Traumatic life experiences can wreak havoc on our emotional wellbeing. EMDR therapy and wilderness adventure therapy are essential therapy options for those struggling to move forward in life and manage depression, anxiety, trauma, or other symptoms brought on by PTSD. We share what EMDR therapy is, its benefits and how Pure Life Adventure can help

Healing From Trauma With EMDR And Wilderness Therapy

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Depression, anxiety, stress, loneliness, and pain do not have to be the standard experience for your loved one. Pure Life Adventure’s therapy program can assist with traumatic events such as divorce, the loss of a loved one, assault, and other distressing life events. Our holistic therapy approach can have a tremendous impact on your child’s physical, emotional, and mental health.

If your teen or young adult is struggling, even if you’re unsure what the root cause may be, Pure Life Adventure is here to help. Pure Life Adventure combines the healing power of nature, talk therapy, and the gentle methods of EMDR therapy to approach and manage debilitating symptoms due to traumatic life events or mental health disorders. EMDR and wilderness adventure therapy are two of the most promising new treatments for trauma and PTSD. 

In this post, we’ll explore what these therapies are, how they work, and what the research says about their effectiveness. Whether you’re a trauma survivor yourself, or you’re looking for ways to help a loved one who is struggling, we hope you’ll find this information helpful.

What Is EMDR And How Does It Work

EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a psychotherapy method that allows patients to heal from emotional and physical distress resulting from a traumatic life experience. Some of the most common side effects of emotional or physically distressing experiences are anxiety, stress, depression, inability to focus, inability to connect to others, low self-confidence, social isolation, and more.

EMDR is a non-evasive, holistic approach that helps patients rewire the way their brain processes trauma, helping the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health disorders to become more manageable or subside. EMDR therapy has a standard protocol that includes assessment, building resources, bilateral stimulation via eye movements, tapping, or sound along with talk therapy with the trained EMDR therapist.  The goal of EMDR therapy is to assist the client in processing traumatic events using the power of their own brain so they are no longer hijacked by them.  

The Benefits Of Using EMDR In Combination With Wilderness Adventure Therapy

Like EMDR therapy, wilderness adventure therapy is another holistic and unique approach to healing.  Wilderness therapy teaches young adults and teens to see an entirely new way of viewing their life, future, and how they interact with the world. While EMDR is well designed to take control of traumatic experiences that may be preventing your teen or young adult from moving forward in life, wilderness adventure therapy teaches them how to build new skills, see the value in their abilities, and build confidence and positive coping skills.

When students at Pure Life Adventure combine the effects of EMDR and wilderness adventure therapy, they experience healing and life improvement from the inside out. EMDR to reprogram how their brain is processing trauma, and wilderness therapy helps them gain new skills and insights that will help them confidently move through the world. Both therapy methods work hand in hand, addressing all aspects of a student’s mental health for optimal results.

In addition to the amazing healing work, Pure Life accomplishes in the wilds of Costa Rica, EMDR has a proven track record of success. says, “A 2014 research study looked at 24 randomized controlled trials that support the effectiveness of EMDR therapy for the treatment of trauma. The results of some of these studies suggested that EMDR therapy is more effective than CBT for trauma.”

In addition to EMDR therapy’s initial success, a 2015 study shows that the benefits of EMDR continue beyond the initial treatment. The study states that those who used EMDR treatment for depression were less likely to relapse or experience other problems related to depression within the first year following treatment.

The Risks Associated With Using EMDR Therapy

It’s important to know that doctors consider EMDR therapy to be a safe treatment option. Because it is a holistic and non-invasive method of therapy, the risks of side effects are minimal. For those who wish to address PTSD or traumatic experiences by using EMDR therapy, some side effects may be:

  • Increase in distressing memories
  • Heightened emotions or physical sensations during sessions
  • Lightheadedness
  • Vivid dreams
  • Surfacing of new traumatic memories

Most studies find that any side effects that appear can be resolved as EMDR therapy continues; however, it is important that students share with their therapist what they are feeling and experiencing through each session, so any onset of new side effects can be addressed in future sessions.

One amazing benefit to Pure Life’s program is that when using EMDR and wilderness adventure therapy together, your loved one will be watched over 24 hours a day. Their wellbeing and safety is constantly monitored by our certified and highly-trained team.

7 Questions To Ask Before Starting EMDR Treatment

If you feel that EMDR therapy would be a good fit for your young adult or teen, there are a few questions to consider before starting treatment. Here are a few questions you should be ready to ask your therapy program or doctor before beginning treatment:

  1. Are you (or your staff) EMDR trained?
  2. Are you (or your staff) EMDR certified?
  3. What symptoms or mental health disorders can EMDR treat?
  4. What has your success rate been with EMDR therapy sessions?
  5. How many sessions will I need?
  6. What will happen in each session?
  7. How long does EMDR treatment last once complete?

Most important is to understand that EMDR requires proper education and training. Any therapy program, doctor, or therapist who plans on treating your child with EMDR should be properly trained or EMDR certified. Both training and certification require proper education and session practice before the therapist can treat on their own.

Pure Life Adventure’s Resources For Young Adults And Depression

Traumatic life experiences can create pain and suffering in a variety of ways. PTSD and trauma can present themselves as stress, anxiety, depression, self-isolation, self-loathing, loneliness, and more.  Your young adult or teen does not have to suffer through their trauma. Pure Life Adventure’s EMDR and wilderness therapy program can help alleviate life-stalling symptoms that tell your child they aren’t worth living the life we know is waiting.              

Depression and anxiety in young adults and teens can be symptoms of deep, unresolved trauma. As a parent, we want to help our children be the best version of themselves. At times, this means turning to professionals for support and guidance. If your loved one seems to be suffering from depression, or if you are unsure if what you are seeing is depression, download our information white paper, “Young Adults and Depression”.  We share about everyday challenges and how wilderness therapy can help.

The first step to healing is the desire to get help. If your teen or young adult is ready to heal, Pure Life Adventure wants to hear from you. Chat with us today, and see how our wilderness adventure therapy and EMDR therapy for teens and young adults can begin the path to healing.

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