The children work at set times on a floating dock, in quiet surroundings, with their Therapist 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 2 weeks to achieve appropriate results.
The therapy is not just “Swimming with Dolphin”. 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. An important part of the therapy is to attain maximum benefit of the sonic waves emitted by the dolphin.