Heather Mcpherson, Ma, LPC-s, lmft-S, CST, AASECT CST
Southwest | Great Lakes | Golden Coast
Heather McPherson, MA, LPC-S, LMFT-S, CST is the CEO/Founder The Sexual Health Alliance and also maintains a private practice (respark.co) that serves Denver, Colorado, Austin, Texas and Boston, Massachusetts specializing in sexuality and relationships. 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 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 also is the Texas Section Leader for AASECT (American Association for Sexuality Educators, Counselors & Therapists). 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 erotic lives. Heather graduated from Texas State University with a MA in Marriage, Couple and Family Therapy; a CACREP Accredited Program.
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS:
NICOLETTA HEIDEGGER, MFT INTERN
GOLDEN COAST (LOS ANGELES)
As a published author, Nicoletta Heidegger, has contributed to columns, podcasts and blogs about sex and sexuality including the Stanford Daily, Sex Talks with my Mom, The Positive Results Corporation, Playboy Radio, Swingtowns, and Wine with Dr. Wendy Walsh. When she is not seeing clients, Nicoletta delivers information focused on the latest sex facts, education, and research via her podcast Sluts and Scholars, and her short and long form videos, “Staying On Top” on Instagram and YouTube. Nicoletta also serves on the board for the Compton Jr. Posse, a group that keeps troubled youth on horses and off the streets.
Nicoletta is a registered Marriage and Family Therapy Intern (#88163) practicing in Los Angeles. She works in Private Practice and sees clients at the non-profit Center for Individual and Family Counseling in North Hollywood. Nicoletta received her BA in Psychology from Stanford University and her MA in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University. Nicoletta is currently pursuing her Masters of Education in Human Sexuality from Widener University.
Director of Outreach:
Brenna Ansley is a graduate student at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX. She is enrolled in the Professional Counseling Program focusing in Marital, Couple & Family Counseling. During her undergraduate degree, she studied Psychology, Studio Art, and Multicultural Studies, taking a special interest in Feminist Politics, Queer Theory, and Human Sexuality. Brenna is the Director of Student Services for the Southwest Sexual Health Alliance under the guidance of its founders. She will serve as liaison connecting local universities with our mission of provocative dialogue and radical collaboration.
Sex Nerd Book Club Leader:
Jennifer McAdams, PhD
Jennifer McAdams, Ph.D., is the SSHA Sex Nerd Book Club Leader and a licensed psychologist with a private practice in Austin. She sees adult individuals and couples and specializes in working with interpersonal/romantic relationship difficulties, sexual concerns, and LGBTQ+ clients. She is in-network with BCBS PPO. Dr. McAdams works primarily from an interpersonal process approach, among other theories. She graduated from Texas Tech University with her Ph.D. in counseling psychology, an APA accredited program, and received her B.A. from The University of Texas at Austin in psychology and Plan II Honors.
sex nerd trivia director:
samar poorlakani, ma, lpc
Samar Poorlakani, MA, LPC, works in a private practice in South Austin. She is a sex-positive, kink, and poly knowledgeable therapist who works with individuals, couples, and families of all configurations. Sex-positive, to her, is about embracing sexuality with an emphasis on consent and safe sex. Samar hopes to create a safe and non-judgmental space for her clients to be able to discuss sex, their sexual identity, and sexual behaviors without shame and awkwardness. Outside of alternative sexual lifestyles, Samar also has experience with sexual health and dysfunctions, healing from infidelity, communication and conflict repair, and restoring intimacy.
Community Activity Manager:
Emily Bridge, MSSW, LCSW
Emily Bridge, MSSW, LCSW, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Board Approved Supervisor with a private practice in Austin, TX. She specializes in working with individuals and couples around relationship and sexuality issues, and with the LGBTQ+ community. Emily is passionate about helping clients in their coming out process, exploring sexual and relationship identity, and creating a sexually vital life. Emily also supervises Licensed Master Social Workers working towards full clinical licensure.
