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

You, Your Dog, Your Attachment Style, and Your Healing

September 18, 2015

Tags: dogs, human-dog bond, attachment, therapy

Each of us has his or her way of forming attachments to other people. This “attachment pattern” develops during infancy and early childhood and persists throughout life. Although you can’t do very much to change your attachment pattern, sometimes called an “attachment style,” you (more…)

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’ (more…)

Finding Your Special Canine Companion

September 1, 2015

Tags: therapy, human-dog bond, attachment

Much of what happens between person and dog seems magical. Someone loses a dog, visits a shelter, and as if by chance, comes home with the perfect canine companion. Many people say, as if channeling the wand maker in Harry Potter, “the person doesn’t choose the dog, the dog chooses the person.”

This (more…)

Animal Assisted Contextual Therapy

August 20, 2015

Tags: human-dog bond, attachment, therapy, pet therapy, contextual therapy

Those who are familiar with my writings about contextual therapy, whether in books or blog posts, may be wondering how my more recent writing about the human-dog bond and about pet therapy–and animal assisted therapy– are connected to contextual therapy.

The answer is straight forward, and it takes us back to the core (more…)

Bonding through Training

August 20, 2015

Tags: human-dog bond, attachment, therapy, training, pet therapy

Working with your dog, whether it's practicing sitting and staying or learning a new trick, is a great way to strengthen the bond between you. Choose an activity that lets your dog stretch his or her mind, that is within their capabilities, and includes lots (more…)

Maximizing Your Own and Your Dog’s Therapeutic Potential

August 17, 2015

Tags: human-dog bond, attachment, therapy, pet therapy

The more experience one has as a psychotherapist, the more one comes to rely on one’s personal attributes and one’s relationships with patients.

Early in most therapists’ careers, graduate training has a huge influence. Most psychology training programs, especially those that are part of research universities, emphasize the importance of acquiring theoretical (more…)

Your Dog may be more Therapeutic than You Know

August 9, 2015

Tags: human-dog bond, attachment, therapy, pet therapy

How often do you say or hear something like this,” I can’t believe it. He (or she) is my little buddy. He follows me around and he cares where I am.” ?

Or perhaps this is more familiar, “Even when I hate the rest of my family, I still love my dog.”?

To my (more…)

Your Dog Prefers People Who are Kind to You

August 7, 2015

Tags: human-dog bond, attachment, therapy

A group of psychologists in Japan have found that dogs choose not to make contact with people who exhibit behaviors that are unhelpful to their owners.

What does this mean for people who are interested in enhancing their relationships with their canine companions?

I believe that it means several things. Dogs are very aware (more…)

Intimacy, Nature, and the Human-Dog Bond

July 29, 2015

Tags: human-dog bond, attachment, therapy, dogs

Intimacy–whether between two people or between person and dog– opens people up to new experiences, it connects people, and it helps people explore new aspects of themselves.

Many years ago, I experienced a magical moment watching a beaver build a dam in a small pond in the woods (more…)

On Intimacy, comfort, and bonding

July 22, 2015

Tags: human-dog bond, attachment, therapy, pet therapy


As I write this, I am sitting on my sofa with Sasha, all 23 pounds of her, curled up so close to me that a piece of onion skin wouldn’t slide between us. Sasha is a particularly social dog, but to lie motionless as she is while I write is unusual. It would be (more…)

Empathy and the Human-Dog Bond

July 20, 2015

Tags: human-dog bond, attachment

Puppy Love
Empathy, the ability to see and feel the world from another person’s perspective, is a crucial ingredient in all intimate relationships. Over 20,000 years, dogs have developed this capacity, some to a truly remarkable degree.

Most children are naturally empathic. They can learn to be even more empathic, and to have empathy even under (more…)

A Recipe for Attachment

July 19, 2015

Tags: human-dog bond, attachment

All close and mutually trusting relationships are alike, whether they are between two people or between a person and a member of another species. Many species are very social, but dogs are the most social of the species that live with people, and the one that has lived with people for the longest time, perhaps for 20,000 (more…)