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.


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


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


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
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
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 a boutique group therapy practice serving Austin Texas and Denver Colorado.

Specific information about our Denver private practice can be found at www.resparktherapy.com.

Heather McPherson

I 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.

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, University of Denver 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 in Seattle, WA, May 2019
Rebel Love by Dr. Chris Donaghue in Austin, TX, April 2019
Modern Sexuality with Dr. David Ley in Dallas, TX, April 2019
Sexual Attitude Reassessment - Private Training in Denver, CO, August 2019
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

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 (LPC).
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 Respark offices in San Marcos/Wimberly and South Austin.

respark associate vielca bilingual
Vielca McBride
Vielca is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).
Sexual struggles are more common than you think. If you are looking for a safe, comfortable and confidential environment, you are in the right place. I’ll put you at ease and you’ll find that working with me is a warm, comforting experience. Some of my areas of expertise are sexual pain, open/poly lifestyles, recovering from an affair, revitalizing sexual relationships, low libido, orgasm difficulties, sexual satisfaction and “porn/sex addiction”. Vielca also welcomes the LGBTQ+ and kink communities. Sexual vitality and pleasure are essential parts of being alive. Let’s add more play, intimacy and excitement to your life!

Vielca offers therapy in Spanish and English. She began her sexuality studies in 2001. She is a licensed counselor in both Costa Rica and the US. Her interest in mindfulness led her to become a yoga instructor, avid meditator and a Tantra practitioner. Her focus is holistic and relational.
Starting at $150 per hour.

respark associate zanna
Zanna Haney
Zanna is a Licensed Professional Counselor Intern.
Supervised by Heather McPherson, LPC-S, LMFT-S, CST

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 Sexual Health Alliance (SHA) and has begun her training toward a Certified Sex Therapist through Sexual Health Alliance.

respark associate brenna
Brenna Ansley
Brenna approaches each client from a non-judgmental stance while working to understand the clients’ unique worldview. There are many lenses that can be applied to deepen our understanding of ourselves and others and as a therapist she works to collaborate with the client to understand the influence of previous relationships and cultural images. She works from a feminist standpoint through Relational-Cultural Therapy. We grow through action in relationship with others including the therapeutic relationship and in relationships that are connected, authentic, have mutual empathy and mutual empowerment.

Her background is in art, psychology and gender/sexuality studies, specifically critiquing cultural representations of sexuality. Brenna is passionate about working with clients that are LGBTQ+, in more than monogamous relationships and practice alternative sexuality and lifestyles. She brings in-depth knowledge of kink and sees its potential to be positive, healing and spiritual. She sees consensual non-monogamy as a path of self-understanding and relational growth. She has both lived experience and professional training which have shaped her understanding of these topics. She believes in the healing power of pleasure.
An interview describing her therapeutic approach, interests and passions can be found here.

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.

respark associate dalton
Dalton Hill
Dalton is a Licensed Professional Counselor Intern supervised by Heather McPherson. His approach to therapy is through a narrative and story telling perspective, understanding that everyone experiences a journey through life at their own pace.
He works with individuals and couples to help them on the path to becoming their ideal selves. When people have concerns about their sexual experiences or self identity, these can lead to problems in all parts of life, ranging from communication to depression and anxiety and feelings of displacement.

Dalton has a passion for working through all of these with adults while focusing on past and present trauma, issues with identity and self expression and communication with partners. He welcomes the LGBTQ+ community, those that practice non-traditional relationships (polyamory in all its forms), and those in the kink community. Come experience a safe and welcoming place to explore who you are, who you want to be, and how to get there.

respark associate jamie
Jamie Mayo Buttry

Jamie is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Intern, a Licensed Clinical Dependency Counselor-Intern, and a Licensed Professional Mediator.
Jamie's bio, credentials and an interview describing her therapeutic approach, interests and passions can be found here.

respark associate katie
Katie Green
Katie is a Licensed Professional Counseling Intern who specializes in LGBTQ+ issues. She has enjoyed working with many transgender men on exploring and constructing their own masculine identity in particular.

Disability and sexuality is of particular interest to her, as are folks who practice alternative sexuality (i.e. kink). Katie is also passionate about helping partners achieve greater emotional and sexual intimacy by increasing communication and conflict resolution skills. In addition to sex therapy, Katie is also very interested in grief and end of life issues. She is a certified end of life doula, and would be honored to help clients navigate reclaiming their sexuality and vitality during or after a significant loss.
An interview describing her therapeutic approach, interests and passions can be found here.

respark associate natalie

Natalie Ekhlassi

Natalie is a Marriage and Family Therapy intern at Respark and am a sex positive therapist with an interest in both couples and individual therapy.
She's in the process of completing her Sex Therapy Certification through Sexual Health Alliance.
Natalie's bio, credentials and an interview describing her therapeutic approach, interests and passions can be found here.



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


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.


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 a boutique group therapy practice in Austin Texas and Denver Colorado.
Our Austin offices are conveniently located in North Central Austin and South Austin.

Respark North Central Office Building
1705 West Koenig Lane, Austin, TX 78756

Respark South Austin Office
2499 South Capital of Texas Highway, Austin, TX 78746
Building A, Suite 105

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