Dolphin-assisted therapy (DAT) involves swimming in a tank with dolphins in order to treat some mental or physical disorder. The causal mechanisms purportedly involved are unclear at best (and usually far worse), but DAT remains popular especially with a certain type of parents who believe it can have a significant positive impact on the “cognitive, physical, or social-emotional behaviors” of disabled children. Needless to say, the price is substantial. Also needless to say, the therapy carries substantial risks – caged dolphins tend to be aggressive, and there is a substantial risk of infections.
Despite the lack of evidence for any beneficial effects, several hypotheses have been proposed to explain how DAT has such positive effects. Psychic Artist and Vibrational Energy Facilitator Rosemary Angelis has one. Angelis claims that she can channel dolphin energy and that if one places a palm over a picture of a dolphin that she's drawn one can “receive the sensation of their loving healing energies.” Well, it’s not really an explanation but probably as close as dolphin therapists get.
Angelis’s day job is to be the Principal of the Wishing Well Harmony Haven, which offers vibrational and holistic healing. “Packages are available to Day Care Centres/Support Groups for various conditions: Autism, Epilepsy, Cancer, ME & MS, Abortion, Miscarriage and Gynaecological issues, AIDS.” Needless to say, they don’t offer much that actually helps anyone, but people in desperate situations are often willing to cling to straws, and are as such easy targets for Angelis’s efforts to “help”.
Diagnosis: We have no doubt that Angelis means well and sincerely believes that she might help. But a good heart and poor reasoning skills may very well lead to situations that are more than a little morally problematic.