In the 1960s Dr. John Lilly, a physician and psychoanalyst, studied dolphin-human communication. He was one of the first people to suggest that dolphins could help humans learn to communicate better with one another.
In the 1970s Dr. Betsy Smith, an educational anthropologist noticed the therapeutic effects of dolphins on her disabled brother. She and other researchers began to study the effects that interacting with dolphins appeared to have on children with neurological impairments.
In the 1980s Dr. David Nathanson of the Dolphin Human Therapy centre in Florida developed dolphin human therapy, a form of dolphin-assisted therapy.
Various dolphin therapy programmes have since been established in other countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the Caribbean and South America.