skills or confidence to now be creating SUNRISE Therapies.

Creating a corporation, setting up accounts, beginning the marketing all felt much more fun and exciting this time since it wasn’t my first rodeo. It is, however, my first time setting up a therapy business which requires different protections, online programs, and approaches to planning. I find myself going through bursts of motivation where all I want to do is be on my computer creating and days where I just want to disconnect and be with my fur babies and husband outdoors. Financially, that can be scary, but I choose to trust the process and know that when I keep a balance of both, I show up fully present and in the most optimal mindset for clients and families.

We’ve been impressed with SUNRISE Therapies, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
As a therapy business, I currently provide occupational therapy services through a lens of inclusion and generalization. I spend my time with individuals anywhere from six months old to adulthood and beyond. As an occupational therapist, my focus is supporting the day-to-day activities of those that are figuring out how to navigate our world as we know it. This may look like spending time in clients home working on cooking, cleaning, working out, or setting up spaces that feel calming. It may also look like spending time outdoors on hikes, running, riding bikes, learning new sports, paddle boarding, or at the beach – finding ways to experience all the beautiful and fulfilling activities we have access to here in San Diego. I am always open to hearing where individuals or families feel they could improve their lives and then working together to find ways to do exactly that. I have such passion in the areas of sensory processing, dyspraxia, neurology, motor disorders, and nature-based therapy.

I hope to one day expand to more disciplines that can provide varied lenses to approach inclusion and the generalization of skills from the clinic and school-based settings to home and the community; therapies such as speech, music, physical therapy. Maybe even one day newer and less spoken about therapies such as craniosacaral therapy or massage therapy. I know one day I will get there, at just the right time and pace, without losing integrity in the quality of care SUNRISE provides.

This integrity and quality is what is the most important foundational element of my process. I believe our larger “systems” do not always set hospitals, clinics, and public schools up with the resources or time for clinicians and professionals to really put in the thoughtfulness and energy to show up full-heartedly for those they are serving. SUNRISE Therapies will ALWAYS stand by individualized care, thoroughly thought out activities, and strong clinical judgment in every interaction.

I will also be providing mentorship to other professionals to share my passions in the above-mentioned areas, business, yoga and special needs, and navigating the world as a clinician, both new grads and seasoned clinicians – because if you’re an OT, you know we are ALWAYS learning and growing.

We love surprises, fun facts and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
I’m a pretty open book, so this is a hard one! Maybe the fact that I don’t plan to have children of my own. As someone who cares so deeply about the children and young adults I work with, most people think I would love to have kids. But that’s not the case. As a little girl, I always played teacher or nurse but rarely did I play “house” where I was the mom. I truly believe my purpose in this life is to positively impact as many children’s and families’ lives versus 1-2 of my own kids. My husband and I plan to have many fur babies and maybe even one day feather babies, haha. We love animals and, honestly all living things, so I have no doubt that our home life will continue to be filled will love and caring for each other and other living beings as we move through life.


  • Package pricing for comprehensive care starting @ $645/month; superbills available & HSA/FSA accepted

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