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Creating a Mutually Therapeutic Relationship with Your Dog

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,  Read More 
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Sibling Rivalry in Young Children

Parents of preschoolers are often worried about sibling rivalry. Here I will answer questions that journalists, parents in my office, and those attending my talks and workshops have asked.

My children sometimes squabble just before dinner. Is this normal?

The answer to this depends on how often your children squabble,  Read More 
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What is Contextual Therapy? Dimension 2: Psychology

Of the 4 dimensions of Contextual Therapy (CT), this one will be the most familiar to many readers. The dimension of psychology comprises all those factors that we normally associate with personality, with psychological distress, and with psychotherapy. Unlike many other family systems therapies, contextual therapy pays careful attention to the individual people who make  Read More 
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Dogs and Therapy#6: What is negative reinforcement?

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  Read More 
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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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