Dolphin-assisted Therapy:

Dolphin therapy:


For parents and family, there is nothing worse than to not be able to help a loved one. When modern conventional medicine does not lead to improvements, families will often come to feel helpless and lose hope. It is hard for parents to feel unable to provide a better perspective for their own child.

Animal-assisted therapy can bring hope in this seemingly futile situation. Especially with children, animal-assisted therapy with dolphins has demonstrated its worth. Studies have shown that it can improve mobility and cognitive abilities for a variety of illnesses and limitations, as well as promote self-confidence and independence. Adults with special needs can also hope to improve their individual situation.


A smile, a word, a movement – animals seem to be effortlessly able to evoke emotions. Sometimes, the mere presence of an animal will be enough to draw patients out of their isolation and to get a reaction from them.
Animal-assisted therapies form part of the spectrum of alternative therapy methods. These therapies are used in physical and mental disorders and disabilities. Dogs, cats, horses, llamas and dolphins are the most common therapy partners.

The treatment is conducted by an experienced therapist, integrating the animal into the therapeutic process. Therapy using horses, or hippo-therapy, is among the most well-known animal-assisted therapy methods and is often used in the treatment of persons with hemiplegia. By working with specially trained horses, body awareness will be improved.

In general, all animal-assisted therapies employ the animal as a mediator or facilitator to gain access to the patient.


Dolphin therapy plays a special role within animal-assisted therapy. It can give a patient the chance to live a more independent life. In addition, dolphin-assisted therapy often creates the prerequisites for the later use of classic therapies that would otherwise be medically impossible.

Contact with the marine mammals takes place in the water, the dolphins’ natural habitat. Staying in the water can have a positive effect on many impairments. The body is relaxed, the muscles relax. Many rehabilitation programs therefore rely on exercise therapy in water.

Although the exact reasons for the dolphins’ special nature are still unknown, their positive impact on patients with disabilities has been proven in research projects. Above all, it is their nature and the close and trusting relationship with the trainer that ultimately makes the dolphin a very reliable partner. Reliability is a prerequisite for animal-assisted interventions to ensure safety in interactions.

Because of their appearance, dolphins attract people’s attention. This means that patients are more motivated and can engage in new situations for longer. There is certainly no single factor that is decisive. It is the sum of the characteristics of this animal that determines its success.

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