Dolphin assisted therapy

Dolphin assisted therapy

Animals have been used for centuries to help in the treatment of human beings of various illnesses; Dogs have been used mostly as a therapeutic animal. Other animals that have been put on record as therapeutic animals include cats, horses, goats, guinea pigs, and llamas. Over the past few years the number of animal facilitated therapy has increased, this paper will look at the effectiveness as well as the flaws of Dolphin assisted therapy (DAT).

Dolphin assisted therapy has been used from the 1980s to help people with mild depression. There are different types of dolphin assisted therapy such as just looking or taking care of the dolphin, going into the water and actually swimming with the dolphin. The length of the sessions and also the frequency depends on the program that has been selected for the patient, ranging from a week to a month with each session lasting from 10 minutes to some hours (Pavlides, 2008).

The use of dolphin has been known to produce positive results, dolphins have been found to be very receptive to people with disabilities, and thus they pay very special attention to the body movement of others. Children suffering from autism have been cured through the dolphin assisted therapy. Dolphin assisted therapy has been found out to reduce stress in some people, dolphins also enhances the motivation to learn due to the attention that they pay to the people and their playful nature (Pavlides, 2008).

Some of the weaknesses of the dolphin assisted therapy are such as the small sample size that has been used, the system of choosing participants randomly is not consistent, and the selection of the participants is biased (Pavlides, 2008).


Even though the use of animals has been used for therapeutic purposes, the successes and failures has to go hand in hand, use of dolphins is very expensive for some people to afford thus it can not be relied upon for people with low income. However the use of animals for therapeutic purposes has been and will remain part of therapy for along time.


Pavlides, M. (2008). Animal-assisted interventions for individuals with autism. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

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