Hello and welcome to my new blog page! My name is Michelle Scharlop and I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Plantation, Florida. Since this is my first blog post, I decided to write an introduction about me as a therapist. My hope is that this blog will aid in helping you get comfortable with who I am and my style of therapy.

What are my qualifications?

I earned a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University (2004), a Certificate in Elementary Education from Florida International University (1989) and Bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida (1987). I have been a practicing clinician for nine years, owning my own private practice for six years. I have also taught for eighteen years as an elementary education teacher in Broward County Schools. In addition to my education and job experience, I take an active role in both professional as well as community service organizations. I am a clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), a clinical member of the Florida Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (FAMFT) and a board member/volunteer for the Broward Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (BAMFT). Additionally, I co-chair a Women’s Networking Group in Plantation. I am also a member of the Sunrise Business Club and the Plantation Jr. Women’s Club. Lastly, I am an approved Pre-Marital Course Provider for Broward County.

What is my approach to counseling?

My approach to counseling is based on the Solution Focused Therapy Model. This model focuses on the present and preferred future. Together we will devise specific, attainable goals and develop strategies to reach them. We will figure out what works and how can we do more of that. This method of counseling is inviting, motivating, and validating. I enjoy working with anyone who wants to make positive changes in their lives thus creating a happier future. I have experience working with individuals, couples, families and I can build a rapport with people of all ages. I work collaboratively with my clients to utilize their strengths to cope with their current situations and meet their needs. I will help facilitate change by listening to everyone in the therapy room and gaining an understanding of all perspectives. I take pride in knowing that in my therapy room, ALL voices are heard. We will have meaningful conversations that restore broken connections and rebuild communication.

What can you expect if you become a client?

As my client, you will feel supported, empowered and capable. I believe, “We can not change the past, but we can learn from it and let it guide us to change our present and future.” My innovative approach is positive and encouraging, compassionate and respectful, warm with a gentle sense of humor. In a safe, confidential, nonjudgmental environment we can uncover and reshape unhealthy patterns. Together we can embark on an empowering journey to find a happier you. I believe, “YOU are the expert in your life and with my knowledge of the therapeutic process, we can co-create and find the solutions that you are seeking.” As my client, I will assist you in making positive changes that will bring clarity, balance and joy back into your life.

What type of clients do I see?

I offer services to individuals, couples and families struggling with a variety of life’s challenges, including relationship/communication issues, dating, infertility, parenting, life’s transitions (divorce, blended families, moving to a new place, job-related struggles, care-giving, empty nest, and menopause), self esteem and stress management. I will provide you with the tools to rekindle that spark in a relationship, communicate better with a loved one, create healthy boundaries as an adult child in a parent/child relationship, reduce and manage your stress, just to name a few.

I also host two therapy groups…

  1. Stress Management Group
    The purpose of the group is to learn how to develop effective coping mechanisms for handling stress resulting in promoting inner peace and harmony. It is an opportunity to connect to others who are going through similar experiences.
  2. Social Activities for Intelligent Living Program (S.A.I.L.)
    This program is designed to enhance both the acquisition and production of social skills for children. Each group consists of four to five youngsters arranged by age and grade level. This format allows for modeling, practice and feedback and simulates real-world social interactions.

I invite you to explore the rest of my website to learn more about how I can help you overcome a challenge in your life and give you the tools to enjoy life. Please contact me if you feel that you will benefit from individual, couples, family and/or group therapy.

I look forward to assisting you on a journey towards a happier you. Thank you for taking the time to read my introduction. I will be updating this blog frequently with helpful hints to enhance YOUR life. Please take a moment to add a comment, like me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

Your Relationship Expert,