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Since 1983, I have provided therapy for children of all ages, for adults, and for families. The list of problems I do not treat is much shorter than the list of problems I regularly do treat.

For children, these regularly treated problems include fears of all kinds, toileting issues, compliance with parental requests and instructions, autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, and selective mutism. I regularly help teens and adults with anxiety, depressed mood, and relationship issues.

I often use couples and family visits to help with 3 kinds of problems: behavioral problems of preschool and elementary school age children, disagreements between parents about parenting, and couples issues.

I understand how children can be lonely, that every child is longing to be loved and validated. Many problems arise from children’s difficulties in communicating their feelings and needs, something that is frustrating for child and parent alike. I have developed many creative ways to help children express their deepest feelings and needs in productive ways.

One of these is through animal-assisted therapy. Sasha, the daschund mix whose photo you see here, is always in my office and provides comfort to patients of all ages. She gives very young children something to look forward to when they come to the office, and offers comfort and 2 acutely sensitive ears for teens and adults.

Having written 3 professional books about my approach to therapy and 2 books for the general public about sibling relationships, I am now writing about the unique bond that forms between dogs and their people and how it is therapeutic for both people and dogs.


Individual and family therapy visits are not the best fit for everybody. I regularly receive calls from parents of all ages who are concerned about their children also of all ages) and also concerned about how they are managing or responding to those children, whether they are preschoolers, school age, adolescents, or young adults.

The reasons vary. Younger children may be engaging in challenging, but manageable behaviors for which a modification in parenting techniques is often sufficient. Adolescents and young adults may either be too anxious or too oppositional to agree to participate in therapy directly.

In these situations, coaching can be extraordinarily helpful. In my practice, this coaching includes discussions about underlying causes of the concerning behavior, developing clear and specific action steps, and ongoing monitoring of these steps to ensure that they are being as effective as possible.


I am pleased to be able to offer my services to help you help your dog conquer troublesome behaviors. The same approach, one that incorporates behavior change through understanding, that has helped hundreds of children of all ages, is now available to help the canine members of your family.

I specialize in helping your canine family member learn to behave in a way that makes life more enjoyable for him and you.

For many people, the biggest impediment to fully enjoying being with their dog is a lack of good manners. I will teach your dog to sit, lie down, wait (stay), and come when called. More than that, I can teach them these things in a way that they will actually enjoy. They will look forward to "School time." Some dogs like it so much, and some people enjoy the training so much, that they want to learn tricks such as rolling over or finding and carrying their leash. Motivated dogs can even learn card tricks!

You can learn much more about my approach to therapy from my blog posts. Just click on "Therapy & Dogs" at the top of this page. And if you would like to see and here me giving a talk about Contextual Therapy, click the link in the left hand column on this page that says "Click here to see an excerpt of my Contextual Therapy Lecture in the Netherlands."

 BIO: I was born in Boston, Massachusetts, grew up in Connecticut, went to college in Maine, and earned my MA in psychology from Cornell University and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Connecticut.

I interned at the Worcester Youth Guidance Center and followed this with postdoctoral fellowship training in the Department of Psychiatry of Harvard Medical School at Judge Baker Guidance Center and Boston Children’s Hospital.

I have lived in the Philadelphia suburbs since 1983, where I have a practice providing therapy for children, adults, couples, and families. Shortly after moving to the Philadelphia area, I began intensive training in Contextual Therapy with Dr. Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy, who endorsed my his first book,Contextual Family Therapy.

I studied animal behavior and comparative psychology at Cornell, earning my M.A. in 1980. I then continued my training in Clinical Psychology at the University of Connecticut, where I was awarded the Ph.D. in 1981.

I am the author of Doing Contextual Therapy and Working with Children and Families and 2 books for the general public: Beyond Sibling Rivalry, a book for parents of children of all ages, and Why Can’t We Get Along: Healing Adult Sibling Relationships, a book for adults.

I have Board Certification in Clinical Psychology and Family Psychology from The American Board of Professional Psychology. I have held faculty positions at The University of Pennsylvania, Bryn Mawr College, and Thomas Jefferson Medical School, and have lectured and presented workshops in 4 countries.

I am widely recognized as an expert in sibling relationships and child development and have been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, Redbook, Family Circle, Parents, and many other print and online publications. I have appeared on the TODAY show, CBS Sunday Morning, Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane, and Voices in the Family with Dan Gottlieb.

LOCATION: My office is located one half block from the Narberth station of the R 5. You can reach me using the contact page of this website, by sending an email to pg at drpetergoldenthal dot com. or by calling 610-660-8400.