happens during Dolphin Therapy?
children work at set times on a floating dock with their
Therapist, trainer, father/mother, interpreter (if necessary)
and a specially trained dolphin. Dolphins have, as they
have also shown in other animal-assisted therapies, a
definite feeling for weakness, and they come closer to
the children to play. This way the children quickly lose
their fear of the large animals and through the dolphin
they can take up contact with their environment. The children
can find new confidence, lose their fear, and initiate
new contact to their environment supported through the
work with these intelligent and sensible animals. Only
in this way can they begin to develop, profiting from
the impulses from their environment and everyday life.
Quickly the children lose their fear and gain confidence.
A child whose life has been marred by apathy and isolation
can show reactions again that were once thought lost.
The therapy should last at least ten days to achieve appropriate
therapy is not just ”swimming with the dolphins”. The
tasks given to the child by the therapist during a session,
the commands given to the dolphin from the trainer, and
the conscious or unconscious perception of the parent
close-by encourages and motivates the child to solve these
tasks. The motivation awakened
by the dolphin provides the child with positive reactions
which are praised and encouraged. The tasks presented
to the child are increased in difficulty during the therapy
sessions according to the child’s progression and ability.
Furthermore the contact to the dolphin is progressively
intensified from stroking and playing, to being pushed
or pulled through the water by the dolphin.
the therapy a programme is formed together by therapist
and parents for later use at home. This programme must
be diligently practiced at home. A further dolphin therapy
promises best possible results of the treatment.
child is highly motivated during the first sessions of
dolphin therapy which causes an escalation and activation
of different modulations of the child’s brain. As a result
more sensory information is received by the patient from
all feeling organs, visual and auditory.
the bilateral contact between the child and dolphin is
reached (generated) and the communicative resonance is
established, the phase of common psychic and motor function
(contact) begins between child and dolphin. The therapist
asks the child to do together with dolphins a row of structured
exercises. Active contact with the dolphin comes into
being from the throwing of a ball and receiving the ball
from the dolphin, throwing above a rope or ring. Also
one uses different playing objects, like a ball, ring
Then different movements are practised in the water. The
verbal and non-verbal contact with the dolphins exists
constantly. Every element of a practice is shown to the
child by the doctor who is also in the water.
Before the application of a dolphin as a co-therapist
in the rehabilitation process, the dolphin is coached
by a specially compiled didactic programme. Allelomimetrical
behaviour (imitation) is unique to the dolphins.
The being together with the dolphins is productive only
when it is controlled by the doctor; the therapist fulfils
together with the child and dolphin an array of exercises
which are intended for better development and provides
the child with new skills to bring the psycho-motor ability
or already available skills of the child to a higher level.
structure is flexible, i.e. that every child has his degree
of illness/disability treated appropriately.
the dolphin therapy centre Kas the best conditions are
present to carry out therapeutic courses, as well as the
synergetic effect, psycho-correction and therapeutic measures
which enable the therapists to improve the positive dynamism
of the psycho-physiological state of the child.
role of the members of the family
the end of the dolphin therapy new information is given
to the members of the family for further home applications.The
psychological effect and the concurrent induction of positive
emotions between child and the members of the family promote
other remedial processes.It is often the case that a child
suffers a feeling of separation during a stay in a therapy
clinic and this makes positive results difficult to obtain.
This is not the case at our therapy centre. Not only is
the closest member of the family present during therapy
but also a further member…… The dolphin is treated as
a member of the family.