Practice Philosophy

Therapy is all about co-creating an environment that prioritizes safety and authenticity, so that you can talk as freely as possible about what maybe concerning you. When it comes to relationship therapy (i.e. couples, family, and group therapy), often times, you maybe also striving to take other people’s feelings and reactions less personally. With these aims in mind, you are primed to learn far more about yourself, your frustrations, impulses, fears, etc., to help get to the root of your problems.

Couples Counseling

Most couples come in wanting better communication and to feel more understood. My expertise is primarily working through the Imago Relationship Therapy model, which helps couples dialogue more freely about their struggles and conflicts, as well as identify connections between past frustrations and anxieties and the responses they create. A valuable effect of this is that partners will take each other’s reactions less personally, which is relieving to the couple because it expands their capacity for authenticity, allowing them to be more empathic to their partners, ultimately enhancing intimacy.

Even when couples experience ongoing conflict or frustration, Imago Relationship Therapy offers us the idea that “conflict is growth trying to happen,” and with the right conditions established (mainly a sense of trust and safety), couples can explore and enhance their interpersonal skills to find new ways of relating to one another. This is especially useful when talking about more difficult topics, like addictions, finances, parenting styles, and past traumas.

Not a couple? You don’t need to be for this to work!

The great thing about Imago Relationship Therapy is that it works for all relationships, including those who are not romantically involved. This is great for people who are in open relationships, family relationships (siblings, nuclear family, in-laws), friends, bandmates, co-workers, really anyone.

Some other components of Imago Relationship Therapy are:

  • Resolving conflicts constructively
  • Working through impasses
  • Helping people feel safe to express and communicate their vulnerabilities to one another
  • Honoring emotional defenses and learning how they helped us survive in our early development
  • Studying current relationship patterns and family of origin issues
  • Experimenting with new ways of working through the inevitable conflicts within relationships

Imago Relationship Therapy is well researched and effective. More information can be found on the website:

Group & Individual Counseling

Many individuals I work with end up in group therapy because of its therapeutic potential. At first, we can work on the initial anxieties, frustrations, or depressions and address those in individual therapy. After some time, the individual work can evolve into group work. Group really allows you the chance to play around with the thoughts, feelings, and reactions you yearn to express, but may suppress in your everyday lives.

Of course, this can be anxiety provoking at first, but I find that many people gradually become more comfortable and confident in their ability to tolerate a broader spectrum of feelings, which translates into their relationships outside of group.

Some common areas of focus I work with include:

  • Learning about our emotional defenses and honoring our adaptive strategies.
  • Discovering new insights into frustration, anxiety, depression, and grief.
  • Exploring which thoughts and feelings are more taxing on the nervous system and how they may relate to earlier experiences in development.
  • Discussing trauma, relationship concerns, work and career, anger, stress, addictions, and more.


I graduated from Texas State University with a degree in Professional Counseling and have worked in numerous settings counseling individuals, adolescents, couples, families, and groups. I’ve been a board member of the Austin Group Psychotherapy Society (AGPS) and am actively involved in their trainings and community.

I attend numerous weekly supervision groups, and I am also a member of the Imago Relationship Therapy community here in Austin. My wife, Emily Harrington-Cheney, and I love to run couples weekend workshops and find that work to be incredibly rewarding.

If you have any additional questions or our wanting a better sense of what I offer please book a complimentary 15-minute consultation with me.

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