WHALE TRIP HERVY BAY
Dolphin Assisted Therapy and Supportive Therapies
Dolphin Assisted Therapy (DAT)
Support is given to introduce people and children to interactive experiences with dolphins in
Opportunities are available at different times of the year and a program can be developed to suit particular needs of the client
Supportive Therapies with Dolphin Assisted Therapy
This is a holistic approach to assisting children and adults with therapy incorporating body work and massage and energy balance where energy is used to realign the meridians and body systems using energy, light and sound
This can greatly enhance any interactive dolphin experiences
Patricia Athena has had 12 years of experience in
Her background as a teacher, athlete, Heart Foundation Director, dolphin researcher and natural therapist has given her a wealth of experience when working with people in these programs
She has researched the benefits of these experiences and has found they include a renewal of health and vitality for individuals, feelings of lightness and joy and peace (see Dolphin Community research (see http://www.dolphinwave.info/page/8/default.asp)
Whale Assisted Therapy (WAT)
Research has been conducted on the effects of seeing whales and some interesting effects have
They include: a feeling of oneness, a powerful connection with nature, being totally in the now and gaining clarity and insight
Check for opportunities for connecting with whales in
NEW RESEARCH PROGRAM FOR 2010
Depression and the Effects of Dolphin Contact with Professor Patricia Sherwood and Patricia Athena
throught the Global Outreach program of Sophia College (see website for details about Sophia College-
We are looking for people with depression or others interested in participating in the program from 16th January- 14th February 2007 at Bunbury, Western Australia
This is psycho/ social research and looks at the experiences people have being with dolphins
It is suggested that you participate in at least 3-4 sessions per week to receive the benefit over 2-3 weeks
There is a wonderful dolphin facility here with access to the local wild dolphins. This will be part of the ongoing dolphin research program to study how dolphins and whales impact on people
Please contact Patricia Athena if you are interested;
firstname.lastname@example.org or call Australia 0411559188
Bunbury January- February 2010
Aim; to study the effects of dolphin contact with people with depression and others
Previous research of effects of dolphins on people conducted at the Dolphin Discovery Centre In WA in 2004/5 suggest that there are very positive effects on people when in contact with dolphins (see “A dolphin discovery community: Building connectedness with self, others and the world.”18.10.05, Dr
1“Describe your experience after being with the dolphins?”
2 “Can you describe any feelings you had while being with the dolphins or after the experience?
3 “Did you notice any changes within your body during or after the experience?”
Expected Outcomes, Value and Benefits of the program
This is really worth doing to find out more about how dolphin experiences impact on people. It is already indicated that positive experiences from contact with dolphins may be a great benefit
We are always looking for ways of assisting people with depression with this experience or other experiences out in nature. Some studies are already being done with people whale watching and their experiences for example
The dolphin discovery centre is located in Bunbury, capital of the south west region, 240 kms south of
It was decided to focus attention on people with depression as this has become widespread within the community
Participants will come to the beach over the period of a month for 3-4 sessions per week. Approximately 10-12 people will participate in the project
The study is part of the
Phenomenology is chosen as the most appropriate method for explicating the participant’s experience of the effect of being with the dolphins
The explication process involves five stages.
Stage 1. Intuitive/holistic understanding of the raw data
The first stage involved reading the transcribed interviews repeatedly if necessary, to achieve a holistic and intuitive understanding of the meanings attributed to the phenomena. .
Stage 2. Forming a constituent profile
This stage involved the construction of a constituent profile, which summarises the raw data from each participant. A set of natural meaning units, or NMU’s, are extracted which are self-definable, discrete segments of expression of individual aspects of the participant’s experience. The purpose expressed in each of the extracted NMU’s is reduced to central themes. Central themes express the meaning concisely, whilst maintaining the original mode of expression. Finally, central themes that are repeated are distilled to a single theme. Central themes are then re-ordered, and the subsequent reconstituted list of central themes provides a non-repetitive list of descriptive meaning statements for each participant, which is termed the constituent profile.
Stage 3. Forming a thematic index
Constituent profiles of each participant are used as a basis to construct a ‘thematic index’, which highlights major themes that have emerged. The ‘thematic index’ enables the data to be moved from being examined at an idiographic (individual) level to a nomothetic (group) level . The thematic index establishes a non-repetitive, sequenced list of meaning statements used to search for interpretative themes.
Stage 4. Searching the thematic index
Interpretative themes are statements that succinctly capture the meanings portrayed through the constituent profiles. The constituent profiles and central themes are searched to explicate interpretative themes, which enable the formation of the extended description which describes the essence of the phenomena.
Stage 5. Extended description
This is a summary of the interpretative themes to produce an in-depth picture of the clients’ experience
Edith Cowan University, Regional Professional Services
Ph: 08-97807817 Fax: 08-97315022
Acknowledgement and heart felt thanks to all the participants in the research project and to Professor Trisha Sherwood for her inspiration to start the project and the support during the project, Michael who introduced me to the dolphin world, Carla and the Dolphin Therapy Group at Bunbury and the beautiful children for their presence.
