The sight of Twins sparks interest, wonderment and fascination wherever we go. We speculate in the case of identical twins how two unique individuals could possibly look so similar. They have a special significance in the mythology of nearly all ancient and primitive cultures.
The psychoanalyst Melanie Klein, (with reference to Bion’s Imaginary Twin) talks of:
“the universal longing to be understood without worlds and suggests that the twin represents those un-understood and cut off parts of the self which the individual is longing to regain, in the hope of restoring wholeness and complete understanding” ( Klein 1963:302).
Most recent psychoanalytic research would indicate that twins whether identical or non- identical may bond equally closely depending on the circumstances of their upbringing.
Consequently, some twins may find separation from the co-twin difficult because of fears over the loss of identity engendered by the separation.
It must be stressed that recent Psychiatric studies (Kendler and Prescott:2006) indicate that the percentage of twins suffering from psychological distress is no greater than that of singletons in the community at large, consequently any perceived loss of identity may be in large measure compensated for by the supportive aspect of the twin bond ( Leonard, 1961).
In Auburn Counselling and Psychotherapy we have a special interest in twins, other multiples and their parents. Our interest stems from the fact that twins’ closeness in chronological age means that they relate to one another in ways that differ subtlety from other relationships.