Tag Archives: twins

A Grandmother’s Twin Tale

When new acquaintances get over their surprise about my vocation as a twin therapist, they ask all sorts of questions and tell me interesting stories about twins. I particularly loved an interaction I had with a woman who has seven-year-old fraternal twin grandsons. She told me how upset she had been when her daughter-in-law and son decided to put the boys in separate kindergarten classes. While she wisely did not share her disapproval of this decision with the boys’ parents, […]

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The Good/Bad Twin Split: A Recipe for Disaster

The psychological effects on twins who are identified as the “good” or “bad” twin are well documented in various writings by Vivienne Lewin, Barbara Klein, and Dale Ortmeyer. The emotional fallout often continues well into adulthood. Understandably, many twins who have been raised this way are completely estranged from one another. The bad twin feels betrayed that his twin colluded with their parents in perpetuating this split. While the good twin relishes the special role that he has coveted, he […]

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Twin Caretaking: Confusion and Conflict

I am currently working with three women who are attempting to navigate the emotional turmoil wrought by their assuming a caretaking role with their identical twin sisters. The caretaker role in these instances means that one twin has sacrificed her own feelings and needs in the service of protecting and parenting her sister. Each twin comes from a different background. One woman was raised in a rural area by a family that was disorganized and chaotic. The second woman grew […]

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Decision Making and Differentiation

A mom of nine-year-old identical twin girls asked me to help her understand a specific dynamic that is playing out between her daughters. On the surface, the circumstances make very little sense to her. Both girls take piano lessons—Annie loves the piano and practices without being asked, but her sister, Amy, rarely practices and asks her parents about playing the trumpet. Their mom understands their differences and does not make a big deal about their divergent likes and dislikes. What […]

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Mind the Emotional Gap

A high school senior contacted me a few weeks ago to ask my opinion on separating twins in primary school. She is a fraternal twin, and she and her sister live in the Northeastern United States. I will call her Nancy to protect her identity. At the beginning of our conversation, she asked me very broad, open-ended questions about separating twins. I clarified that it was unrealistic to address her concerns in such a generalized manner, as I certainly could […]

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