Therapeutic Fly-fishing with EMDR (TF-EMDR)℠

"Freedom in sincerity, freedom on the fly."

The world's first integration of an evidence-based psychotherapy with Therapeutic Fly-fishing, developed in the spring of 2020 by Tony Parmenter and published in the January 2022 edition of Journal of Military & Veterans' Health (JMVH).

This mode of therapy has been continuously offered and developed since it's beginning, and now exists as a holistic and adaptive format for offering nature-based therapy for complex and developmental trauma. 

What is TF-EMDR?

Recovery is possible and wholeness is within you. With your feet on the ground, the wind on your skin, and feeling the current with your body - experience the freedom of catch and release while letting go of your pain. 
Therapeutic Fly-fishing with EMDR (TF-EMDR)℠ turns fly-fishing into psychotherapy for trauma. It provides a way to link fly-fishing's well known benefits to an evidence-based psychotherapy without each being done separately from one another. In addition to simply fly-fishing, specifically developed advanced techniques rooted in polyvagal therapy, ego state/inner child work, mindfulness, and others are used to broaden the practice and allow for authentic healing within nature.
Why: Standard therapeutic fly-fishing has become a common adjunct activity for helping people who are in treatment for trauma-related issues. In most cases, it is done as a peer support activity or recreation therapy in the context of PTSD recovery. While useful for many reasons, fly-fishing done in this way can only complete part of the picture when done by non-mental health professionals and without being attached to a trauma treatment framework. This is why TF-EMDR exists.
In order to effectively treat trauma, fly-fishing should be linked to an evidence based therapy for PTSD, and facilitated by trained mental health professionals. TF-EMDR was the first mental health treatment model to accomplish this, and it is incredibly effective!


Seiyu-zuri is an adaptation of TF-EMDR which uses a simplified low barrier, portable, and elegant form of fixed line fly-fishing called tenkara... originally designed for commercial anglers on mountain streams in Japan.
According to the New Hampshire Department of Fish & Game:
Fis 401.01 Chapter Definitions.(u) “Tenkara” means a style of fly fishing that uses flies, a telescoping rod of bamboo, fiberglass, or composite material, and a short length of line without backing. This line is attached to the tip of the rod. The rod does not have guides or a reel seat.
While TF-EMDR as usual can be done using traditional rod-and-reel equipment, The Seiyu-zuri Method℠  purposely simplifies the practice of casting in order to enhance a person's connection to nature. Integrating a whole person perspective with specifically designed attachment-focused, nervous system (polyvagal), mindfulness based activities, we have found that this method allows a person to more effectively and quickly heal from complex and developmental trauma.
A simpler approach also allows for people to begin fishing sooner, while focusing less on gear, mechanics, and technique when they should be healing or simply enjoying the process. It frees a person in a way which lets them connect more with the environment around, and within them.
Seiyu is a Japanese word which means "to have integrity", and zuri simply means "fishing". Angling for integrity. Authenticity. To be our truest selves. Casting away the weight of trauma. We actualize these truths when the barriers created by suffering begin to flow as if the trauma wounds are just any other memories - because they are. The body learns that it is right now, this moment, and not when the trauma happened. We find freedom in sincerity, on the fly, and rediscover the ability to live our life to the fullest - meaningfully connecting to who and what we care for the most.
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