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

Help for dogs who are afraid of thunderstorms

February 8, 2016

Tags: dogs, training, thunderstorms

One common question from dog owners is this: What Can I do About my dog's fear of thunder?

Fear of loud noises probably developed eons ago for a very good reason:extremely loud noises are often accompanied by dangerous events. There are two things to do when your dog cowers or shakes during a (more…)

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…)

FAQ– Therapeutic Dogs, Therapy Dogs, and Service Dogs

August 31, 2015

Tags: therapy, dogs, human-dog bond

My posts over the past weeks have focused on some of the many ways that the bond between person and dog can be mutually therapeutic. Today, I’m going to switch gears to address a semantic question: what is the difference between a dog being (more…)

Intimacy and the Human Dog bond Part Two

July 29, 2015

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

That experience with Gita and the Beaver Pond has been alive in my mind for a long time. I’ve re-imagined it, and I’ve wondered what made it click. I incorporated it into a story for children and have tried to make it happen again by going into (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…)

Why You Should Stop Trying to be the "Alpha"

June 23, 2015

Tags: dogs, alpha, human-dog bond

This just-published article explains why trying to be your dog's alpha is based on lots of misinformation and is altogether a bad idea. You can read the complete article on the "Books & Articles " page of this website. The article also appears in the summer issue of "The Chronicle of the Dog," the official publication (more…)

How Your Dog Can Help Your Child be Mindful

June 18, 2015

Tags: children, dogs, therapy

I’ve written previously, as have many others, about the ways in which meditation and mindfulness practices can help children. One built in problem, a sort of Catch-22 is that those children who most need to learn to calm themselves and to focus their minds are those least likely to want to sit still, (more…)

Creating a Mutually Therapeutic Relationship with Your Dog

June 8, 2015

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

Not so very long ago, even the title of this post would have raised eyebrows in professional circles. Times have changed in very positive ways, however, and for the better. My article on animal assisted therapy will soon be published in “Currents” the publication of the Philadelphia Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology, (more…)

Dogs and Therapy#6: What is negative reinforcement?

June 7, 2015

Tags: dogs, human-dog bond

In this post, I’ll continue my discussion of animal learning as it applies to making choices that will make you and your dog happy together. In my previous post about learning, I wrote about positive reinforcers. There are also negative reinforcers. Just as positive reinforcers do, so too do negative reinforcers increase the (more…)

Dogs and Therapy #5: Learning Can be Fun for You and Your Dog

June 5, 2015

Tags: dogs, human-dog bond

People who live with a dog and want to have a great relationship with that dog want the dog to be well behaved, but they don’t want to hurt their relationship to get there. Rather, they would like the learning process to be on that is enjoyable for both human and dog and (more…)

Dogs and Therapy #4: Mindfulness

June 2, 2015

Tags: mindfulness, dogs, human-dog bond, therapy, animal assisted therapy

Many people are interested in learning to be in the moment, to experience their inner life and their surroundings without the intrusion of the constant stream of thought that accompanies each of us everywhere. One path to this kind of immediate awareness is through the increasingly popular practice of meditation. A complementary path involves (more…)

Dogs and Therapy #3: Dog Parks

June 1, 2015

Tags: dogs, human-dog bond

Several months ago, I visited a local dog park with Sasha, the 16-month-old Daschund mix who has become my constant companion and a valued co-therapist in my psychology practice.

We had been enjoying the sunny and mild fall day for an hour or so when I saw an American Bulldog wagging its tail at the other end of the park. (more…)

Dogs and Therapy #2: Dogs and Wolves

June 1, 2015

Tags: dogs, animal assisted therapy, human-dog bond

When I think about how Sasha comforts my patients, and how they speak of their pets with such affection, I am reminded of the often repeated assertion that dogs and wolves are extremely closely related, behaviorally and genetically. And yet, the qualities that make Sasha and other companion dogs so companionable don’t seem (more…)

Dogs and Therapy #1

June 1, 2015

Tags: therapy, children, animal assisted therapy, dogs

I decided to start this series of posts because of what I has observed going on in therapy and counseling between my patients and my dogs: first a small white dog who I still insist was a petit basset griffon Vendeen (PBGV) who had wandered away from home until she found (more…)