Once a twin, always a twin

No Thumbnail Available
Farrell, Breda
Issue Date
BA (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
Items in Esource are protected by copyright. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/copyright holder.
Being born a twin provides a ‘soul-mate’ a constant ‘felt-sense’ companion, a mirror and a potential battle for individuation. From before birth two emerging humans have a non-cognitive awareness of one another, a somatic intensity regarding their primary attachment figure- their twin. From birth the triad of mother/twin/twin presents opportunities for frustration, competition and togetherness, as twins are never alone with their mother. Accordingly mother is not entirely focused on one twin as the other is also in her mind. Psychotherapeutically, the search for individuation, freedom from the twinship and identity are difficult areas to navigate. The psychotherapist must be aware of the depth of the attachment her twin client has and come to learn of their attachment style. Having this information can be facilitative in processing the fear of being alone, the resentment which can arise in the twinship and the guilt concerning the desire to be an individual. This research seeks to understand through the process of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) what being a twin means and how they make sense of their inter-subjective connection. Author keywords: Twins, attachment, anxiety, development, individuation, somatic intensity, togetherness, identity, symbiosis, triad, judgement, ambivalence, rivalry, emotional conflict, internalising, depression, object relations, freedom, resentment, shared attributes, glory and agony