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Therapy and the Human-Dog Bond

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

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  Read More 
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What is Sibling Rivalry?

What is Sibling Rivalry?

As some readers of this blog may know, I’ve devoted a lot of time to thinking and writing about this question (Beyond Sibling Rivalry, Why Can’t We Get Along) and have only recently figured out how to share my expertise in bite-sized chunks that you can read while drinking a  Read More 
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What is Contextual Therapy? : Dimension I –Facts

Dimension 1: Facts

In this post, I’ll describe the Dimension of Facts, the one that focuses on individual and family history. Future posts will talk about the other dimensions and how they are connected.

A skilled CT therapist learns about each the facts of a person’s history, those things that are objective, that are  Read More 
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What is Contextual Therapy?: The 4 Dimensions

Why is it Important to Have 4 Dimensions?

One of the things that I find most useful about the contextual approach is how it incorporates multiple perspectives. The integrative aspect of contextual therapy (CT) runs through the model and affects treatment in many ways. The emphasis on multiple perspectives becomes clear as soon as one  Read More 
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What is Contextual Therapy?

As I wrote in Doing contextual Therapy (W.W. Norton): “Contextual therapy has become a model of human experience, family life, and therapy whose goals are widely admired, whose assumptions are widely endorsed, and whose concepts are widely borrowed. It is difficult to find an experienced therapist who would argue with the notion that knowledge of a person’s past and present family relationships is crucial to understanding and helping the person, or one who would deny that issues of fairness and loyalty are central to life and to close relationships.

But many who would practice contextual therapy, and many more who would incorporate contextual concepts such as loyalty or destructive entitlement, or treatment strategies such as multi directed partiality into their work feel that this practice is shrouded in mystery.” This statement is as true today as it was in 1996.

I am writing this series of posts to introduce the approach to those who are unfamiliar with it, to add to the  Read More 
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Children and Families #5: Mindfulness Meditation for Children

Helping Your Child be Mindful and Calm

In the past 10 or 20 years, meditation, once associated only with Eastern religious practice, has morphed into “mindfulness meditation,” but it is still the same practice, and it still has the same goals. The practice involves focus, slowing heartbeat and breathing, and observing both internal and external experience.  Read More 
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Dogs and Therapy #4: Mindfulness

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  Read More 
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Dogs and Therapy #3: Dog Parks

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.  Read More 
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Dogs and Therapy #2: Dogs and Wolves

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  Read More 
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Dogs and Therapy #1

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  Read More 
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