CDTC Curacao Dolphin Therapy & Research Center of Willemstad at REHACARE 2017 in Düsseldorf -- REHACARE Trade Fair

CDTC Curacao Dolphin Therapy & Research Center

Bapor Kibra z/n, Willemstad
Telephone +599 9 4619886, +31 6 12863361, +31 6 12863361

Hall map

REHACARE 2017 hall map (Hall 6): stand A07

Fairground map

REHACARE 2017 fairground map: Hall 6

Our range of products

Product categories

  • 10  Travel, leisure, sports and recreation
  • 10.01  Barrier free accomodation and destinations

Barrier free accomodation and destinations

Our products

Product category: Animal supported therapies

Curacao Dolphin Assisted Therapy Program

What it is: a unique dolphin assisted program
CDTC offers a personalized two-week program in which interaction with dolphins plays an essential role. It is designed for the treatment of patients of 3 years and older with special needs like autism and cerebral palsy, as well as people with psychological conditions like depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. (See list of diagnoses.)

The program is in the hands of certified and committed therapists. It complements and reinforces the traditional therapy that patients are receiving at home. If the patient is a child, its parents and siblings are closely involved in the therapy. The program is provided in four languages: English, Dutch, German and Spanish.

What it achieves: a positive difference
The success rate is high. Our patients show significant progress in:

• fine and gross motor skills
• speech and language
• cognitive development
• social and functional life skills

What this can mean is physical development, better communication, more self-confidence, and more relaxation. A huge difference in the lives of patients and their families.

How it works: the dolphin as a powerful motivator
Dolphins play a central role in the program. They are important supporters, amongst others in operant conditioning, which means that the interaction with the dolphin is also recognized as reward.
Example: a therapist asks a child with motor difficulties to lift its arm up. As soon as it does, the dolphin reacts, and so can motivate the child to repeat the exercise. That way the child quickly and easily gains control of a new situation and builds self-confidence.

Why dolphins: smart and social animals
Dolphins are intelligent and have a very social nature. Research has shown that interaction with dolphins can increase a patient’s attention span up to four times. Also, dolphins have a unique ability to bond with people and set them at ease. The dolphin unconditionally accepts people with special needs. Some patients realize that the dolphin, as impressive a creature as it is, cannot speak or walk. “The dolphin is just like me!” It makes the dolphin a recognizable therapy partner that patients are willing to work harder for.

How the program is structured

• A personalized two-week program
• Two blocks of five days with one therapy session per day
• One free weekend in between
• The patient will have the same therapist throughout the program
• Customized programs available upon request

On the first day, the therapist welcomes the patient, his family and care team. Before the anamnesis, the medical history and all information from therapists at home is reviewed. Together with the individual therapist clear goals are set. There is a tour of the facility and an opportunity to meet the therapy team and the other patients and families. Then the sessions are ready to begin. Time to meet, interact and work with the dolphins.

How the sessions are structured
Each session has a total duration of two hours, divided into four parts:

• A half hour conventional therapy in a special therapy room.
• One hour of actual dolphin assisted therapy on the platform and in the water.
• A half hour of training of daily living skills such as showering, changing, organizing
• Session evaluation

During the preparation, the patient does exercises designed to work towards the agreed goals. While the therapist, treats supports and coaches the patient, a qualified intern writes the session report. The patient then may change into a wetsuit.
On the dock and in the water, a dolphin trainer and dolphin join the team. The exercises are extended and intensified in the sense of a functional carryover and centered on interaction with the dolphin. Parents and caretakers are watching from a distance.
During the last half hour of therapy the patient is training daily living skills and will take a shower, after which the session is evaluated with the patient, family and caretakers. How did the session go? How do we follow up?

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Product category: Animal supported therapies

Curacao Dolphin Therapy Program - For Families

Many of CDTC’s patients are children. Their parents, brothers and sisters are usually the most important people in their lives and the ones who provide a great deal of the care. This is why they are closely involved in our therapy program. There are evaluations, counseling sessions and workshops. There are valuable opportunities for parents to connect. There is a fun and educational CDTClub for siblings.

