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Another review for "Twin Dilemmas"

Growing up as a twin can be both a joyous and a complicated issue. In Twin Dilemmas, Dr. Klein very clearly describes the advantages and disadvantages of being a twin. She explains the issues that twins encounter often due to improper parenting or more likely the misunderstanding that singletons have about twins’ relationships. As a fraternal twin who has been completely estranged from his twin for over 36 years, I can say that Dr. Klein completely understands how complex an issue being a twin is. I would suggest that everyone who has a twin in their life—parents, teachers, therapists and others—read Dr. Klein’s book to better understand the complex relationship between twins.

Posted on Sunday, June 18, 2017 at 12:42PM by Registered CommenterBarbara Klein, Ph.D., Ed.D. | CommentsPost a Comment

Review for "Twin Dilemmas" 

Twins who have experienced less than ideal relationships with their twin will find comfort and hope in Dr. Klein’s new book “Twin Dilemmas.” This book will make twins feel less alone and will allow them to open up to the idea that many twins live with less-than-ideal memories of being a twin. You will meet twins who are brave enough to share their stories and whom are healing through a therapeutic twin support group. This book is an essential tool for twins and anyone who knows and cares about a twin. Twin relationships are complicated. Dr. Klein has spent her entire career studying the complexities of twin relationships. She offers powerful yet practical suggestions to therapists, parents, and teachers in how to work with twins effectively.

Posted on Sunday, June 18, 2017 at 12:40PM by Registered CommenterBarbara Klein, Ph.D., Ed.D. | CommentsPost a Comment

The Struggle Adult Twins Have Finding New Partners

With the prevalence of fertility drugs and older mothers giving birth, parenting twins has become an issue that is frequently addressed in the media, online and in popular books about child development. In contrast, an understanding of the lives of adult twins is almost entirely ignored except for dramatic portrayals of deep entwinement or confusing and horrifying conflicts of good twin versus evil twin. This form of neglect is unfortunate for twins and for those of us interested in the ups and downs of close interpersonal relationships. Twin relationships can over time help curious adults understand how to value intimate emotional relationships.

Twins are born relying on one another, and they experience and learn to respect closeness. Gradual separation is encouraged by parents and also seems to take place in a somewhat mysterious way in childhood. Adolescence is a time for great drama for twins. Differences between twins come to life in full color as twins grow into their twenties. One twin is more of a risk taker with new relationships, while his brother or sister is overly careful. One twin is more interested in financial success while the other twin is interested in artistic self-expression. One twin wants a family and the other twin chooses to not have children. Interests and new friendships that serve as twin replacements are visible to close family and friends.

Cementing the countless separation experiences and unique identities that have been established in baby steps and giant leaps in childhood, the teenage years, and early adulthood is the stressful difficult ongoing developmental chore of adulthood. In order to truly separate from one another, adult twins consciously and unconsciously seek out twin replacements―people who express an inclination to be close and understanding in emotionally charged relationships. Emotionally driven twins in early adulthood have a need for identity that is stronger than any intellectual understanding of separation. The intensity of motivation for unique avenues to explore and new significant others is very different from what siblings experience when they go their own separate ways. The primary attachment that twins share is being added on to―rebuilt and restored to a more up-to-date mature attachment. The “remodeling” of the twin bond is necessary, but it is a long-range problem that adult twins have to work through alone and together. The quality of the attachment that is shared shapes how much independence is actually achieved in adulthood.

Adult twins are eager to find new partners to build their lives with. Unfortunately, they do not have as much emotional experience with non-twins―singletons―as they need in order to separate without the risk of traumatic consequences. Lack of lived experiences leave twins at a disadvantage because they have too many expectations for deep understandings that are verbal and non-verbal. Still to this day I often imagine and wish that the other person could read my mind or finish my sentence.

To further complicate new relationships there is a juxtaposition of high hopes and a need to take care of the new significant other. In general, when twins “leave the gate” and physically separate from their twin they are at a serious disadvantage. Desperation can grow out of their eagerness for love and companionship. Even adult twins who have had some experiences with other partners are blindsided by the lack of input from their absent twin and the hard-to-take reality that non-twins are very different kinds of partners. New partners might love them but not understand them as quickly or deeply as their twin. Sad but too true, in new relationships twins can be lost and wild at the same time. Confusion on the part of the new love object is bound to appear and be extremely disruptive to the future of a relationship. In other words, new boyfriends or girlfriends can feel totally overwhelmed by the expectations of a new twin partner.

