About Me

sharla_biopage

HI, I'm Sharla, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker providing therapy to women struggling with anxiety and depression in Florida. As an integrative practitioner, I use an integrated approach. That means I consider the whole person, body and mind.  I’ll help you by looking at the whole picture of YOU.

My Background
I’ve been a Social Worker for over 20 years, graduating from Florida State University with my first Masters degree. I practiced mostly in hospital settings or charity organizations while raising my three kids. Not only have I worked with extremely difficult and diverse diagnoses in mental health and medical settings, I have experience with ADHD, OCD, Narcissism, Bipolar Disorder, Giftedness, Anxiety, Depression, Schizophrenia, Chronic Illness, Alzheimer’s Disease and Autoimmune Diseases.  Today I focus on women with Anxiety and Depression who want to address changes in their mind, mood and body.

I volunteered extensively for over a decade with a huge variety of community organizations, from homelessness and food insecurity to multiple sclerosis and juvenile diabetes and everything in between - animal shelters, libraries, theaters, special needs, elderly meal programs, foster care, child development, and more.  I volunteered with a group of educated and successful mothers and daughters, and I saw how even the most affluent families struggle with mental health issues. I vowed that when I returned to my Social Work practice, I would work exclusively with women. I became a licensed therapist, as well as a certified coach.  I am currently working on my second Master's degree in Integrative Nutrition to address the "body" side of mental health.  I am constantly expanding my knowledge about women’s bodies and minds to help them live their happiest and fullest lives possible.  

You see, women are so much more intricately made. We have over 1000 extra genes than males, and we have over 50 complicated hormones. These tell our bodies what to do and how to feel. If they are “off” just a little bit, it can create a cascade of chaos, which often results in anxiety and depression. Our medical tests show everything is normal, but we intuitively know it is not. Women are unique and complex. We can “feel” when something is wrong within us.

We are more likely to experience IBS and other GI related disorders and have more autoimmunities and cognitive decline in old age. We struggle more often with anxiety and depression. How can our hormones NOT be connected? Treating a woman requires understanding of how a woman is different. I take a functional medicine approach to mental health considering the whole person. It is my goal to find and address your issues at the root cause whenever possible.

Only in the last decade have researchers truly understood how important the “gut” is to the “brain.” I have always been passionate about good nutrition, but it’s not all about food. The neurotransmitters made in the gut and taken to the brain are affected by sleep, stress, exercise, food, and so much more. Yet we don’t learn this in school, and our mother’s don’t know about it enough to teach it to us. Self care is critical for women, yet we tend to put everyone else first. I’ll teach you how to take the best care of YOU.

Awareness, understanding, empowerment, and growth are all words that describe my work with clients and the outcomes they experience.

It is my mission to bring integrated, holistic, functional medicine research into the mental health field and to teach women how to better serve their bodies for a lifetime of feeling better mentally.

Contact Me for a Free Consultation

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Serving all of Florida via Telehealth and In-Person in downtown Pensacola, Monday through Friday