Continuing professional education

Animals as Motivators: Dolphin-Assisted Therapy

Tuition: $785

Hours: 14 or 1.4 CEUs

Prerequisite: None

Who Attends: Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Occupational Therapy Assistants and Physical Therapist Assistants (PT and OT students welcome to attend)

Upcoming Dates and Locations: View Our Catalog

Therapeutic interventions are often based upon the motivational relationship for client participation. Therapy is also centered on the functional activities within the community. The use of animals seems to bring these two outcomes of motivation to participate and functional community activity together. This seminar will explore the history, theory and research outcomes related to animal assisted therapy and in particular the use of dolphins as a therapeutic tool.

Students will participate in classroom review of the theories for animal assisted therapy as well as having the opportunity for one on one interactions with the dolphins.



9:00 – 10:15 AM – Welcome/Facility Overview; Introduction to Animal Assisted Therapy
10:15 – 10:30 AM – BREAK
10:30 – 12:00 PM – Get Acquainted Swim
1:00 – 3:00 PM – Dolphin Assisted Therapy/Evidence
3:00 – 3:15 PM – BREAK
3:15 – 5:00 PM – Dolphins as Motivators/Therapeutic Benefits of DAT


8:00 – 9:00 AM – Briefing for Structured; Swim w/ Dolphins
9:00 – 10:15 AM – Anatomy of Dolphins and Specific Behaviors
10:15 – 10:30 AM – BREAK
10:30 – 12:00 PM – Structured Swim
12:00 – 12:45 PM – LUNCH
12:45 – 3:00 PM – Client Populations, Sample Treatment Plans, Examinations, Further Study Needed
3:00 – 3:15 PM – BREAK
3:15 – 4:30 PM – Case Studies/Highlights/Questions



This course is taught by:

Jack McIntosh, Instructor

MPT                University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences
DPT                University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences

Dr. Jack McIntosh is a graduate of the University of St. Augustine, having received his MPT in 1999 and returned for his DPT in 2002. He received undergraduate degrees in music and psychology from the University of Central Florida.

Dr. McIntosh has spent the majority of his career working with pediatrics. He began as a music therapist at Sunland Center in Orlando, FL. Later he worked as a behavior therapist for autistic and emotionally disturbed children in Mt Dora, FL. In early 2003 he began providing dolphin assisted therapy for physically and mentally challenged indi-viduals.  Currently, he is the owner of Next Step Rehab, an outpatient facility in Altamonte Springs,  FL.

Cindy Mathena, Instructor

BS                   Medical University of South Carolina
MS                  Old Dominion University
PhD                 Walden University

Dr. Mathena has been teaching at the University of St. Augustine since January of 1998. She attended the Medical University of South Carolina and received her B.S. in Occupational Therapy. She received her M.S. in Health Administration from Old Dominion University and her PhD is in Educational Technology with an  emphasis in online learning experiences though Walden University. Her dissertation was titled: “Effectiveness of Online Education for Physical and Occupational Therapy Curricula”.

Dr. Mathena is Vice President/Dean of Post Professional Studies at the University of St. Augustine. She also serves on the Distance Education and Training Councils site accreditation team and is actively involved in that organization.

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