Dolphin Assisted Therapy to help with anxiety Disorders

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Hi guys ive been reading through your posts and can totally understand some of your daily struggles (ive been there myself). Have any of you considered DAT (Dolphin Assisted Therapy)? I attended a programme years ago which helped immensely with PTSD, and in turn in ended up spending the past 6 years training and ultimately becoming a DA Therapist! If any of you have any questions i would more than happily answer the best within my knowledge.

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  • Posted

    Hi could you explain more in details DAT? I live in Northern Ireland so is there such a program for me to attend? Thank you.

     

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  • Posted

    Hi there. Most of this kind of therapy happens in the rest of Europe or the States. People these days tend to combine it into a "holiday" or suchlike if travelling to the country if it is a bit of a financial strain. I work for example, out of Turkey which is extremely cheap and accesible from the Uk and Ireland.

    Basically a DAT Programme is therapy in a pool with Dolphins. You normally have between 5 and 10 short daily sessions with them along with some external pool therapy sessions too.

    Psychological disorders: depression, anxiety and eating disorders can be (in my opinion) successfully treated through this therapy.

    Scientific research on Alpha-therapy has shown that, depending on the case, positive effects on physical and emotional harmonization, motor skills, attention span, expressiveness, and increased autonomy can be achieved throughout the course of this special type of dolphin assisted therapy. Alpha-therapy heightens receptivity, triggers positive emotions, and reduces anxiety.

    I hope this helps a little

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  • Posted

    Hi Emma, As a fellow Islander I am obliged to comment here. The question you need to ask yourself is WHY we dont have something like this in our country. The answer is easy... Dolphins do not belong in captivity..for several reasons. Dolphin therapy presents a number of ethical issues, and some physical threats, to both people and dolphins, which may be difficult to overcome. Of particular concern are the potential for aggressive behaviour by dolphins towards swimmers and the potential for disease transmission between humans and dolphins. Alternatives to dolphin therapy are available, at a much lower financial cost and without the potential harm to the people and the dolphins involved. Watching them swim free in the ocean at a safe distance is a much better form of therapy and much better also for the dolphins who do not belong in captivity. All captivity does is exploit cetaceans for money whatever way you look at it. Please research carefully before you make a decision.. while I understand people will look for theraputic ways to heal, there are much better alternatives then to use and abuse these beautiful sentient beings to do so. Please have a read of this piece from Dr. Lori Marino who is a leader in the feild to explain why using dolphins for therapy is wrong on all levels. http://aeon.co/magazine/nature-and-cosmos/lori-marino-dolphins-are-not-healers/
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    • Posted

      Hey there Sharon

      I can only speak from personal opinion and from the hundreds of case studies i have been studying over the past years. Also the hands on actual experience I have had plus the seeing with my own eyes - positive results. I have never witnessed any kind of agreesive behaviour where the Dolphins are concerned. And yes in an ideal world maybe NO animal should be in captivity as you say? . . .,however without captive bred animals we have no chance of gaining any kind of knowledge and education about the animals .. through captive breeding scientists are then able to study and understand and in turn help wild animals with disease and other issues which are wiping out pods and this scientific research is paramount for the future.  As in making money . .yes therapy costs money (not as much as people think - probably in the same bracket as regular therapy can cost) - and in my personal opinion this therapy as experienced first hand works so positiviely for all involved, There are bad Dolphinariums around the world, but new laws which have been put in place by the EU has shut many of these down. I can assure you in my experience no abuse has ever taken place and the animal have not been "told" to perform tasks around the patient . .its purely a personal experience which takes place over a week. I like to combine with Alpha chair plus Tibetan bowl therapy too . .thus creating a complete package which has wonderful results. Thanks for your comment sharon. The moral issue of animals being used for therapy or in captivity is a huge can of worms. How abnout horse therapy? how do we know the horses want to do this or even enjoy it?

