Peter Goldenthal, Ph.D., ABPP: Child, Adult, & Family Psychology

Selected Works by Dr. Goldenthal

Nonfiction
A parenting book providing answers to questions about sibling conflicts
Professional Book
This book presents the theory, concepts, and techniques of Contextual Therapy, a unique and powerful thereapeutic approach especially suited to helping children and adolescents.

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Therapy and the Human-Dog Bond

These Dogs Changed a Life

September 17, 2015

Tags: human-dog bond, attachment, therapy

Jake told me how his dogs Lucy and Alice, both Chihuahua mix rescue dogs, have changed his life. “I didn’t even realize that I had as much of an anxiety problem before I had dogs. Lucy softened me up so much and I didn’t even realize I needed softening up. I’m fiercely independent. Before the dogs, I was much more of a tough guy. Lucy is very easy. She’s always calm and trusting. I trust her more than you could trust a person.”

“I remember once yelling at her when she was off-leash. She ran home to our door and then turned around and looked at me and yelped. She showed me that I was being too aggressive.”

Alice was attacked once and received a big puncture wound that almost killed her. “The wound had to be flushed with salt water every 3 hours around the clock for ten days. I didn’t work for those ten days, and it was so worth it.”

Alice recovered from her injuries, but her time with Jake after that was tragically cut short. This is how Jake described her traumatic loss and its affect on him. “July 28th, 2013 at 1:48 PM she got out of the car. We had just gotten back from a long road trip through the US. Alice would stay in my car no matter what . I had left her in the shade with the windows down, but for some reason she got out and was lying under the car. A woman in the neighborhood who thought she was helping tried to get Alice out from under the car and then tried to catch her, but Alice thought she was being chased, so she ran away. For the next ten days, I slept in my car, hoping that Alice might come back. I put up flyers everywhere and drove all over the neighborhood. After two months,, but my friends took me aside and told me I I had to put it behind me.”

“In the process of looking for her, I met some wonderful rescue people. They were so compassionate, so I started working with them. That helped me to deal with my endless heartache. Even through her loss, there’s some therapy going on because now I’m working with these guys. It’s nice to get back into service, where you’re in a community of givers.”