1st Edition

New Understandings of Twin Relationships From Harmony to Estrangement and Loneliness

    350 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    350 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    New Understandings of Twin Relationships takes an experience-based approach to exploring how twin attachment and estrangement are critical to understanding the push and pull of closely entwined personal relationships.

    Based on the research expertise of each of the authors (all identical twins in their own right), and vignettes from twins across the globe, this book describes the inner workings of the twin-world, showing how the twin-world creates experiences that are often more intense and intricately textured than those in the singleton-world. Chapters debunk myths surrounding twinship and analyze the developmental stages of the twin relationship as well as the effect of being a twin on one’s mental health from different perspectives. The authors articulate how attachment, separation anxiety, loneliness, estrangement, and the subjective experience of the twin and non-twin "other" impact behavior, thinking, and feeling.

    Through its careful study of the many psychological challenges that twins face throughout their lifetime, this text will help psychologists, scholars, clinicians, and twins themselves attain a deeper understanding of all interpersonal relationships.


    Chapter 1: Myth, Fantasy, and Realty: The Challenges Twins Face Sharing Their Early Lives and Growing Apart by Barbara Klein 

    Chapter 2: The Study of Twin Experience as Twins: A Phenomenological Approach by Jacqueline M. Martinez

    Chapter 3: Communicative Intricacies of the Twin-World and Twin-Identities by Jacqueline M. Martinez

    Chapter 4: Parenting: The Critical Determinant of Twin Attachment and Mental Health in Twins by Barbara Klein

    Chapter 5: Developmental Changes in Twin Relationships by Barbara Klein

    Chapter 6: "Alone Without the Mirror" I: Humans, Twins, and Loneliness by Stephen A. Hart

    Chapter 7: "Alone Without the Mirror" II: Twins, Separation and Chronic Twin-Loneliness by Stephen A. Hart

    Chapter 8: "In the Hall of Mirrors": Twins Living in the Non-Twin World by Stephen A. Hart

    Chapter 9: Estrangement Between Twins by Jacqueline M. Martinez

    Chapter 10: Can Twins Be Alone in the Mirror? Psychotherapy for Twins by Barbara Klein




    Barbara Klein, EdD, is an identical twin who has devoted her career to twin-identity development. She has written four books helping parents and twins alike deal with fighting and loneliness, and speaks nationally and internationally to twins about building more authentic relationships with their others.

    Stephen Hart, PhD, is an identical twin. A lifelong student of psychology, he has worked with the Sandhurst Department of Communications and Applied Behavioral Science to support their teaching of the "Understanding Self" and "Understanding Other" modules of the Reading University-accredited Postgraduate Certificate in Leadership and Strategic Studies.

    Jacqueline Martinez, PhD, is an identical twin. She is an associate professor at Arizona State University where she studies and teaches courses on communication, semiotics, and phenomenology. Her published work includes Phenomenology of Chicana Experience and Identity: Communication and Transformation in Praxis (2000) and Communicative Sexualities: A Communicology of Sexual Experience (2011).

    The book for which you are waiting! If you are a twin, have twins in the family, or are just plain curious about twins—read this book now. The narrative explanation of twin thinking and behavior comes alive from three blended perspectives—communicologist, psychologist, and sociologist. The who, what, where, and why of twin lifeworlds is depicted with profound insight and enticing clarity. The research, the therapy, and the statistics about twins emerge in personal narratives, thematic analysis, and defining typologies. For the general reader and specialist alike, the book covers person to person communication, issues of identity, anxiety, and separation for each twin, each family, and the public response to both.        

    Richard L. Lanigan, director and laureate fellow, International Communicology Institute, Washington, DC; fellow, Polish Academy of Science

    There is something liberating about reading literature written by twins for twins. It’s authentic and relates to a subconscious space rarely recognised. For the main struggle that all twins face is that of being misunderstood by the non-twin. Once again, Barbara has managed to bring together a wealth of information together with her collaborators which give us a better understanding on multiple levels as to the dynamics of twin personalities and their struggle for identity and independence. The challenges that being born a twin are highlighted further in their need for better understanding often plagued by lonliness and confusion. This book allows twins to decode their personalities, deconstruct their reactions and finally understand that there is a perfectly logical reason for the challenges they face. The more research done in this area, the more we as twins will be able to understand our make up and transform these seemingly limiting factors into advantages.

    Mikela Fenech Pace, HR Consultant and Executive Coach. An author herself she is the daughter of a fraternal twin father and an identical twin mother, is a fraternal twin and is the mother of fraternal twins. 

    As an academic and parent of twins, I love the combination of theory and lived experience in this book. The scholarly, evidence based approach is confidence inspiring, and, combined with the author’s lived experience of being a twin and working with twins, you know are in very good hands here. As a parent of twins who is not a twin, this book gave me a window into my twins’ lives that I didn’t have before, giving me a greater understanding of who and how they are and how they develop, and what challenges they face as twins. It also brought me face to face with and corrected my own assumptions about their lives that were not accurate. It’s a book I’ll return to more than once as I navigate parenting twins, and I highly recommend it to any parents of twins!

    Erin McCarthy, PhD, professor of Philosophy, St. Lawrence University

    "New Understandings of Twin Relationships" is a marvelous book. It provides a rich portrayal of the intricate lives of twins and the unique challenges and pitfalls faced by their parents. As an academic, I found the discussion thought-provoking and fascinating. As a singleton parent of gifted twins, I found it also moving, helpful, consoling and inspiring.

    Paul Forster, PhD, professor of Philosophy, University of Ottawa.

    "A marvelous work. In reading the manuscript, I learned of the importance and endurance of the twin relationship. I also found that twins must respond to a wider world. These life stories are compelling and inspirational. The book has opened my eyes to an essential area of human and social development."

    John McNeil, Professor Emeritus, UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies.

    "New Understandings of Twin Relationships is the latest in a collection of remarkable works that twins, parents of twins, and friends and family of twins will find highly illuminating, practicable, and profoundly moving. Klein's work has helped countless individuals realize – often for the first time in their lives – that they are not alone in their struggle to make sense of what it means to be a twin as they endeavor to find a meaningful and healthy place in the world."
    Joshua Pritchard, writer, musician, identical twin.

    "An excellent book to help me figure out more about why I feel certain ways. Moving cities three times in five years, away from my twin, I’ve wondered sometimes why finding friends was so important to me. But then after that, why I wasn’t happy with the people I was meeting; there was always something missing in the bond. Dr. Klein’s work has helped me to understand this feeling and others that come from being a twin, and helped me to realize I’m normal as a twin who is living apart from her twin."
    Jordan Drayer, voice actress, identical twin.

    "I am a 25-year-old twin who has had a close but conflicted relationship with my identical twin brother. We are now living in separate locations and have a volatile relationship. Reading New Understandings of Twin Relationships has helped me to accept our anger at one another as expectable given the abuse we suffered as children. I am hoping that understanding the unrealistic expectations that our close connection created will help us to reconnect as we grow and make different decisions as adults."

    Andrew Colon, identical twin.

    "New Understandings of Twin Relationships by psychologists Dr. B.Klein, Dr. J. M. Martinez, and Dr. S.A. Hart is brilliant. It investigates the challenges faced by twins navigating through childhood, separation and loneliness, and in their adult connection. As a twin, I recommend this book to any twin struggling to understand their deep, perplexing bond and how that colours their other relationships. For others, unravelling the twin paradigm will help parents, siblings, partners, and clinicians of twins understand their thinking and behaviour."

    Stella Chester, retired Special Education Teacher.