Welcome to Respark




Founded by Heather McPherson, LPC-S, LMFT-S, AASECT Certified Sex Therapist
Respark is a confidential, all-inclusive, sex-positive couples and psychotherapy practice serving Austin and Denver

About Respark

If you're struggling with your relationships, sexuality or life transitions, we can help. As the founder of Respark, Heather McPherson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Supervisor (LMFT-S), a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor (LPC-S) and an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist. Respark has several associates that provide high quality sex therapy, couples therapy and individual counseling.

Our clients typically have concerns related to communication, relationship conflicts, career or transition issues, desire discrepancy, sexual orientation, sexual dysfunction or dissatisfaction, polyamorous/open relationships, "sex addiction" or problematic sexual behaviors, infidelity or affairs, sexless marriages and trauma.

Together, we help you gain confidence, rebuild trust, increase playfulness, and find passion and meaning in relationships and your life. Individuals, couples, partnerships and marriages are all welcome; as Respark was founded upon creating a confidential and safe environment that is accepting and inclusive of all orientations, lifestyles, beliefs and relationship practices.

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Couples Therapy

Do you want to be more connected to your partner? Are you tired of fighting or feeling stuck? We have experience helping individuals and couples improve their intimacy, strengthen communication skills, and enhance their partnership. As an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist, I have the unique ability to integrate multiple specialized trainings into therapy. Together we can resolve conflicts and light the fire by learning practical tools that will stick.

If you are on the quest for erotic vitality, missing the connection and playfulness with your partner or simply wanting to regain your lust for life, Respark can help.

Contact us with the inquiry form below or email resparktherapy@gmail.com

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Sex Therapy

One of my joys in this work is helping couples decode their sex life. Sexuality is often wrapped up in past generational messages, politics and religion.I encourage and support you as we tease apart the messages we have all received from numerous sources and work towards having the sex you want. As an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist, we will work toward improving intimacy, strengthening communication skills, and communicating your desires. Being able to express your desires while also understanding your partner's sexuality and wishes can be transcendent.

Topics include:
-Increasing intimacy, passion or romance
-Desire discrepancy (one partner wanting more sex)
-Trauma: past or present
-Couples who want to explore inhibitions
-Increasing communication in and out of the bedroom
-Guilt, anxiety and/or difficulty with arousal or relaxing
-Exploration around sexual orientation or gender identity

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Additional Services

Clients tell us we're friendly, down to earth and approach therapy in a collaborative manner. We offer a holistic, gentle yet direct, and tailored approach that includes well-researched theories with a relational foundation. Respark utilizes proven strategies and techniques including: Post Modern Theories like Narrative, Solution Focused, Sex Positive Coaching, Gottman Method, Mindfulness and other interventions tailored to your unique needs. Together, we will learn new techniques, assign at-home exercises, reading assignments, conduct in-session guided exercises and other activities that make therapy fun and productive. We'll work together to form an approach that will be tailored to your goals. Leading researchers, including John Gottman, David Schnarch, Esther Perel, Brené Brown, Tammy Nelson and Marty Klein influence our therapeutic work with couples and individuals. Together we can resolve conflicts and light the fire by learning practical tools that will stick.

Couples and Marriage Therapy
Because we have an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist and Licensed Supervisor on staff, as well as several Austin Therapists that are Sex Positive, obtaining their Sex Therapy Certification Training and Marriage, Couple and Family Therapist training, we have the unique ability to integrate multiple specialized trainings into therapy.

Couples and Marriage Therapy Issues Include:
Life and Career Transitions
Infidelity/Affair
Sexuality, Intimacy and Passion
Emotional or Sexual Abuse
Intergenerational Issues
Communication and Skill Building
Money and Finances
Blended Families or More Than Two Parents
Trust Building

Sex Therapy
Are you desiring more excitement, passion or peace in your life? Would you like to work individually on your relationships? We enjoy working individually with those that want to explore their sexual development or relational attitudes and how it is impacting their current love life.

If you are on the quest for erotic vitality, missing the connection and playfulness with your partner or simply wanting to regain your lust for life, Respark can help.

Sex Therapy Issues:
No-Sex/Low-Sex Relationships
Orgasm Difficulty
Trauma
Erectile Difficulties
Gender Variant Issues
Sex Education
"Porn Addiction"
Painful Intercourse
"Sex Addiction"/Out of Control Sexual Behavior
Non-Monogamy/Open Relationships

Our Details

Respark Therapy is excited to serve Austin Texas and Denver Colorado.

Specific information about our Denver private practice can be found by clicking here.

