Sharla Erbe

Sharla Erbe, LMSW, IMH-E-III

Sharla has been practicing in the field for 29 years, providing services to a wide variety of individuals and families with a wide variety of needs, including services to at-risk infants and young children and their caregivers. Many of these services were home-based programs offered through community mental health with collaboration from multiple community systems including preschool programs, pediatricians, Early-On, foster care providers, and public health nursing.

Treatment Philosophy and Focus
Sharla’s philosophy is to meet the client where they are at, with a client-centered approach in treatment. She is passionate about the therapeutic process and helping clients move from a place of struggle, insecurity, and pain to empowerment, strength, and satisfaction. Sharla believes we are masters of our own destiny, but often life circumstances throw boulders on our path, obstructing our movement. Therapy is a team effort. Together we collaborate and focus attention on identifying the obstacles on the path that are hindering forward motion and then applying tools necessary to remove barriers.

Education and Experience
Sharla received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Michigan State in 1986 and received her Masters of Social Work degree from MSU in 1987. She has worked in the infant mental health specialty field for over 27 years. She received her Infant Mental Health endorsement, level III, in 2009.

Specializations
Although infant mental health is her specialty, Sharla has worked with the families and caregivers of infants and young children who have had multiple issues including anxiety, depression, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and trauma. Infant mental health work is unique in that it works on the relationship dyad with the goal of interrupting anything that interferes with secure-based attachment and optimal parenting. This may be a miscarriage, unplanned pregnancy, unresolved past, loss and grief, postpartum depression, drug or alcohol abuse, domestic violence, mental illness, or a baby who has special needs. By providing therapy to the youngest and most vulnerable population, Sharla opens a window of opportunity to assist families to form and sustain secure-based attachments. Many adults have experienced disruption in their own attachment histories, encountering neglect, abuse, and trauma, affecting their current level of functioning such as posttraumatic stress disorder, dysregulation, anxiety, health problems, and relationship concerns. Sharla sees clients with the following concerns:

  • Attachment disorders
  • Adjustment disorders
  • Adoptions
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Cognitive restructuring
  • Depression
  • Developmental trauma
  • Grief and loss
  • LGBTQ
    • Coming out issues
    • Homophobia and internalized homophobia
    • Parenting concerns
    • Adoption issues
    • Gender identity
  • Mindfulness
  • Play therapy, non-directive and directive
  • Postpartum depression
  • Sand tray therapy