Dr. Sandy Newes

Faculty Leader Dr Sandy Newes PsychologistDr. Sandy Newes is a Licensed Psychologist based in Asheville, North Carolina.   As the founder of Clear View Psychological Services, Asheville, Sandy has been offering clinical services for wilderness and adventure programs, therapeutic schools and residential treatment centers and in the community for over 20 years.  She specializes in anxiety, trauma, chronic stress, substance abuse and emotion regulation issues.  In her private practice, she combines psychotherapy, comprehensive psychological assessment, neuro-feedback, program development consultation, research and evaluation, and clinical supervision.   Listen to Podcast featuring Dr. Sandy: DEMYSTIFYING WILDERNESS THERAPY – STORIES FROM THE FIELD Sandy offers a number of training programs for clinical professionals and staff at outdoor-based and other types of clinical programs.  A long-standing advocate of strengthening the clinical-staff team, Sandy has a unique ability to teach about complex clinical issues using clear and understandable language, along with relevant examples. She is an excited and passionate facilitator, and genuinely enjoys helping to create interesting experiences that help empower staff to most effectively meet the needs of the clients/students they work with.  As part of Peak Experience Training, Sandy co-facilitates the Clinical First Responder (CFR) training.  She is also a certified skills trainer in the Community Resilience Model (CRM), is certified in the Trauma Resilience Model (TRM), and also with Resources for Resilience.  Additional training programs she offers regularly include the neurobiology of trauma, motivational Interviewing and stages of change, mindfulness, human development and others. Sandy received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Penn State University in 2001, where she specialized in the application of clinical theory, assessment, and researched adventure/wilderness therapy. She is a Past Chair of the Therapeutic Adventure Professional Group (TAPG) of the Association for Experiential Education (AEE), and remains active in AEE.  Dr. Newes continues to present regularly at conferences and co-edited with Dr. Scott Bandoroff a book entitled “Coming of Age: The Evolving Field of Adventure Therapy”. In her free time, Sandy spends as much time on the water and paddling whitewater as she can, hikes, mountain bikes, goes to see live music frequently, and loves to travel. She also takes her two boys, ages 5 and 7, with her on as many of these adventures as she can.  

Denise Mitten, PhD

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Denise Mitten, PhD is a widely experienced international adventure guide, from SCUBA to mountaineering (Himalayas, Swiss Alps, and USA, including Denali). She advocates for the need for healthy contact with nature for human development and well-being and studies the intersection of health and wellness while being in nature including spirituality, a sense of place, and the effect of outdoor activity participation on body image.

Denise initiated trauma informed leadership highlighting the relevance of social, emotional, and spiritual safety in group dynamics and risk management, first working with women recovering from abuse in the early 1980s. She has developed programs to strengthen bonding between parents/caregivers and children, a leadership program for women felons, and an award-winning leadership training and apprenticing program for women, opening the door to outdoor leadership to many women.

Denise received the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Social Justice Award from Ferris State University for her efforts around wellness for underserved groups in Michigan. Along with over 100 articles and book chapters, books Denise has authored or edited include Health and natural landscapes: Concepts and applicationsExperiential education theory and practiceMaternal thinking: Gifts, the mother’s body, and Earth, and the Palgrave international handbook on women and outdoor learning.

Dr. Mitten’s educational background includes University of Washington, Yale University, and University of Minnesota. Using her expertise in counseling (MS) and parent education, complementary medicine, adventure trip leading, and ecology Dr. Mitten helps clients discover the tools and skills they need to continue passionate, high-quality work that positively contributes to our global community.

Maurie Lung, PhD, LMHC, LMFT

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Maurie Lung, PhD, LMHC, LMFT, is a licensed mental health counselor and a licensed marriage family therapist in both California and Florida. She integrates almost 30 years of experience in recreation, education, psychology, and evaluation to provide therapeutic services in a community-based organization she founded, and is currently the Executive Director, Life Adventures Counseling. 

She has a BS in Park and Recreation Administration, focusing on outdoor recreation and environmental education, an MA in Counseling, focusing on experiential therapy, and a PhD in Clinical Psychology, focusing on the cultural relevance of the use of nature and adventure for positive life skill acquisition. 

Life Adventures Counseling, provides nature-based and adventure-based services (individuals, couples, groups, families as well as retreats and training programs) for clients as young as three up to clients in their 90’s! The growth and change she witnesses for youth, families, and adults through the process of connecting with nature and engaging in adventure continues to amaze her, and truly embraces the power of playful experience. 

Life Adventures is also a training program for practitioners and she regularly integrates interns into programming and has a branch, Life Adventures For All, that provides consultation to adventure-based and nature-based programs. Additionally, Maurie is the Director of Prescott College’s Adventure-based/Nature-based Counseling certificates and EDS degree program. She currently serves on the AEE Council of Accreditation, and the Certified Clinical Adventure Therapist Council. 

She has co-authored three books about adventure therapy as well as a variety of articles and workshops. In her free time she enjoys adventure days with her 10 year old son and her triplet 8 year olds. 

Lynette Spencer, LCSW

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Lynette Spencer, LCSW, has a Master of Science in Social Work from Aurora University in 1992 and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Illinois. Lynette has worked in a variety of social work settings including outpatient counseling, partial behavioral health hospitalization, acute inpatient hospitalization, and emergency department psychiatric crisis intervention, serving ages from four to ninety-four.

After two decades in hospital and office-based practices, Lynette decided it was time to take her work to where she felt best–outside. Lynette founded Adventure Works in 2010 and has served as the executive director since. Adventure Works is the first nonprofit community-based Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare (OBH) organization to achieve OBH accreditation by the Association of Experiential Education (AEE).

Utilizing the natural environment and adventure therapy, Adventure Works provides mental health and positive youth development services to youth and their families regardless of ability to pay. The programs not only challenge youth to be active in nature, their engagement in their own process was dramatically improved as compared to being in the office.

Lynette is also a founding partner of Action Consulting and Therapy, an experiential private practice in the Western Suburbs of Chicago. She co-founded the practice in 2015 and specializes in organizational development and culture building, using experiential methods and the outdoor environment whenever possible.

Lynette thrives on being involved in her community. Local and national servant leadership positions include fundraising and program planning for the DeKalb County Nonprofit Partnership, serving as chairperson for the Trauma Informed Committee of the DeKalb County Juvenile Justice Council, past treasurer and secretary for the Therapeutic Adventure Professionals Group (TAPG) of AEE, and in February 2020 Lynette will become the first female chairperson of the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council, for which she served as an executive officer for the past four years. Active membership in AEE and the OBH Council have the added benefit of traveling to new places for conferences; Lynette always adds time beyond her work schedule to explore her surroundings. Lynette’s professional schedule is balanced by her family, morning hikes in local preserves, and memories of her most recent adventure, when she and her husband backpacked 68 miles in three days along Hadrian’s Wall in Northern England.