Category Archives: Identity

Why Young Twins Behave Like Fair-Weather Friends

 A mother of seven-year-old identical twin girls requested that I write a blog post specifically to help parents of nontwins understand why some twin pairs struggle to make friends with their singleton peers. This mom described a very familiar dynamic: one daughter’s friend wanted her exclusive attention instead of having to share it with the twin. Naturally, this seven-year-old was torn between her loyalty to her twin and the desire to make her own friend. Most identical twin girls at […]

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From Function to Freedom

One of the many joys of working with patients over the long term is the extraordinary process of discovering the unhealthy, unconscious behaviors that perpetuated destructive relationships throughout their lives. I have been treating a woman in her early thirties for about three years. She initially sought counseling for the tremendous shame and loss she felt after breaking up with her long-term boyfriend. In our ensuing years together, we spent considerable time discussing how she conceptualizes attachment. Due to her […]

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When Twins Break Up

Twins who do not get along with their sibling definitely feel a sense of loss. Although the rupture most likely begins with anger and resentment, the ultimate split results in a distressing emotional upheaval. While this estrangement is not tantamount to the death of one’s twin, the split can nonetheless intensify painful feelings of grief and regret. Acknowledging that one’s twin connection is no longer special or comforting is heartbreaking. In fact, some twins feel tremendous shame over the split. […]

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Establishing Uniqueness

The following article was recently published in the Beauty section of Dazed Digital. The author, Layla Haidrani, was kind enough to give me permission to share her reflections on the subconscious fears that led her to first copy her twin’s appearance and then cultivate her own signature look. How Having a Twin Changed My Beauty Identity Layla Haidrani In fear of her twin being perceived as “the prettier sister,” for the last few years, Layla has been emulating sister Salma’s […]

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Starving to Be Separate

My friend Leora Eisen, a world-renowned Canadian documentary filmmaker and an identical twin, sent me a CBC article by Bridget Yard titled “As Identical Twins, We Shared Everything. Except My Eating Disorder.” While I found the article very interesting, I believe that some key issues were not explored. I imagine that certain factors could not be explicated due to the very public nature of the publication. Nonetheless, I am presenting a reasonable hypothesis to speculate about deeper issues. While Bridget […]

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