DOLPHINSWIM Institute & travel agency

How works dolphin therapy?

Dolphin assisted therapy is an animal assisted therapy that has been applied for over 20 years. In the focus of this treatment is the therapeutic dolphin interaction, which – generally speaking – performs a stimulating, harmonizing and stabilizing effect on the human organism. Since ancient times dolphins have been fascinating humans who saw them as friends or worshipped them as gods. However dolphins haven´t become an subject of science until recent history. It began with John C. Lilly, a dolphin researcher and neuroscientist who made the first discoveries on the psychological effects of dolphins on humans in the 1950s. He found out that interactions with dolphins increase sensibility, perception and self-awareness of people involved. More recent studies reveal that dolphins help to recognize and reduce anxieties, promote social- and speech- development. According to Ryan de Mares dolphins initiate psychological processes especially on the emotional plane: „Connecting with another being and ultimately being fully connected within oneself is the underlying desire of the cetacean-triggered peak experience. The feelings that are part of this process – intention, eye contact, connectedness, aliveness and harmony, provide human with validation and a benchmark against which personal growth can be measured (de Mares, 2000).“ The mental state involved in this process psychology defines as the „flow“ in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, 1990). Flow not just counts as the ideal learning condition, it is actually the state which Sigmund Freud defined as the synchro-levitating awareness, where the gates to the subconscious mind are permeable. Anxieties and blockages become in this state accessible to therapy and can be resolved easily. As an outcome of several studies on the effectiveness of dolphin assisted therapy the reduction of anxieties appears as one of the leading effects. During dolphin assisted therapy anxieties make place for more self esteem and new motivation in life. The attitude towards restrictions and dependencies originating from anyone´s own disability or that of a loved one usually becomes more constructive. Hence it appears that dolphin interaction not just improves functionality, but first of all strengthens the resources to cope with one´s own life situation. In the scope of severe disabilities or those ones who are hardly alterable, dolphin assisted therapy can contribute tremendously by regaining the joie de vivre and the orientation and outlook into the future, what Viktor E. Frankl means by „meaningful life“. From Frankl´s perspective and his body-psyche-spirit model, this new alignment can also contribute to physical health and well being for the affected person as well as her/his family members. This way dolphin assisted therapy embraces holistic therapy principles which aim to strengthen the body as well as the psyche and the facilitation of the mental development of the individual person.

Europe's leading institute for dolphin assisted therapy (dolphin therapy), swimming with dolphins, dolphintherapist education,
dolphin assisted manager coaching and dolphin research in Antalya, Turkey.
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