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Twins and Imposter Syndrome: A Dual Dilemma

An adult identical twin woman recently asked me if her parents’ reluctance to be honest with her and her sister regarding their academic test scores when they were eight or nine years old may have contributed to her suffering from “imposter syndrome.” Essentially, imposter syndrome occurs when someone feels severe and persistent doubt about her abilities or accomplishments. She either attributes any success to luck or believes that others cannot accurately perceive her deficits. This woman learned later in life […]

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It’s Hard Work Now—the Payoff Comes Later

I continue to be awed by an acquaintance of mine who is a mom to eight-year-old identical twin girls. Some people comment that having twins is like having two singletons born close together, but without the experience of parenting identical twins, a person might never understand how difficult daily parenting decisions are with two same-age children. Let me give you an example. My friend decided to make a chart so that each of her daughters could work on behaviors that […]

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What Did You Ever Do for Me?

I work with a pair of identical twin women whose individual temperaments are as diverse as night and day. One of the twins, Sue, is a school nurse, and the other, Ellen, crunches numbers at a food warehouse business. Much of the focus of our work has been articulating the differences in the way they think, feel, and approach life. At times, Sue becomes frustrated when she expresses her needs and feelings because Ellen has difficulty grasping abstract concepts such […]

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Twin Love: Profound and Problematic

Working conjointly with twin pairs whose caregivers emotionally abandoned them to parent one another has given me a glimpse into the depth and distress of exclusive twin love. These siblings are not in conflict with one another. Rather, they seek guidance on how to separate from one another amicably because both desire permission to live individual lives. A pair of fraternal twin girls I counsel are preparing to begin their studies at the same university. Both agree on the importance […]

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When Does the Caretaking Twin Call It Quits?

Those of you who follow my blog are familiar with the caretaker and cared-for dynamic within twinships. Essentially, one twin assumes the role of looking after the other—either consciously or unconsciously. This behavior can emerge organically or be influenced by parental expectations. I have been so fortunate to work with twins of all ages who seek my guidance when this dynamic is disrupted. Many caretaking twins simply become overwhelmed by their sibling’s demands. The caretaker begins to feel bitter and […]

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