Main fundraiser photo

2024 Fire Service EMDR Fly-fishing Retreat

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*images of Manchester, CT Fire Department copyright David Rich, and used with permission.

It could cost almost $35,000 through health insurance (based on assumed BCBS rates) for 10 people to receive 20 hours of EMDR Therapy for trauma, in an office, over the span of many months. We aim to offer this to 10 fire service members, in nature and over 3 days, for much less cost and with food, lodging and with peer support. BUT… we need your help!

Our firefighters are experiencing unprecedented trauma. Community is important, and it is now our time to help! We need your support for this nature-based trauma therapy retreat specifically designed for first responders in the Fire Service. The retreat combines tenkara style fly-fishing and EMDR Therapy to support recovery from trauma-related concerns in the outdoors, rather an in an office. Funds raised will cover lodging, meals, transportation, equipment, and therapy sessions for attendees. Donations of any amount are appreciated to make this retreat accessible to those who need it most. Please consider contributing to help support the mental health and well-being of those who serve our communities. Read more below... and thank you for your consideration and support.

When and where?

Aug 20-22, 2024 in Vermont's Green Mountains.

If you would like to attend as a participant, please inquire at

Who am I, and what’s all of this about?

My name is Tony Parmenter. I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Certified EMDR Therapist and Approved EMDR Consultant, military veteran with deployment experience, and lover of anything happening in the outdoors. My father was also a professional firefighter during my earliest years of life. I am the founder and owner of Seiyu Institute for Health & Training, L3C - a Vermont-based low-profit limited liability corporation which exists to make trauma therapy creative and accessible to those who might be more prone to taking care of others first.

In 2020, the worldwide health pandemic forced me to seek for ways to bring my work outside. I personally work with many first responders and military vets, and although in-office therapy carries a big stigma with this crowd, online therapy seemed to create an even bigger barrier. As a military veteran myself, I wanted to find a way to not only make in-person evidence-based trauma therapy more doable in the new world of health care, but also to make it more accessible, fun, and relevant to anyone who felt stigmatized by sitting in an office with a "shrink".

It was then that I realized how easily fly-fishing can be a tool to help facilitate various components of the most researched form of therapy for PTSD: Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing Therapy, also known as EMDR Therapy. I was able to publish my thoughts on this combination in the Journal of Military & Veterans' Health, and have since enjoyed bringing evidence-based trauma therapy to all people, including emergency and protective service workers such as Fire Service, Law Enforcement, Corrections, Medical & Human Service Workers, Military, and others on a consistent basis.

Why this, and why now?

This specific retreat was requested by a Fire Service professional out of concerns for members of his own department. It's no secret that emergency and protective service workers have been stretched to their limits in recent years, and the impact of unresolved trauma is leading to the unraveling of many things which are at the core of what helps all of us, especially protective service professionals, show up every day and live healthy and meaningful lives... relationships, work, personal health. Many people also take their own lives due to the weight of unresolved trauma and being unable to receive or engage with the right kind of help. Trauma happens on the job, but it is the often unresolved trauma from childhood which impacts how someone in the protective services manages what they deal with day-to-day. We need trauma healing now, in as many ways as possible, and significant research shows how being in nature not only can improve a person's state, but influence longer lasting experiences of health and happiness.

Our goal is for attendees to come for free. However, when designing this retreat, the base costs increased quickly to over $15,000. The price tag for one person to attend is quite high, and unfortunately health insurance will not cover this. Because Seiyu Institute for Health & Training is not registered as a 501c3 non-profit, we also need to apply an additional amount of money to cover federal and state income taxes imposed upon any money which we earn from fund raising. This has all influenced the base cost to be where it is now.

How funds will be used

We need 100% of your help! This retreat is not designed to make money. If you care about first responder health, especially those in the fire service, here is how your donations will be used.

I want to be completely transparent here.

Funds will help pay for:
  • Two nights' lodging at a Vermont State Park-run Bed & Breakfast on a conserved, fly-fishing only lake.
  • Six meals for all people in attendance.
  • Van rental.
  • Fly-fishing equipment (to include line, flies, wading shoes, and a custom fly-fishing rod to continue personal wellness after the retreat).
  • Transportation.
  • Honorariums for retreat workers.
  • Taxes and fees related to the cost of the retreat.
  • All extra amounts raised will be saved for future retreat development or scholarships/discounts to first responders seeking individual trauma therapy through Seiyu I.H.T.

Here is what you can consider regarding any donation
  • $2,900 can fully fund fly-fishing equipment for each attendee.
  • $2,000 can fully fund this experience for one attendee (all meals, lodging, all equipment, and 20 hours of EMDR therapy including before the retreat and at follow up).
  • $980 can fully fund meals for all folks in attendance, 6 meals each.
  • $290 can fully fund fly-fishing equipment for one participant.
  • $98 can fund six meals for one participant.
  • $5,500 can cover all perceived taxes and fees related to operating this event.
  • Any amount that you can give will be used to help facilitate this trauma therapy retreat!

Our team:

In order of pictures listed... Tony Parmenter, TF-EMDR Creator & Therapist; Daniel Pierce, TF-EMDR Therapist; Dave Rich, peer support angler; Nate Camp; peer support angler. Our team is made up of current and former fire service, EMS, and military professionals.

So please...

Consider helping in some way. Your donation will go very far, impacting the lives of people and possibly extending individual lives. If we cannot meet our goal and if the retreat is not able to happen at this time, funds will be allocated to provide therapy scholarships for first responders who are seeking individual TF-EMDR and do not have workable health insurance. If you cannot make a financial donation, please share this project with your social network and let us know so that we can thank you.

Thank you for your consideration, your support, and all that you do to make this world a better place.

Warmest regards,

Tony Parmenter, MA
Certified EMDR Therapist and EMDRIA Approved Consultant
Founder and Owner of Seiyu Institute for Health & Training, L3C
Creator of Therapeutic Fly-fishing with EMDR (TF-EMDR)℠


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Seiyu IHT
Brattleboro, VT

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