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    • Posted

      I also work heavily with children and adults alike with Special needs : autism, downs syndrome, cerebral palsy, developmental disorders, attention deficity and hyperactivity disorders, the Angelman and Rett-syndrome - and again the results have been positive. So many positive case studies to draw upon. . .i personally dont see why Dolphin Therapy is wrong on so many levels .. .? Quite the opposite - the thousands of people that have been helped through this kind of therapy speak for itself. 
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  • Posted

    I've not had the therapy, but I have swam with dolphins in Florida and accidentally derived some benefits. I was told they have a type of vision that is like X-rays and can seen your joints and bones. I'm not sure if they can see the muscles structure, but from my experience I would have say that I think they can. What happened to me is that on a trip to the Florida Keys with my young step daughters, we went swimming with some trained dolphins. I was told that if there was a problem in any part of your body they dolphins would stay away from that area. I had trouble with my left shoulder, but no one at the dolphin encounter knew this. I was told the dolphins would swim up on the left side of you and you were to grap hold of their dorsal fin and they would pull you for a shot time...but the dolphin assigned to me, came up to me on my right side, where there was no injury. With everyone else their dolphins came up to them on their left side. This showed me they do have special abilities that we don't' posses. After that dolphin my shoulder started to heal must faster than it had been heeling and my frame of mind was much more positive as I had been somewhat depressed due to some many health issues. So even thought I didn't have the actual treatment, I did derive physical, emotional and mental benefits from swimming with the dolphins....that was in 1989, so I can only assume the actual dolphin therapy must give even better results that I received from my "accidental therapy". If you are depressed...it's really worth the try.
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    • Posted

      Its so great you actually experienced those benefits - even if accidental (!) I myself have witnessed many many patients benefit from this type of therapy it really is incredible in my opinion. Alpha therapy is a holistic form of dolphin therapy which utilises the stimulating effects of the dolphins in a unique development program that operates on the cognitive, mental, motor skills, social, and energetic levels and also integrates the entire family. the therapy aims to help people with disabilities and mental or chronic physical diseases. You are correct in saying they "see things" - as we already know Dolphins use their sonoar to kind of Xray things and people, so can often spot and then empathize with faults that they find through this process. The rest of it really is between the patient and the dolphin . . .its a journey they experience together and over the course of a few days changes start to occur in most cases.  Combined with some out of pool therapy too (Alpha Chair plus Tibeten Bowl Therapy) - i have found this programme to be incredibly effective and believe in it a 100 percent!
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  • Posted

    Dolphin Assisted Therapy?  Oh my gosh, this sounds so wonderful!  Life would be so grand if I could swim and cuddle with dolphins.  I wish I had the money, but please tell me where you practice this.  Do you think the dolphins enjoy it also?  I kind of don't like the idea of captive wild animals.  Do you think they enjoy it as much as the humans?
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    • Posted

      Hi there. In our case the Dolphins are not "trained" to do anything particular in the therapy, its very much a personal experience with the client and the Dolphin and each session is completely unique. The Dolphins are kept in excellent conditions and play and interact in their own unique way and seem happy and settled. Boredom in captive bred Dolphins can be an issue, so its something we are super hot on, and make sure these issues are recognised fully.  With regards to animals in captivity, thats a whole other issue.
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  • Posted

    Hi Emma,

    Appreciate your post might be old but I hope you could help. I have a daughter(one of a twin) who has undiagnosed gdd, non verbal at the age of 3. I heard that DAT does wonders for children as well as adults.

    Could you put me in the right direction for searching for a right center abroad?

    Thank you

    Lesia

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    • Posted

      I have heard working with horses is benificial as well for many disorders. I have never done dat or horses. I did get a puppy and i found it to be a ton of work. I love him very much but it is a lot of work. All animals also can feel what we are feeling which is interesting.
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  • Posted

    Hi Emma, I want to train as a DAT therapist, can you tell me who you trained with please? What the course is like? Where your from and how you find the work? All and any info would help, I'm currently looking at a course in turkey by Dolphinswim institute, please point me in the right direction. I am a swimming teacher and this is an extremely rewarding way of helping people. Been interested in over 20 years, please help? Thanks. 

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