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

Selected Works by Dr. Goldenthal

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

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…)

A Disabled Dog with a Special Ability

August 16, 2015

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

Today I’m going to relate the story of how a very special dog helped his person learn to be more socially engaged. Hank, a coon hound, had been found by the side of the road in Arkansas, starving and with a huge infection in his leg–the result of having been used for (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…)

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…)

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…)

Any Dog Can Be a Therapy Dog

July 21, 2015

Tags: therapy, human-dog bond, pet therapy

Your dog may not be suited to being an official therapy dog, one of those dogs who visits patients in hospitals, nursing homes, or assisted living facilities. However, he or she can be, and probably is therapeutic for you, perhaps in ways you don’t always notice.

I’ve written previously about the reciprocal (more…)

What is Animal Assisted Therapy for Children?

July 9, 2015

Tags: therapy, children, human-dog bond, animal assisted therapy, pet therapy

In my practice, animal-assisted therapy has a specific meaning: applying knowledge of the unique bond that can between people and dogs, as well as the great interpersonal skills of Sasha, my canine partner and an unusually sensitive daschund-mix.

My youngest patients connect instantly with Sasha, who eagerly greets them with a wagging tail and, (more…)

What is a Therapeutic Relationship?

June 8, 2015

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

The obvious answer to the question posed in the title of this post is: “A therapeutic relationship is the relationship between therapist and a client or patient.” We hope that all patient-therapist and client-therapist relationships are therapeutic, but that answer is, if not circular, close to it: it begs the question. What makes a (more…)