Experiencing CDTC’s program as a family makes it easier to put the positive results into practice after you have returned home. It leads to greater understanding, strengthens the bond and often provides a lot of shared enjoyment.

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Product category: Animal supported therapies

Curacao Dolphin Therapy Program - Kids Corner

The dolphins from Curacao say hi!

Fun dolphin facts:
• Dolphins can jump as high as 20 feet above the water
• Bottlenose dolphins have bigger brains than humans
• Bottlenose dolphins have 80-100 teeth
• Some types of dolphins can hold their breath for 30 minutes
• Dolphins may eat up to 30 pounds of fish a day
• Dolphins can live to be over 50 years old
• Dolphins have ears: tiny holes on the side of their heads!
• Dolphins can swim at speeds up to 25 miles per hour! (40 km/h)

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Product category: Animal supported therapies

Dolphin Suites - Fully wheelchair accessible boutique hotel

Soon after opening the Dolphin Therapy Center, the accessible Dolphin Suites hotel opened. The hotel is specialized in serving people who visit the island for these unique rehabilitation therapy programs, but since the hotel offers luxurious designed accommodations including plenty holiday services to people with- and without special needs, it has become a popular spot for everyone.

‘A great spot for a family stay!’

The hotel manages to meet the needs of every person and family: whether you love an adventurous holiday or a laidback beach holiday. The close partnership with Sea Aquarium Park allow the guests of Dolphin Suites to enjoy unlimited free access to the Sea Aquarium and the beach that are just a stroll away.
Not only can you spot and swim (with) dolphins; you can also see, touch and learn about all kinds of underwater creatures! And, let’s not forget the Mambo Beach Boulevard, with lots of shops, restaurants and watersports for more family fun! This all in the comfort of staying in a boutique hotel that’s known for its cozy atmosphere where everyone can feel at home.
Needless to say that the whole hotel and the surrounding area, including the tour busses, are accessible for wheelchairs.

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Product category: Animal supported therapies

Brucker Biofeedback Methode - We help to restore function

This innovative therapy has shown successful results with children and adults with damage to the central nerve system and/or to the spinal cord. People with cerebral palsy, stroke, brain injury, ataxia, spinal cord injury and many other conditions have booked striking results thanks to this therapy.

The Brucker Biofeedback Method is a technique that measures the signals between the brains and the body (electromyogram research). If the signals are too weak the patients are unable to control the muscles. With the usage of electrodes and a specifically designed computer program it’s possible to make subtle muscle activity visual or audible for the patient. By intensive training, new connections in the nervous system can be created which lead to an improved signal between the brain and muscles.  Since the therapy takes place in the Dolphin Suites, this is a valuable addition to a holiday where healing is combined with a fun, unconstrained holiday.

At our booth we offer the possibility for a free try-out session.

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About us

Company details

The concept that makes a difference

Who we are
The leading dolphin assisted therapy center in the world, founded in 2004 and located on the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao. We employ a group of caring specially trained and qualified professionals, including psychologists, physical, speech and occupational therapists.
And, of course, five bottlenose dolphins who perform exclusively in our program.

Who visits us
We welcome around 400 patients and their families from around the world each year. We treat people of 3 years and older with special needs like Autism, Asperger and Down Syndrome, or psychological conditions like depression, PTSD and burnout.

What we do
Since 2004, we have been providing personalized dolphin assisted therapy and rehabilitation programs. We offer our two-week programs in four languages: English, Dutch, German and Spanish. The care for parents and siblings and family as a whole is an essential part of our therapy concept. CDTC continuously seeks to implement therapy forms that provide added value to its line of competences, such as the Brucker biofeedback method.

Why it works
Connecting and interacting with dolphins stimulates and rewards patients to make progress.  A dolphin can capture your attention, set you at ease and offers unique ways to motivate you. After a two-week program, our patients show significant improvements that had seemed impossible while at home.

The CDTC difference
Our concept facilitates a difference in people’s lives. Special-needs children improve their physical, verbal and social skills and gain self-confidence. People with trauma recover and those with burnout relax and reorganize. This is not a miracle, but the result of a tailor-made treatment provided by a professional and multidisciplinary team of therapists and specially selected dolphins in a natural environment.

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