Meet Our Practitioners

(Dana) Maurie Lung, Ph.D., LMHC, LMFT is the founder and CEO of Life Adventures Counseling, a community organization that provides adventure-based mental health therapy and consulting. She has over 25 years of experience as a therapist, business owner, author, speaker, trainer, evaluator, and university instructor. She has co-authored two books for mental health professionals as well as a variety of articles about how to experience nature and adventure in order to heal our hearts and restore dignity. Maurie integrates her knowledge and experience of recreation, education, psychology, and evaluation to experientially provide services with a diverse client population. The growth and change she witnesses for youth, families, and adults through this process continues to amaze her and remind her of the power of playful experience. In addition to her experiences as a practitioner and administrator, Maurie provides consultation, coaching, training, and technical assistance to organizations who want to improve their level of organizational functioning or implement a more experiential approach to their services. She also is Associate Faculty at Prescott College teaching graduate courses in mental health counseling and overseeing the Adventure-based Psychotherapy and Ecotherapy programs. (MH8282/MT2261)

  • Phone: 727-481-4577
  • Email: dmlung@LifeAdventuresCC.org
  • Primary Location: 8588 Starkey Rd. Seminole, FL 33777

Sarah Grace Nadler is a Mental Health Counselor with over seven years of experience working with courageous clients towards wellness in nature. Guided by principles of learner-centered education, ecopsychology, and mindfulness, she specializes in partnering with individuals to find balance in awareness, while exploring internal and external resources for success. Most of her clients are working towards goals surrounding personal and professional development, as well as learning how to THRIVE versus survive with challenges like grief, trauma, relationship difficulties, depression, and anxiety. Sarah Grace has utilized diverse models of psychotherapy with clients across the continuum of human development including but not limited to: adventure-based therapy, animal-assisted therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT), child-centered outdoor play therapy, and school-based treatment for adolescent girls. She enjoys facilitating psychoeducational and therapeutic experiences for individuals, couples, families, and groups, inspired by each client’s unique goals and creativity. Sarah Grace earned her B.S. in Psychology from Eckerd College right here in St. Pete, and her M.Ed. and Ed.S. degrees in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Florida. She is full of St. Pete pride and is ecstatic to continue her adventure in counseling at Life Adventures. Certifications and memberships: CPR and First Aid, American Counseling Association (ACA), Florida Counseling Association (FCA), Chi Sigma Iota International (CSI), and the Animal Assisted Therapy in Mental Health Interest Network (AATMH). Sarah Grace also has a St. Pete location. (MH15436)

  • Phone: 314-974-6073
  • Email: SGNadler@LifeAdventuresCC.org
  • Primary Location: 575 2nd Ave, Ste 200, St. Petersburg, FL 33777

Heather Maturo received her B.S. in Psychology from Loyola University Chicago and Florida State University and her M.A. in Mental Health Counseling from the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL. She is currently serving as a private practitioner and has had a variety of experience with clients of all ages. Heather has over 10 years of experience working as both an Elementary School Counselor and as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. Specializing in individual, couples, and family therapy, she utilizes techniques found in cognitive behavioral, narrative, and collaborative system approaches. She integrates her knowledge of psychology and education to provide therapeutic services. Heather currently lives in the Tampa Bay area and is originally from Northwest Indiana/Chicago. She has a passion for helping people reach their personal goals and become healthy and happy individuals. (MH12745)

  • Phone: 219-508-2465
  • Primary Location: 11300 4th St. N, Ste 210, St. Petersburg, FL 33716
  • Email: hmmaturo@lifeadventurescc.org

Kandi Spencer is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the state of Florida. Kandi earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Philosophy at the State University of New York (SUNY) in Buffalo and a Master of Arts in Human Services and Counseling at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois.Kandi has over 20 years of experience in the health service field and in counseling individuals, families, couples as well as groups in a variety of settings. These settings include in-home therapy, a residential and outpatient facility for adults, an adult partial hospitalization program, an inpatient psychiatric hospital for children and adolescence, and foster care. Services include diagnostic assessments, treatment plan development and implementation, crisis intervention, family therapy, family education and training, behavior modification, substance abuse education and counseling, individual therapy, resource identification, linkage, and advocacy. Kandi has worked with child, adolescent, and adult populations along a range of issues such as depression, mood disorders, substance-related disorders, anxiety, trauma, sexual abuse, eating disorders, psychotic disorders, adjustment disorders, personality disorders, and ADHD. (MH 13996)