In adulthood when new relationships don’t work out for whatever reason, twins turn to each other for advice, comfort, and solace. Finding the next non-twin relationship can be hard because of the serious disappointment in the previous non-twin relationship. For almost all twins, twin replacement takes on different struggles and conflicts. The side effect of a search for emotional intimacy is deep loneliness. Fitting into a new world of closeness with others and sharing your twin is totally “tricky.” Often one twin will feel left out or lag behind. Compassion for your twin’s struggles is important. Learning how to not “go down with the ship” that your twin may be drowning in is a horrendous and complicated journey that requires insight into how you function in relationship to your twin. Being yourself when you think you should be taking care of your twin is hard to do and can only be accomplished with baby steps.

Real differences in lifestyle will spark competition. One twin is richer, more successful at work, or healthier in comparison to their brother or sister. Resolutions of differences are hard to predict but they are always based on understanding how twins are different from one another. Changing the childhood twin identity into an adult twin identity that is mature and pragmatic takes a lot of devotion and work. In most instances one of the twins is more outgoing and stable than the less stable and more negative twin. The stronger twin usually initiates the maturing of the twin attachment and the use of psychotherapy.

Posted on Monday, May 8, 2017 at 05:54PM by Registered CommenterBarbara Klein, Ph.D., Ed.D. | CommentsPost a Comment

Please join me at my book signing

Twin Dilemmas: Changing Relationships Throughout the Life Span

Sunday, June 4
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Barnes and Noble
160 S. Westlake Blvd.
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362 
(805) 446-2820

Other books on twins and gifted children will be available
Talk with the author about your questions and concerns
Thank you, Barbara Klein (310) 443-4182

Posted on Saturday, May 6, 2017 at 07:22PM by Registered CommenterBarbara Klein, Ph.D., Ed.D. | CommentsPost a Comment

Dear Twin Friends

Dear Twin Friends,

I am so happy to announce that my new book, “Twin Dilemmas: Changing Relationships Throughout the Lifespan” will be available for purchase through Amazon on May 9, 2017. My hope is that my book helps twins heal the pain of separation and loneliness from their twin.

Writing “Twin Dilemmas” was an act of determination and passion. I gave my all to explain the challenges and rewards of being a twin in a world of non-twins. The heartbreak of separation and loneliness is uncovered in the words of twins. Experiences of: loss through separation, developing an authentic relationship with your twin, and estrangement are told to twins who are looking for edification of their pain.

The strong and enduring connections that twins face with other twins and their own twin if they can resolve their resentments are told and retold throughout the book. Amazingly and understandably, twins who come from different walks of life and different places around the world understand one another very quickly. Healing of past “emotional hurt” is possible through the support of new twin friends.

Issues of attachment to significant others is different for twins. Unique experiences with intimacy can be confusing for others who are close to twins. Why twins long for intense relationships is explained. How to deal with a non-twin is suggested.

I hope you will find time to look at my latest book.

Barbara Klein

Posted on Saturday, April 15, 2017 at 03:44PM by Registered CommenterBarbara Klein, Ph.D., Ed.D. | CommentsPost a Comment

Why Do Parents Keep Asking Me, “Is My Child Really Gifted”?

Actually, I wish I had the one magic answer that would satisfy parents who ask me “Is my child really gifted?” in desperation. “Are you sure my child is gifted? Maybe you (or someone else) made a mistake.” Parents ask this question even when they know that their child is gifted and they have them enrolled in a gifted program or gifted school.

I wonder, Do parents want a different kind of child who is easier to raise—a less challenging child? Whether their son or daughter is having problems listening at home or at school, making friendships, motivating themselves to do their homework, or fulfilling responsibilities at home, precocious children and teenagers can be very frustrating for sure. Heightened sensitivity and unending curiosity looks very similar to ADD or ADHD or Asperger Syndrome, but giftedness is not a psychiatric diagnosis. While social issues and hyperactive behavior are common for gifted children, they are not mental disorders. Challenging characteristics of gifted children need to be attended to from the perspective of intensity and over-sensitivities—for what they are. Look to the community of gifted parents for solutions.

What I have found is that gifted children pick up their parents’ frustration and blame themselves for not following the rules or not being obedient. Smart and perfectionistic kids begin to believe that they are not smart or somehow inadequate and take on a “not enough” identity that makes problem solving even more entrenched and harder to deal with for everyone involved. Parents get too intense about their children’s problems. “What did I do wrong?” “Will he or she be as quirky as my genius brother?”

Stop over-analyzing your child’s problem and just try to help them do better with the issues they are struggling with. Do not “awfulize.” By this I mean don’t think that just because your child has only a few friends that he or she will never grow up and get married. Keep perspective alive in your mind always and your life with your challenging and beautiful children will be a lot easier. If you get a chance read what I have written about Gifted Parent Traps in my two books on gifted children, “Raising Gifted Kids” and “The Challenges of Gifted Children.”

Ask yourself (before you feel like you will fall off a cliff):
1.  How serious is this problem on a scale of 1 to 10?
2.  Is this me over-reacting and making the problem more serious than necessary?
3.  Who can help to put my problem into perspective?