Heather McPherson


We believe real-life experiences deeply influences our work as a therapist. Heather has explored and played in 15+ countries and counting, which has provided her with valuable experiences and knowledge. She has also endured the high pressures of the corporate world, cross-country moves, anxiety over layoffs, exploration of sexuality, struggling to keep intimacy alive in a long term relationship, and career changes, which all contribute greatly to her ability to relate to others. After receiving her B.A. in Business from Texas State University, Heather worked as a Sales Supervisor for Wyndham Worldwide and later moved to southern California and worked in the marketing and advertising industry. After a career change, Heather received her Master’s degree and furthered her training in couples and sex therapy. Heather has been in a committed relationship since the summer of 2000 and has been married to her lovely husband since 2006. She is lucky to be able to be in both Denver, Colorado and Austin, Texas and enjoy reading, skiing, traveling and other adventures with her husband and 2 Dachshunds. She is incredibly thankful and grateful to her life partner and husband for being supportive and willing to accompany her on this great journey.

Heather is Founder and CEO of the Sexual Health Alliance. The organization brings much-needed continuing education about sexuality to mental health professionals, doctors, and the public. For more information visit www.sexualhealthalliance.com.

Fees
Individual therapy session (50 minutes): $175
Couples/Family therapy session (50 minutes): $200
Respark Associates have fees ranging from $45-150 per hour. Check out Respark's Associates below.

Speaking Engagements and Media
Heather has been a guest lecturer at several universities, including The University of Texas at Austin, Texas State University and others.
Keynote Speaker for the 2019 Annual Conference for the Colorado Counseling Association in Denver
Featured Speaker at Nerd Nite #189 in Austin. Check out the video here
Undressing the Spirit podcast. Check out the video here
Published in December 2016 Playboy article
Published in California Association of Marriage and Family Therapy "CAMFT" article
Co-facilitated Thunder in the Mountains with Neil Cannon, PhD in July 2016
Presented at Austin Chapter of the Association for Marriage & Family Therapy on Ethical Non-Monogamy
Presented at Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Issues in Counseling Annual Conference on 'LGBTQ Ethical Non-Monogamy'
'Issues for Your Tissues' Podcast Interview

Conferences organized by Heather McPherson, LPC-S, LMFT-S, CST with her organization, Sexual Health Alliance
The Science of Fantasy and Desire with Dr. Justin Lehmiller and Midori in Denver, Colorado, November, 2018
Somatic Sex Therapy with Dr. Chris Donaghue, October 2018
Monogamish: 31 Flavors of Ethical Non-Monogamy with Dr. David Ley & Dr. Elizabeth Sheff - March 2018
The Sweet Spot: Advanced Skills in Pleasure with Charlie Glickman – November 2017
The Tantra Informed Practitioner with Dr. Sally Valentine – May 2017
Consultation Group w/ Doug Braun-Harvey on Sexual Health and OCSB (Out-of-Control Sexual Behavior) – January 2017
Cutting Edges of Alternative Sexualities in Therapy with Dr. Richard Sprott & Dr. Anna Randall – December 2016
Sex Outside the Lines: Liberating Sex from Culture, Psychology and Normativity w. Dr. Chris Donaghue - October 2016
12-Hour Sexual Attitude Reassessment for AASECT Certification w/ Dr. Sara Nasserzadeh – August 2016
Come As You Are: Secrets from the Science of Female Sexuality w/ Emily Nagoski – May 2016
Sexual Intelligence: Innovative Approaches to Sexual “Function” & Satisfaction with Dr. Marty Klein – February 2016
Porn: What You Need to Know with Dr. David Ley: December 2015
Awesome Anal Sex Workshop w/ Charlie Glickman – November 2017
Private consultation groups with Dr. Marty Klein and Dr. David Ley
Private consultation groups with Dr. Neil Cannon and Douglas Braun-Harvey

Workshops and Trainings
Annual AASECT 3-day Sex Therapy Conference, Denver, CO - June 2018
AASECT Annual Conference, Las Vegas, NV - June 2017
AASECT Annual Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico – June 2016
AASECT Annual Conference in Minneapolis, MN: June 2015
Contemporary Relationships 2-Day Conference in Austin, TX: May 2015
When Your Man Wants Sex w/ Other Men & He’s Straight! Say What?! With Derek Leighton: January 2015
Working with Transgender clients, May 30, 2015
Exploring the Triple Flame: Attachment, Intimacy & Sexuality with Esther Perel: November 2014
Volunteer Domestic Violence Training at National Domestic Violence Hotline: January – March 2012
Gottman Couples Therapy Level One Professional Training with Dr. Vagdevi Meunier: 2010
American Counseling Association Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA, March 2010

Education
Master of Arts, Professional Counseling with emphasis in Marriage, Couple & Family Therapy at Texas State University-San Marcos
CACREP Accredited Program | Graduated Summa Cum Laude
AASECT Certified Sex Therapist
Level One Certified in Non-Monogamous and Polyamorous Relationships through Sexual Health Alliance
The Gottman Relationship Institute | Level One Certification
Bachelor of Business Administration, Marketing at Texas State University-San Marcos | Graduated Cum Laude