  • Phone: 404-409-7545
  • Email: kspencer@LifeAdventuresCC.org
  • Primary Location: 8588 Starkey Rd. Seminole, FL 33777

Ashley Sweet, MA, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of South Florida (’14) and was trained as a rape crisis counselor and sexual assault victim advocate. Ashley is experienced with helping her clients transition from victims to survivors, and finds great healing can occur through mindfulness, meditation writing and yoga.  Ashley  facilitates group counseling at the Body Electric Yoga Co. for folks who want to dig deeper into topics of anxiety, depression, spirituality and self-actualization. She is passionate about empowering people to reach their highest potentials, and enjoys utilizing creativity to access untapped insight with her clients.  Ashley is also a founding member and President of the St. Pete Women’s Collective – an organization committed to women’s empowerment through creating safe spaces for education and creative engagement. As a community leader, Ashley believes in transforming power by sharing it with others. Each person has equal worth, and each voice is valid. By creating safe spaces for honest dialogue, Ashley believes radical change can transpire. For additional information, visit http://www.ashleydsweet.com (MH 15424)

  • Phone: 727-351-3627
  • Email: Asweetcounselor@gmail.com
  • Primary Location: St. Petersburg, FL

Logan Walters is a National Certified Counselor and a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern in the state of Florida. He found his passion for helping people early in life and has 15 years of professionally supporting people in his community. Logan utilizes a client centered strengths approach. This allows clients to build upon their current strengths and interests. Logan believes that interacting in nature and in the community leads people towards positive growth and connection. He conducts his therapeutic sessions on kayaks, boats, along nature/beach hikes, at parks, at challenge courses, in the community, and in the privacy of an office. Logan develops a plan with each individual client, to determine what goals, action steps, and settings he or she believes will be most advantageous for his or her growth. In 2001, Logan started his career helping people reach their goals, through working with nonprofits such as Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity. As his passion for helping people continued to grow, so did his interest in connecting people to themselves and others, through nature and outdoor adventure. For over eight years, Logan was the Director of a wilderness adventure program and an accredited boarding school, outside of Asheville NC. He lead youth, young adults, and their families to identify goals, better communicate with each other, develop a healthy sense of self and self-esteem, and to appropriately cope with their frustrations. In 2014, Logan moved to St. Petersburg and started a mental health and holistic growth practice, working with youth, adults, and families. In addition to his private practice work, he is a mental health advisor and student management trainer for Thompson Island (Boston) Outward Bound and SOAR (Florida Keys), the Board Chairman of ASPIRE Youth & Family, and an adventure facilitator for a St. Petersburg non-profit called Pathfinder. Logan obtained his master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and his master’s in Business Administration with a focus on non-profit management, from Western Carolina University. His certifications include: Red Cross Lifeguard and CPR, Wilderness First Responder, ACA Coastal Kayak Trip Leader, and Advance Diver. (IMH16347)

  • Phone: 828-734-4877
  • Email: Logan.Walters@LifeAdventuresCC.org
  • Primary Location: 8588 Starkey Rd. Seminole, FL 33777/varies in St. Petersburg, FL

Tammy Bills, CTRS continues her journey of more than 25 years as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist on a career path that she is passionate about and describes as an amazing adventure. She earned her B.A. degree with emphasis in Therapeutic Recreation, and her minor in Art from Central Michigan University. Tammy’s exposure to Experiential Learning and Adventure Therapy principles further inspired to offer effective alternatives to traditional therapy. Tammy’s has broad experience working with diverse clientele in clinical, residential and educational settings. She applies skills accredited to her experience in program development, management, training, consulting and private practice. Tammy has Primary Practicum Training in (REBT) Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy and extensive background in developmental, neurological, emotional and behavioral health. Her background also includes Challenge Course Technical Skills Training, Recreational Tree Climbing Facilitator Training and Team Building. Tammy is published, sighting the synergy between trees and clientele in ways that have facilitated life changing phenomena. Tammy integrates her expertise in providing services that promote client’s overall well-being and improving quality of life. She believes that focus on client strengths and interests using recreation, and adventure is motivational, affirming, and empowering. It is not uncommon for her clients to have braved a challenge course, scaled a rock wall, pursued sailing, canoeing, kayaking or paddle boarding, climbed a tree, taken day or night hike, walked the beach, created artwork, journaled, or to have spent time quietly reflecting.  Tammy is enthusiastically devoted to helping individuals learn, discover, play and grow. She is an advocate for doing what you love to do for a living, practicing doing so by integrating her passion for the outdoors, tree climbing, travel, art, photography, and numerous other adventures in her work. (RT23729)

