Due to COVID-19, Respark Foundation is offering all services remotely via teleconferencing platforms.
Respark Foundation

Our Team

Meet the staff, interns, and volunteers that make up our great team!

Amanda Jepson, LPC

(she/her) is one of the co-founders of Respark Foundation and provides both therapy services and supervision for the nonprofit. She also works as a Contract Clinical Therapist at the UCCS Veterans Health and Trauma Clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Amanda has been working with survivors of trauma for 10 years. Her prior experience includes a community-based nonprofit in Minneapolis, Minnesota that served survivors of sexual violence and as a Program Director with a Partial Hospitalization Program in Colorado Springs focused on providing crisis stabilization and trauma processing in a fast-paced, short-term setting. She utilizes a variety of eclectic interventions, including EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing), mindfulness, CPT (Cognitive Processing Therapy), Narrative Therapy and Motivational Interviewing to assist her adult clients. Her specific areas of experience include working with individual and couples who have mood and trauma spectrum disorder, experienced combat trauma, childhood physical or sexual abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, or vicarious trauma. Amanda also specializes in working from a sex-positive perspective to address sex, sexuality, and diverse gender issues, as well as empowering those reclaiming their identity in the aftermath of trauma. She is knowledgeable in and affirming of LGBTQ+ identification, polyamory and open relationships, and kink.

Heather McPherson, MA, LPC-S, LMFT-S, CST

is one of the co-founders of Respark Foundation, working as a supervisor for the nonprofit. She is the founder of a group practice (respark.co) that serves Denver, Colorado, Austin, Texas, and beyond specializing in Relationships. In 2015, Heather founded The Sexual Health Alliance, which provides much needed education and certification training programs to therapists, doctors and healthcare providers. She is published in Playboy Magazine as well as Playboy Online, and has been featured on CNN, Parent Harald and TeenSafe websites. Heather McPherson has lectured at prestigious Universities including University of Texas at Austin, Texas State University, University of Colorado and Governors State University in Chicago. She is an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Supervisor (LMFT-S) and a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor (LPC-S). She has appeared on several podcasts and was invited to speak at NerdNite in Austin on relationships and sexuality. Heather helps clients gain confidence, rebuild trust, increase playfulness, and find passion and meaning in their relationships. Heather graduated from Texas State University with an MA in Marriage, Couple and Family Therapy; a CACREP Accredited Program.


Malia Davis

works in our Denver office with individuals and couples that struggle with developmental trauma, complex relational trauma, empath/narcissistic abuse & healing trauma bonds, and navigating the world as a highly sensitive artist &/or creative. As an alternative to counseling in the office, Malia offers Walk & Talk therapy. 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.

Maddie Sheffer

Is an MFT trainee who provides a safe, inviting space for clients to explore aspects of themselves that can be challenging to address in day to day life. She is sex-positive and brings open and non-judgmental energy to sessions. She sees individuals and couples who wish to work on anxiety, depression, transitions, low self-esteem, gender, and sexual identity, as well as various relationship and sexuality issues. She especially enjoys working with clients who are new to therapy and those who are curious about themselves and the world. Maddie is skilled in working with clients who have experienced sexual harm trauma, identify as LGBTQIA+, those in non-traditional relationships (i.e. poly, open relationships, consensual nonmonogamy), and those who practice alternative sexuality. She also works with individuals who want to discuss fantasies, body image, fatphobia, sexual difficulties, gender roles, or other societal constraints.

Maddie moved from Austin, TX to pursue her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at the University of Southern California’s in Los Angeles, CA. Maddie leans toward Narrative therapy but also enjoys counseling using other Postmodern theoretical orientations. She is currently working towards fulfilling the requirements for Sex Therapy Certification through the Sexual Health Alliance (SHA), where she has served on the SHA team for 3 years. Maddie aims to create an empowering and non-judgemental space where clients can be authentically themselves.

She is passionate about contributing to creating a healthier, more sex-positive society through her work in and out of the therapy room. During her free time, she enjoys painting and spending time with her partner and their pet tortoise. She is supervised by Gwen Lottery, LMFT.

Brenna Ansley

is an LMFT Associate and LPC intern in Austin, TX who graduated from Texas State University with her Masters in Professional Counseling. She approaches each client from a non-judgmental stance while working to understand the clients’ unique worldview. Brenna is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and can utilize that to assist clients in processing. 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 relationships 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 from diverse backgrounds and brings in-depth knowledge of all orientations, gender and relationship structures.

Zakieh Alahmad, Trainee Therapist Supervised by Gwen Lottery LMFT

offers a radically accepting, non-judgemental, empathic approach to therapy. She believes that everyone can benefit from therapy, and no issue is too small or large to bring to a session. Zakieh is interested in working with individuals on a wide range of issues including sexuality, sexual harm, trauma, depression, anxiety, body image, and recovery from narcissistic/high control relationships (romantic or not) and groups. She is sex positive and enjoys working with individuals in the LGBTQIA+ community and individuals in nontraditional relationships (i.e. open, poly). Zakieh is fluent in American Sign Language and enjoys working with Deaf clients, CODAs (Children of Deaf Adults), and others related to the Deaf community. Zakieh is an MFT trainee currently earning her masters degree at the University of Southern California. She is passionate about existential and psychodynamic approaches and also incorporates Cognitive Behavioral and Solution-Focused approaches when appropriate. She is supervised by Gwen Lottery, LMFT.

Robyn Flores

is a Masters-level intern with the Texas A&M University-Commerce Clinical Mental Health Counseling program in north Dallas, TX, pursuing LPC and LMFT licensure. She is part of the Sexual Health Alliance Sex Therapy certification program. She provides a safe, non-judgmental space for clients to process their experiences and concerns. She believes that therapy is a place for collaboration, exploration, and growth and that taking the first step in reaching out for therapeutic assistance is a courageous and vulnerable step in the healing process. Robyn embraces a Humanistic, Person-Centered philosophy but also implements interventions such as mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques, and techniques from Narrative Therapy. In addition, she is certified in Eating Disorder Intuitive Therapy.

Robyn has been a co-presenter at the Texas Counseling Association’s Annual Conference, presenting on various types of partnerships and sex therapy has enjoyed guest lecturing for college courses and groups on sexual issues, body image, and families and recovery from substance use. Robyn has experience working with individuals, couples, and families who struggle with eating disorders, body image issues, low self-esteem, substance use, depression, anxiety, and sexual issues. She has a heart for those who find themselves at the intersection of body image issues and sexual concerns and works with clients to explore and regain sexual confidence and meaning in their sexuality and relationships. She enjoys collaborating with clients to challenge societal norms to transform narratives, empowering clients to use their voice for change. She is supervised by Heather McPherson, MA, LPC-S, LMFT-S, CST

During her free time, Robyn enjoys learning, spending time with her family, finding humor in life, and connecting with nature.