The Healing Power of Dolphins with Eating Disorders Clients
Considering the Victorian is just steps away from the sands of Newport Beach, dolphin siting’s are frequent. Researches say spending time with these joyful creatures actually brings upon higher success rates of eating disorder recovery.
I have never met a Victorian client who didn’t LOVE animals! Dogs, cats, horses, bird- the women are obsessed. Many request the San Diego Zoo or Santa Ana Zoo for our day trips. As well many choose to volunteer their time at local animal hospitals while they are in our step down program, Patrice House. Our ladies love animals! Research shows this might not be a coincidence. A recent study by the University of München in Germany on animal-assisted therapy with dolphins for eating disorders clients produced positive results. The pilot study examined a dolphin assisted therapy for patients with eating disorder. 25 patients received treatment consisting of:
· Dolphin interaction
· Psycho education
· Cognitive behavioral therapy
· Nutritional education
· Craniosacral therapy
These clients were compared to a control group of 7 clients with standard behavioral therapy program. Three months after the treatment only the patients in the dolphin therapy group showed a stable decrease in their overall psycho-social behaviors while both groups had significant improvement of eating behavior. These results are the first to show that dolphin-assisted therapy is an effective tool in the treatment of eating disorders and is of special use in improving psycho-social variables like depression and somatization. Further research is necessary to further observe the long-term outcome of the dolphin therapy approach on patients with eating disorders.
Now we just need to play a day trip to Sea World in San Diego!