Alex Whitman is a psychology post-bacc student at St. Edward’s University and The University of Texas at Austin. She completed her Bachelor's degree at Emerson College. During her time there, she worked within the student LGBTQ+ alliance helping spearhead social, academic, and awareness functions for the community on issues relevant to queer culture. She also has several years of experience in TV development and special events coordinating. Alex has volunteered as a crisis counselor, sexual health advocate, and has a passion for provocative and honest dialogue about sexual health education. Currently, Alex works with foster care youth and is a Research Assistant within UT Austin’s Sexual Psychophysiology Lab running participants in sexual studies and providing research support. She hopes to pursue graduate education in psychology with a focus on sexuality. Alex’s other interests include her hairless cat, binging on movies at Alamo Drafthouse, and shopping for doomed house plants.
Director of Communications:
Katherine smith Mattioli, MA, LPC-Intern
Katherine Smith Mattioli, MA, is a LPC-Intern who works at the Center for Creative Resources in Houston, TX. She is currently working on advanced training in sex therapy from the University of Michigan’s Sexual Health Certificate Program. Katherine works with individuals, couples, and family of all relationship dynamics using an integrative process focusing on a sex-positive approach. She works with clients experiencing anxiety, depression, sexual trauma, communication issues, pre-marital counseling, gender identity, and intimacy issues.
President & Director:
Stefani Threadgill, MS, LMFT-Associate, LCDC
Stefani Threadgill is a sex therapist, couples therapist, and dating and relationship coach specializing in the sexual concerns and relationship issues of couples and individuals. Stefani is the owner and founder of Stefani Threadgill, PLLC and The Sex Therapy Institute and is the Director of the DFW Chapter of the Southwest Sexual Health Alliance alongside Beth Boatman. She sees patients at her office in The Shops at Legacy in Plano, TX. You can follow her on Sex With Stefani on NewsFix on KDAF The CW33.
Sandra Khalil is a graduate student at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. She studied Linguistics, Spanish Literature, and Arabic Literature for her bachelors at The University of Texas at Austin. Enrolled in the Masters in Counseling Program, she's pursuing both Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist licensure. Sandra is interested in working with underserved populations, including refugees, low-income areas, and military personnel. As Assistant Director of the Dallas Chapter, she's passionate about educating professionals and the general population about different topics in sexuality and sexual health. She hopes to help open the conversation and lessen the discomfort people feel when discussing their sexuality.
Director of Operations:
Southwest (San Antonio)
Alexis is currently studying with Dr. Melissa Jones of the Sexology Institute and Dr. Patti Britton of Sex Coach University. She wants to advocate for victims of sexual trauma and ensure that an individual’s sexuality is not shamed or unfairly judged by our legal system.
Director of Operations:
Abigail Hust, MSW, LISW-S
Great Lakes (Ohio)
Abigail Hust, MSW, LISW-S is a Clinical Social Worker practicing at Rutti Counseling in Columbus, OH. She has a history of treating children, adolescents, families and adults with a variety of concerns. Abigail is currently working on advanced training in sex therapy from The Institute of Sexual Health and Enlightenment. She has a background in maternal health issues, women’s issues and trauma. She has a strong interest in treatment of diverse individuals and couples experiencing a wide range of difficulties or concerns. .Abigail is committed to creating an inclusive and compassionate space to support individuals and couples in becoming their authentic selves free from stigma or shame. In addition to direct practice, Abigail seeks to spread awareness about sexual diversity and is dedicated to creating a sex positive culture.
Previous Southwest CO-founder: Dylan Davies, Austin, TX
Dylan played an integral role in our launch. We are thankful for her service and in her work in the Austin region. She continues to support The Sexual Health Alliance as we grow into other regions and we look forward to the possibility of her rejoining us in the future. She is now gaining her hours toward licensure and certification.