Ask your son or daughter in a calm voice:
1.  How can I help you solve your problem with homework, etc.?
2.  Do you think mom and dad had this problem?

Posted on Saturday, April 15, 2017 at 11:56AM by Registered CommenterBarbara Klein, Ph.D., Ed.D. | CommentsPost a Comment

Twin Dilemmas: Changing Relationships Throughout the Life Span

My new book will be available in May 2017.


Posted on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at 06:50PM by Registered CommenterBarbara Klein, Ph.D., Ed.D. | CommentsPost a Comment

Twin Estrangement Skype Group

Please contact me if you would like to join a Twin Estrangement Skype Group. Thank you, Dr. Barbara Klein (310) 443-4182 or drbarbaraklein@gmail.com

Posted on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at 06:46PM by Registered CommenterBarbara Klein, Ph.D., Ed.D. | CommentsPost a Comment

Twin Estrangement Has Many Faces

Twin estrangement that grows out of unresolved anger, disappointment, and resentment is very emotionally complicated and confusing. Obviously, there are many distinct and intensely sad and forlorn faces of twins who are estranged. I know of this particular kind of pain because I have dealt with being estranged and then connected and then disconnected from my twin sister for over 45 years. Professionally, I have worked with twins who need help understanding the challenges of being a twin, which includes getting along with your twin. I will bring to life some diverse images of twin struggles in words. I’ll mention the factors that contribute to estrangement as well as what might be an inevitable outcome of these conflicts in adulthood.

Fortunately, twins who manage to “get along” and resolve their differences do not suffer from being estranged from one another. Because their parents have attended to their individual development and twin attachment, “get-along twins” learn to honor one another’s differences and accomplishments. Supporting one another is not treacherous or burdensome as it is with estranged twins. However, deep trust and easy communication make meeting new close friends very difficult for twins who really do get along. Loneliness can be a serious side effect of being separated for get-along twins. 

Fighting is obvious between “on-again off-again twins” who vehemently disagree about serious and minor issues. Dependent and needy twins who share this type of attachment ignore each other’s feelings and don’t talk about the deepness of their suffering—what is upsetting them—in a productive way. “On-again off-again twins” make up when they need each other for support and insight. Telling one another and often agreeing that their fighting is normal and expectable is seen as a solution. Understanding their animosity is not as important to them as just being on the same side of the fence.  Estrangement from one another can be intense in spite of a lack of an ability to move forward.

Hidden from cultural stereotypes, try to imagine the “leave-me-alone twins” who only talk when there is a very dire stress to contend with, such as a wedding or a funeral or a serious illness. “Leave-me-alone twins” are too careful with one another’s feelings. Valuing harmony over the real practicality of life they form a deep attachment based upon superficiality with each other. While they do feel disappointed and resentful of one another and seek out therapy for their own unhappiness, they are extremely reluctant to really work on their relationship. Estrangement is less prevalent with these twin pairs because they fear the side effects of loneliness and anger at each other far too much.

And then there are the “afraid-of-one-another twins” who never talk no matter what because of a series of serious arguments that cannot be resolved. Treated as “halves of a whole” they each see life very differently. They are judgmental and ashamed of one another because they received negligent parenting. Although outspoken and well-spoken, these twins use up all their words fighting to change the other’s point of view and to finalize who is right and what is wrong. Seeking out individual therapy they develop a good sense of themselves outside of their twin relationship. As they grow into older years they can accept that they are disconnected. Regret about estrangement is less profound because of insight and acceptance.

Estrangement that is most disastrous are “twins with murderous rage” who cannot tolerate being with one another because they have been totally pitted against each other as young children. The favored twin has to be right. There is no room for argument from the victimized twin who has to take the abuse or disconnect completely. Their roles of opposition are so strong that any closeness is very short lived. Movies and news stories usually reflect this totally difficult and dangerous form of estrangement. 

Common to all estrangement is an underlying anxiety, a loneliness, and a longing for reparation from painful separation. All twins long for the closeness that they shared from conception and into childhood. The bond twins share is primary; like the mother-child bond it cannot be replaced. Misunderstood and mistreated by each other, twin communication can be destroyed because of fighting and unrealistic expectations.

There is no one solution that will reduce estrangement. What does not help estrangement is endless fighting. Acceptance of the complexity of the twin attachment is also critical.

Posted on Friday, March 17, 2017 at 04:32PM by Registered CommenterBarbara Klein, Ph.D., Ed.D. | CommentsPost a Comment

Estranged Twins website

I have a new website for Twin Research and Estranged Twins Support:


Posted on Sunday, February 12, 2017 at 06:37PM by Registered CommenterBarbara Klein, Ph.D., Ed.D. | CommentsPost a Comment
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