Intern Date: July 2011
My name is Kapasouri Katerina and I am a professor of Adapted Physical Education from Greece. I am working in the field of rehabilitation for people with disabilities and to be more specific I am specialized in Therapeutic Swimming. Depending on my studies and my working experience, I know that water is working therapeutically, not only to our body but also to our soul. Therefore, the challenge for me was to find out if Dolphin Therapy can enhance or hasten the therapy process and the rehabilitation by giving complementary elements and stimulus to the body and the spirit.
For this reason, I decided to fulfill one of my dreams…
Arriving in Antalya and entering the office of the SOULESCIENCE SCHOOL, Dr. Murat Kemaloglu and his team were waiting to welcome me. I suddenly realized that everything was the same and in parallel so different from my home country and my working area.
I met people with dreams and visions that turn them into actions.
Soon, it was about time to support one participant of this program under the oversight of Dr. Murat Kemaloglu. My emotions were so intense, but at the same time so familiar. I realized that in the water I was not alone, but with a dolphin swimming near me and our goal was to find a proper approach for the specific kid, in order to connect and communicate in a deeply and substantial way. An extra goal was the kid to overrun every habit, routine, fear, stress, in order to trust, communicate, share and enjoy. Soon, I understand that in this “team”, the therapist wasn’t me, but the dolphin, which with an almost magical way that I cannot describe or explain has taken this role. My role was to become the connector between the medicating and the dolphin.
During this time Dr. Murat Kemaloglu and his team taught me how to respect the dolphin‘s nature, its habits, its behavior and emotions and they made me understand the basic principles of the dolphin therapy.
It is also important to mention another part of the therapy that takes place daily and has to do with the rest of the family. Except the person that is doing Dolphin Therapy in the pool, the rest of the family can watch and learn from this process. The most important thing is that even after the swimming session the family has the chance to contact with therapists of many specialties and take counsel about the right way of interaction, with every member of the family. They can also learn about new therapeutic programs, self-care skills, autonomy, creative games etc.
Furthermore, during my training I had the chance to meet kids and adults with PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorders), Autism, ADHD (Attention- Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), Intellectual Disabilities, Schizophrenia etc. Through this experience I noticed that even from the first sessions there was improvement in concentration, in verbal and non-verbal communication, in emotion management and in some areas of motion, despite the fact that every person reacts differently because of his/her age, diagnose and personality. All these changes have as a result emotional maturity, creation of right models, socialization, social inclusion and improvement generally in a person’s life as well as his family’s.
I want to thank you and your families who respect me and trust me… I also thank you for making me laugh so much and for making this experience memorable and priceless!!!