  • Phone: 941-962-4744
  • Email: TLBills@LifeAdventuresCC.org
  • Primary Location: 8588 Starkey Rd. Seminole, FL 33777

Laura Beth Blomquist, M.A., Registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern, Certified Yoga Instructor (500 ERYT), Meditation Teacher, and Personal Trainer. Laura specializes in working with clients struggling with depression, anxiety, addictive behaviors, grief, trauma, life transitions, and chronic physical pain. She meets with clients in yoga studios, serene outdoor spaces, and in-office. Sessions with Laura may include various styles of mindful movement, talk therapy, creative expression, meditation, and mindfulness exercises with each session specifically tailored to the unique needs of each clients’ healing process.  In any setting, clients can expect a calm and safe space where they feel validated and are fully supported and guided through their process of psychological, physical and emotional healing. Laura is wholeheartedly dedicated to helping clients move through a wide range of physical, emotional, and spiritual transitions in the most effective, easeful and transformative way possible. She is a therapist, counselor, yoga teacher and meditation instructor with an alternative approach to traditional psychotherapy.  Wherever you are in your life’s journey, Laura’s approach to therapy will allow you the time and space and build a life of freedom, clarity, and inner peace. (IMT3063)

  • Phone: 847-400-7934
  • Email: laurabethblomquist@LifeAdventuresCC.org
  • Primary Location: 8588 Starkey Rd. Seminole, FL 33777

Shannon Wright (M. Ed./Ed.S.) is a Registered Mental Health Counseling Intern who has spent the last 12 years working with children, teens, and families, both as a teacher and a Certified School Counselor. Anchored in a fundamental belief in human resilience, Shannon meets each client where they are, guiding them to connect with their own courage, insight and wisdom.  She draws from several psychotherapeutic approaches, including Cognitive Behavioral, Narrative, ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), and Solution-Focused, to support clients’ growth and strengthen their coping skills. She is especially passionate about helping clients to process childhood trauma, and utilizes EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) as one way to help clients gain more freedom and vitality in their lives.  In her work with children, Shannon uses play and creative therapies to help young people express themselves, build confidence and self-esteem, and learn tools to self-regulate their behavior. She is experienced in working with the local school system, both public and private, and can assist families in advocating for their child to receive the supports they need to succeed.  With all clients, Shannon emphasizes an empowerment approach – it’s “normal” to have periods of challenge, and it’s okay to ask for help!  She has worked extensively with diverse populations and is an LGBTQ+ – friendly therapist. An avid reader and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Shannon also enjoys performing in local community theater.  She believes the creative arts can heal, renew, and transform and helps clients to connect with the activities and communities that give them a sense of purpose and move them in the direction of their values. (IMH 17780)

  • Phone: 727-201-2413
  • Email: shannonwright@LifeAdventuresCC.org
  • Primary Location: 8588 Starkey Rd. Seminole, FL 33777
  • Secondary Location: 3803 Haines Rd., St. Petersburg, FL 33703

Comrade “Bear”, CGC is proudly Life Adventure’s very own Canine Therapist. Comrade can relate to many of his clients, as he as experienced both trauma and loss, as well as survived cancer! Since Sarah Grace adopted Comrade in 2008, he has thrived as an educational assistant, an Eckerd College Comparative Psychology Lab trainee, and a therapy dog, supporting humans through moments of hurt and development. His keen intuition, his goofy smile, and aptitude for snuggling have made him an instant favorite of everyone he meets. Comrade knows over 50 behaviors and words, he is obsessed with peanut butter and fresh fish, and most of all, he loves adventuring with his family and his clients. Supported by the ancient mutualistic relationship between humans and animals, Animal-Assisted Therapy is a growing wellness intervention that offers a unique set of benefits. Many researchers have hypothesized that animals and nature induce desirable emotions and reduce stress simply because of our innate relationship to the natural world (EO Wilson, 1995). Animals seem to be particularly helpful in facilitating the therapeutic alliance, which we know to be a major part of what makes counseling effective. Other studies have shown that animal-assisted therapy reduces anxiety, decreases blood pressure, mediates loneliness, improves cognitive processing, increases oxytocin (the neurochemical associated with adaptive social traits), and may even help improve empathy and communication with others.