The therapeutic method is based upon a system of medical-psychological Rehabilitation for the child. The physical contact of the child with the dolphin in the water is most important as it promotes the mental and physical development of the handicapped child.
When necessary, or on request, the parents may participate. Additionally there are several different methods of therapeutic treatment that take place in the REHA Praxis carried out by therapists according to the patient’s requirements. Further therapeutic treatments are: Talassotherapy, Kinesotherapy, Psychotherapy with the communicative aspect and Ultrasonic therapy (using the natural sonic waves of the dolphins).
The Russian specialists call the following a ,Therapeutic Metaphor’: One should imagine the dolphin as a ,needle’ that can pass through all pathological and mental barriers of a child, pulling with it a ,thread’, the ,thread’ being other types of therapeutic treatment that are now enabled to work effectively.
Mechanics and Effect of Dolphin Therapy
Dolphin Therapy modifies and corrects patterns of behaviour; this motivates the patient and leads to a great improvement of cognition. This effect has brought it to be one of the most successful methods used in complex rehabilitation. Dolphin Therapy acts as a strong catalyst which enables other forms of classic therapeutic treatment undertaken in our DT-REHA-Center to work effectively.
One of the methods the Russian specialists use is the “Reward method”. When the patient has mastered the task set by the therapist, the patient is rewarded with a swim with the dolphin. This is a variant of the therapy where the doctor plays on the vanity of the child. Autistic children, but also some children with other ailments, are strongly introverted and can register their environment only in part, or not at all, so a catalyst is required; this is where the dolphins play their part. The Russian doctors use a therapy based on close contact with the dolphin. The child, the doctor, the dolphin and the trainer all together in the water provides the ideal basis for close contact.
Dolphin Therapy in General
A Dolphin-assisted therapy together with specially trained marine biological psychologists enable children with mental or physical handicaps to find new ways to health.
Techniques have been developed for the dolphin-assisted therapy that build-up contact to specially trained dolphins. Under the supervision of the doctors and a dolphin trainer the dolphins understand that they should make contact with the patient. This opens possibilities that no medication or doctor could provide. It is most probable that the dolphins can feel the vibrations of a malfunctioning organ through their probing with ultrasonic waves (is being researched). Moreover it has been proved that through the sonic waves the spine and brain come into a resonance that stimulates the production of substances in the nervous system that in turn improve the functioning of the nervous system as a whole. Stress, fear and tension are lessened through contact with a dolphin. One receives positive energy and is freed from negative emotions. In ten sessions the course of the complete therapy is individually specified, according to the grade of the mental or physical handicap.
The appraisals are reached through a discussion between the parents, the patient and the doctors, before and after the therapy. After each therapy session the positive emotions and sensations of the patient are checked together with the parents. The interactions of intensive physiotherapy, logopaedic and homeopathic treatment from experienced doctors, together with the dolphin therapy enable an optimal compact holiday course with consultations and counsel, and the best possible health improvement for handicapped children.
Experienced doctors and therapists progress carefully with a made-to-measure programme for the patient without creating too much strain or stress for the child. Former therapies cannot nearly match the prodigious improvements in health that are induced by playing with the dolphins. Children suddenly can laugh or move freely that they have not been able to do before. They can speak their first words, awake laughing out of their half coma or they can do things that they failed to accomplish in previous therapies.