Respark Associates


respark associate jessica
Jessica Congdon
Jessica is a Licensed Professional Counselor Intern.
Her approach to psychotherapy is rooted in assisted self study to unfold the unique ways you are attached and organized around your experience. She works with women and men who struggle from feelings of "out of control" sexual behaviors to desire issues. She has experience working with adults who have a history of childhood abuse/neglect and helps them understand how this impacts their ability to have meaningful and nourishing sexual experiences. Jessica has been formally trained and mentored in trauma informed therapies, helping clients to overcome their somatic symptoms and mental distress caused from negative childhood experiences.
She welcomes all gender and sexual diversities.
She sees clients out of the Respark offices in San Marcos/Wimberly and Austin.

respark associate emily
Emily Forsythe
Emily is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).
You've made it this far: you've decided to work on having the kind of life and relationships you always thought you would. Clients who've collaborated with me have built more self-confidence, developed tools to deal with complicated histories, established boundaries within toxic relationships and grown happy with being themselves.
Within months, folks finally invest in who they are, and the results can change lives. In 8-16 weeks, that person in your mirror could be closer to the best version of you.

Connection and intimacy is easy to shove to the side when life is busy, and sometimes, picking that part of your relationship back up can be tricky, especially f you feel like your 'normal' doesn't look like most people's. Clients who participate in non-mainstream lifestyle dynamics, who identify as LGB or trans; clients who have struggled with issues of 'fitting in', gamers, and folks who identify as black sheep often find I'm a good fit.
She practices at the Respark offices in Austin and Lakeway.
$100 individual rate, $140 for couples
Click to Schedule an Appointment online
Sliding scale available on a limited basis.

respark associate kara
Kara Nassour
Kara is a Licensed Professional Counselor Intern.
She uses an identity-affirming approach to therapy that explores the strengths people have within themselves, not just their issues. With these strengths clients can develop their own ways of handling problems, gain a fuller understanding of themselves, and pursue lives that are more true to their needs and values.

Kara specializes in working with people on the asexual and aromantic spectrums, transgender people and other LGBTQ+ identities, as well as grief, loss, anxiety and depression. She has experience working with individuals, groups, adults and adolescents. She welcomes people of all backgrounds.
She practices at the Respark Austin office.
Rates from $80 to $100 per clinical hour.
Sliding scale to $60 available on a limited basis.

respark associate zanna
Zanna Haney
Zanna understands that taking the step to begin therapy is a brave and powerful moment. Therefore, she works to provide a safe space for her clients to explore their current and past struggles. She works from a client-centered and strength-based approach to help empower her clients. She practices integrative psychotherapy, incorporating a variety of interventions including mindfulness techniques, narrative therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, mind/body connection, sex positive therapy, and existential therapy. She works collaboratively with clients to help them understand themselves on a deeper level and help identify the thoughts and beliefs that create their experience. Together, she and the client will address the thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors that no longer serve them.

She works with individuals and couples that struggle with anxiety, depression, transitions, low self-esteem, perfectionism, gender and sexuality identity, as well as various relationship issues. She brings experience working with clients that have experienced trauma, people that identify as LGBTQ+, as well as those in non-traditional relationships (i.e: polyamory, open relationships) and those whom practice alternative sexuality (i.e: kink).

Zanna has attended many of the sex therapy trainings through the Southwest Sexual Health Alliance (SSHA) and has begun her training toward a Certified Sex Therapist through Sexual Health Alliance.

respark associate patricia
Patricia Black
Patricia is a Marriage and Family Therapy intern at Respark and offers a sliding scale $45-65/hour for sex therapy and couples therapy. Patricia is also currently acquiring her Sex Therapy Certification through the Southwest Sexual Health Alliance She has experience in mental health, couple intimacy, family dynamics, trauma, and welcomes all individuals (such as LGBTQ+), all types of relationships (both monogamous and polyamorous) and all sexual preferences. She is a passionate, resourceful, and empathetic believer in strong connections, effective communication, and fulfilling intimate relationships. She is using a Sex Positive and Solution-Focused approach: “We all have the strengths to create satisfying intimate relationships, as long as we eliminate the elements of fear, shame, and judgment from our lives”.

respark associate sara
Sara Sloan
Sara is a Marriage & Family Therapist Intern and Sex Positive Therapist with a sliding scale of $45-65/hour. Her interests include working with couples, families, and individuals who are seeking help with their relationships. Issues that interest her include helping clients work through identity and relationship conflicts such as those stemming from personal and/or cultural differences, a loss of physical and/or emotional intimacy, infidelity, sexual incompatibilities, medical difficulties and disability, chronic pain, miscarriage, infertility, sexual complications, religious issues regarding sexuality and identity, as well as other gender/identity issues. She also works with couples going through major life transitions, whether it be a new marriage, a recent divorce, the death of a parent, the birth of a new baby, or becoming empty nesters. She is open and familiar with many nontraditional relationship styles and is currently workings towards her Sex Therapist Certification with the Sexual Health Alliance.

