Category Archives: Uncategorized

Be Nice, Be Kind, Beware

A mother of seventeen-year-old identical twin girls recently contacted me for advice about helping her daughters rebound from repeated social calamities. She described a pattern that started when the twins were in the ninth grade: the girls would be happily accepted by a social group, then inexplicably excluded. Sometimes they were given a lame explanation; but for the most part, the rejection seemed swift and unexpected. Naturally, both girls were upset and puzzled about why this keeps happening to them. […]

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Twins Want to Win, Not Compromise

Learning how to be tolerant and open to disparate points of view is not easy or simplistic. Many people deliberately avoid discussions about politics, sex, or religion because such conversations evoke passionate and steadfast feelings and beliefs. But learning how to manage disagreements and divergent perspectives is vital for all of us in our intimate relationships because most of us—even identical twins—will not always be in agreement about significant decisions, actions, or opinions. When adult twins do not have sufficient […]

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Can’t Live with Her; Can’t Live without Her

This is a familiar lament I hear again and again in my encounters with twins. The individuals I have worked with who confront this conundrum have not been able to separate comfortably from their twin. A tumultuous history of mutual dependence, struggle, and resentment has rendered the twins incapable of communicating authentically. Their ambivalent behaviors toward one another—a push-pull struggle—keep them connected via distrust and guilt. An adult twin in her early forties shared her experiences. She told me that […]

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Living Alone during the Pandemic

During this pandemic, many psychotherapists are actively treating clients who are understandably struggling with isolation and sadness. I am particularly concerned about my patients who live by themselves. Being alone and shut in is definitely one of the more challenging aspects of the coronavirus restrictions. I witnessed an interesting pattern emerge among several people weathering this new normal—they reexamined their past connections to make sense of their aloneness. A few of these patients were traumatized by a developmental complication called […]

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Separate Sisters Are Secure Soulmates

“Gwen is my true soulmate now,” said a beaming thirty-nine-year-old identical twin patient whom I’ll call Clarise. While this sentiment is taken for granted in many twin relationships, my client’s declaration was the outcome of many months of work and a well-earned triumph. Clarise found me via my website after attempting to work out her estrangement from her twin sister, Gwen, with previous therapists who left her feeling misunderstood and lost. Clarise felt bereft about lacking a relationship with Gwen […]

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