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Study Day at Northern School of Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, Leeds UK

The Study Day at the Northern School of Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy ( in Leeds,  on March 25th 2022, will focus on developmental issues in twins. I will present my work to the participants on this course and we will look at observational studies of twins to further our understanding. It will be a fantastic opportunity for practitioners to learn more about the dynamics in twin development and relationships, and how this will affect their work.

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Conference in Los Angeles in March 2020

The Conference on Twins on LA was rescheduled to May 14/15 2021, and took place online. It started on Friday evening, with a viewing of the documentary film “Three Identical Strangers”, and comments about the film from Nancy Segal, and debated the ethical issues it raised. The following day Ricardo Ainslie presented his work with twins, followed by my paper, “Longing to be known. Twins and Identity”.

My paper generated a great deal of interest in the dynamics of twin relationships and how we work with this in psychoanalytic settings. A lively discussion opened up new ideas for exploration and further research. The paper is available to read on the Publications page. 





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Workshop at Tavistock Relationships

The workshop on twins in relationships in December 2019, at Tavistock Relationships, was dynamic and successful. The focus was on our understanding of the nature of twin relationships and how being a twin will affect all our other relationships, particularly the more intimate ones.

This second workshop included new material and it built on the understanding gained in the previous workshop in 2017, while also being accessible to those who did not attend the first workshop.

Participants brought their own material, both personal and professional, to the workshop, and the richness of the material created a lively, engaged and thoughtful dynamic in the workshop.

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Twins in couple relationships

Workshop at Tavistock Relationships on Saturday 2nd December.

This workshop addressed the important issue of the effects of the enduring unconscious twin relationship on all the intimate relationships in the lives of a twin. The internal twinning that occurs between twins and is projected onto others in their lives is a central dynamic in twins, and if it is not recognised and attended to, it will significantly affect the relationships in which a twin engages and those who form relationships with twins. We addressed the dynamics of the twin relationship itself and the family, and marital and couple relationships, and parent-child relationships. We also discussed the therapeutic relationships and the importance for the therapist to recognise the twin transference in the couple and the compelling projections of the twin relationship onto the therapist.

The discussion was lively and included both professional and personal issues in twins and working with twins.

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New Book

This book is about our fascination with twins and the origins of this excitement; how our perceptions of twins reflect our own longing for a perfect soul-mate; and the effect this personal projection has on the development in twins. It is a book written with the general reader in mind rather than “experts”.

Twins share a deep psychic bond that forms the core of their twinship, but they are NEVER identical. Many factors will affect their development, including the early mutual resonances and sensate experiences between them, and parental and societal attitudes in raising them. I explore the internal dynamics of the twin relationship and the factors that crucially affect and shape it: the nature of the internal twin bond; the twins’ relationships with mother and father and siblings, including their perceptions about the twin relationship; the twins perceptions of each other within the intricately bound twin relationship; each twin’s perception of the other twin’s relationship with mother and father; and the outside world with its expectations and strictures on twins. The importance of enabling twins to develop individually within the twin relationship rather than remain as a bound pair, is examined within the context of the factors that influence this development.

Both our unconscious perceptions about twins, and the way these perceptions affect our behaviour and attitudes towards the twins will influence the individual development in twins and our treatment of twins in society. The way twins are used as a device in literature offers us a further opportunity to understand our own pre-conceptions about twins and doubles, and it affords confirmation of our understanding about twin relationships. The section on cultural practices looks at how the response to the birth of twins differs around the world according to the local myths, religious and the unconscious beliefs upon which they are based.