Aspecial thank you to Phil and all staff and volunteers at the Koombana Bay Dolphin Discovery Centre and the Dolphins of Koombana Bay, Western Australia and all the dolphins- our cetacean family
My wish is that this information helps to raise awareness about our connection to the ocean and all who live their and the now crucial need to preserve this environment not only for the sea life but for all life on the Earth
Study of Dolphin/Human Interactions
This study on human dolphin interactions took place over a 5 month period from October- 2004- until March 2005. This was the summer season in Bunbury, Western Australia.
Bunbury is the home to over 150m resident dolphins who quite often interact with people. The Dolphin discovery Centre on Koombana Bay is a non profit organization established to monitor and educate the public and conduct research of the dolphin population.
Most interviews were conducted on the beach at the Dolphin Discovery Centre. Dolphins regularly come into the interaction zone set up with marker buoys. Local people as well as many overseas visitors come to interact with the dolphins. Visitors are invited to come into the water in a line up to thigh deep and observe the dolphins. There are strict guidelines about not touching the dolphins.
Smaller groups can go into deeper water and observe dolphins with snorkel and goggles. Other interviews were conducted with people who went out on the Dolphin Centers swim tours. This was in deeper water in the bay. Groups would float together and wait for dolphins to appear. There were often interactions with the dolphins although usually for short periods of 20 seconds to a minute approximately.
Interviews were conducted with volunteers and staff at the Dolphin Discovery Center who had had a lot of time interacting with the dolphins.Other people interviewed were people who attended talks and workshops attended by Patricia or people in the region who had experienced some dolphin interactions.
The study was divided into 2 groups. The first one involved the therapy group of disabled children who attended the beach at different times and worked with Carla Henco and volunteers in the therapy group. All the children had visited the beach over varying periods of time. Two of the children (Tobias and Alison) had traveled with their parents from Germany to visit the dolphins. The established qualitative-phenomenological approach was used in this study.
Interviews were taped and later transcribed into raw data. Natural Meaning Units were extracted from the data and an Interpreter Key listing experiences of self, others and the world was composed. Frequency of experiences helped to create Central Themes. Descriptive statements were then developed supported by participants experiences. Changes were noticed and recorded particularly with the two children in the therapy group who came to the beach over 2 seasons (8 months) and attended the therapy group most days of the week.
Results from the study with the Therapy Group
Children and adults involved in therapy on the beach at the Dolphin the Centre experienced changes over various periods of time.
The most obvious changes after being with the dolphins included; children and adults being happy, more peaceful and relaxed just following and Later children making more sounds and communicating with others more and positive behaviour changes.
Tobias is a 10 year old boy who travelled with his mother from Germany to participate in the therapy program. He came over 3 seasons and about 8 months of therapy. When he first came he was a very introvert boy with severe developmental delay and was diagnosed with physical and mental development of a 4 year old. Dramatic changes were noticed in Tobias over the period. He changed physically, mentally and emotionally. He had some initial difficulty; “We tried to walk with him on the beach. It was difficult to even walk on the sand with bare feet. He did not like it and was crying. He would cry even to put his feet in the water”.
He made some dramatic progress; “In the fourth week I put him into sand and he loved it. This was good progress. He started to make some sounds. He got excited”
After the total of 8 months therapy progress had been made; He is now open to interact with other people and is more social. He was always crying before. He now laughs a lot now and seems happy. Now he is staying for a longer time. He now develops with his speech with more sounds coming. His walking is getting better”
These statements highlight the changes that happened for Tobias during his stay. He had more eye contact, communicated with people on the beach and was laughing a lot. “They came around him a lot and I had a feeling the dolphins knew him. He would have so much sadness and anger. With the dolphins he was a happy boy. It was so obvious that something changed for him.”
Participants in the program tend to become more relaxed during and following their visits to the beach.
Mitchell visits the beach regularly and lives locally: “His non verbal and has never spoken a word in his life. He has very limited communication skills. He has as no regular communication. Therefore his level of frustration and behaviour problems are enormous” He will actually like almost go limp in the water, he will lay limp, he'll go from tense and very up tight to laying limp relaxed, he may jump up and down, sing, he may splash, he may actually show enormous changes in his body and in his ability to relax.
When he goes home he's generally more relaxed. He's generally more peaceful. Sometimes whether its the peacefulness or relaxation he will often be tired. While his visits to the beach were challenging there were other rewards. Visiting the beach has expanded his experience;
“Spaciousness of the beach and ocean extends him well beyond his normal capacity to cope”. Overall Mitchel showed lots of change . “The change is huge.A huge change.”
Other children who visited the beach from the local Special school showed some significant changes. These behavioural changes were noticed by the school principal;
Alison was another girl in the program; “The biggest change was that her speech started coming and she started walking after 2 weeks with the dolphin” Initially Alison cried a lot and could not walk without assistance. Results from the study with People who had Dolphin Interactions
This study involved 20 participants who talked about their experiences with the dolphins at Bunbury and in other places around the world.The main themes related to self are when people have been with the dolphins they are happy and laugh a lot, some have an amazing experience and sometimes they are very excited. People can be more relaxed and have a feeling that they can love more deeply.
With others they see that people are happy, generally have a good time, sometimes get emotional and can respond more to love from others.
In the world people experience feeling full of love. Dolphins create a lot of energy around people and people feel a sense of freedom. People describe being connected to all things, DNA being activated, reaching other levels of consciousness and feeling brand new again.
When people are with dolphins they tend to laugh a lot and experience heightened levels of joy.
see Community research page for more research nformation