respark associate james
James Boyda
James is a counselor intern at Respark Therapy, currently completing his Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Northwestern University. He collaborates with people to have honest conversations about intimacy and relationships and lead healthy sex lives. He works with sexual performance issues, chronic pain, LGBTQ+ issues, and alternative relationship styles.
In addition, James is training in the Biopsychosocial Pain Management program, sponsored by the National Institute of Health (NIH).
He also brings prior experience as a university lecturer at the USC School of Cinematic Arts where he taught classes on film, gender, and sexuality.
He welcomes people of all backgrounds and orientations.

respark associate malia
Malia Scott
Malia works with individuals and couples that struggle with anxiety, depression, phobias, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), body dysmorphia, confrontation challenges, communication challenges, women’s issues, pelvic pain, painful sex, struggles for partners with painful sex, sexless marriages/partnerships, desire discrepancy, arousal/orgasm issues/erectile dysfunction, “porn addiction”, “sex addiction”/out of control sexual behavior, erotic exploration, life and career transitions, low self-esteem, anger management, grief & loss, childhood wounds, relationship issues, money & finance issues, non-traditional relationships, alternative sexuality (i.e.: fetish/kink), pre-marital challenges, newlywed challenges, infidelity, divorce/break-ups, developmental trauma, complex relational trauma, empath/narcissistic abuse & healing trauma bonds, college/graduate school challenges, and navigating the world as a highly sensitive artist &/or creative.

As an alternative to counseling in the office, Malia offers Walk & Talk therapy at Zilker Park. Walk & Talk therapy can be a more relaxed environment than the counseling office. It is also a great way to jump start or support your fitness routine. Walking while sharing your struggles and life situations can also be meditative. It helps you get moving forward. Research consistently shows that exercise can significantly impact anxiety, depression, and stress while improving overall mood. Walk & Talk therapy is good for clients going through life transition, anxiety, depression, loss & grief. Malia brings experience teaching yoga + meditation for over 20 years and working with clients that have experienced various traumas. In addition she brings experience of navigating the challenges of long-term relationships, business partnerships, and treating PTSD from multiple car accidents and relational trauma.

Malia has attended sex therapy trainings through the Southwest Sexual Health Alliance (SSHA) and is in the process of completing her Sex Therapy certification through Sexual Health Alliance to become a Certified Sex Therapist.

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Polyamory+

Sex-positive Therapy. Affirming Therapy for Austin and Denver. For those that consider themselves non-traditional, or living outside the lines, we welcome you to Respark. We are experienced and knowledgeable of all expressions of sexuality including: Open Relationships, Polyamory, Swingers, Kink or BDSM, LGBTQQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual).

We offer trainings to therapists to help them become more kink friendly or poly friendly as well through Sexual Health Alliance. We are certified in Non-monogamy and Polyamory and have organized trainings from the world experts on all these issues.

Alternative sexuality might not be the sole focus of therapy, but you still want a knowledgeable therapist. Expertise includes:
-Difficulty discussing sexual topics with your partner
-Family of Origin issues including abuse, neglect, trauma
-Shame or confidence issues
-Identity questions or sexual development exploration

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Supervision & Consultation

Heather offers clinical supervision to post-graduates obtaining their hours toward full licensure. She is looking for those that are interested in learning more about sex-positive affirming therapy, couple’s therapy as well as non- traditional relationship structures. Supervisees will meet weekly with Heather for individual or group supervision to consult on cases, learn applicable clinical skills and private practice development. Heather has a passion for helping entrepreneurs launch their business and this intention flows seamlessly into helping interns run the small business of being in private practice. Please email resumes and letter of interest to resparktherapy@gmail.com

Heather also offers clinical consultation to fully licensed professionals looking to grow their knowledge in general sexual health issues and alternative relationships and sexuality. This consultation group meets bi-weekly (Monday’s, 12:30pm- 2:10pm) to consult on cases, learn sex-positive therapy skills and private practice development.

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Start Today.

Please complete the Client Inquiry Form below to contact our excellent team.

It's important that you are comfortable and connect with your therapist.
Contact our team as there's not much we haven't heard about relationships and sexuality.

Respark is an independent therapy practice in Austin Texas and Denver Colorado.
Our Austin office is conveniently located in central Austin off Mopac at 2525 Wallingwood Drive, Building 12, Austin, TX 78746.
The most direct access to our building is off the northbound Mopac access road. Turn down Spyglass and enter at the 1201 Spyglass sign. We're straight ahead.

For information on couples and sex therapy in Denver, click here.

ResparkTherapy@gmail.com
512.553.6310