Reviews for Alone in the Mirror

Hardback: 176 pages Published: March 2012 ISBN: 978-0-415-89340-4 Publisher: Routledge

SYNOPSIS

Twins face serious challenges when approaching adulthood, as they try to find their own voices and identities in the world. Author Barbara Klein, a practicing psychologist who is a twin herself, tackles the multifaceted effects of stress and trauma on twin attachments and explains how psychotherapy should be applied to this population.

Alone in the Mirror: Twins in Therapy chronicles the triumphs and struggles of twins as they separate from one another and find their individuality in a world of non-twins. Dr. Klein utilizes psychologically-focused real-life histories to demonstrate how childhood experiences shape twin attachment and individual development. She includes implications for twins in therapy, their therapists, and parents of twins and addresses issues of attachment and intimacy directly and indirectly. Based on Dr. Klein’s scholarly research, clinical experiences with twins in therapy, and her own identity struggles as a twin, this book develops insights into the rare, complicated, and misunderstood twin identity. Effective therapeutic practices for twins will raise the consciousness of parents, as well.

Book Reviews

Alone in the Mirror - Twins in Therapy

As a psychologist and a twin, Klein captures the essence of the twin struggle for individual identity, often at the expense of twin ship. She offers a fresh perspective and an enlightened view on being a twin and losing your twin.
Linda Pountney
Public Awareness Coordinator, Twinless Twins Support Group International, USA
In a time of e-books, self-publishing, and streams of blogs, the issue of text validation is paramount. Publishers today are more selective in what they publish than ever before. They are aware of the contradiction: Multiple sources, but a shortage of those books where the authors thoroughly know their subjects. Alone in the Mirror is such a rare find, a text one can turn to with confidence by an author whose personal life, education and professional practice uniquely enable her to authoritatively share new light on the nature of being a twin, the conditions for successful parenting of twins, and ways to help both twins and their caregivers as they confront situations related to mental health and well-being. The reader will find what relevant science tells us about twins, but more than that, Dr. Klein shares her personal developmental life, vividly enabling the reader to experience life as a twin. And through first-hand case studies of twins and caregivers in therapeutic sessions, one gains understanding of difficulties confronted and the most promising routes to resolving them. The reader will gain new knowledge of individualization in twins and the importance of accepting their individual differences. Reading the exposition and the engaging moving narratives, one is awakened to the importance of twin attachment and how attachment in twins plays out at different periods in their lives. Many readers will be surprised by what is good and bad parenting and the likely effects upon the twins. Among the many nuggets in this book, one can learn how all of us might better our friendship with a twin. Alone in the Mirror is not only unique in its comprehensiveness - presenting scientific content together with its relevance for professional practitioners, for twins as well as their loved ones, for associates and those seeking enlightenment about the world of twins - it is written as a humanity illuminating central problems of life and death and responding to them in inspiring ways.

John D. McNeil

Professor Emeritus, Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, UCLA
Dr. Barbara Klein, an excellent guide to the world of twins, showcases the dynamic challenges facing twins as they oscillate between feeling profoundly connected to and estranged from their twin partner. Reading Alone in the Mirror will irrevocably change the way readers–be they twins, nontwins, or clinicians–think of twins.
Stuart A. Wolman MD, PhD
Training and Supervising Analyst, Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis; Clinical Faculty, UCLA Department of Psychiatry, California, USA
An amazing, phenomenal, thought provoking book. Dr. Klein has totally captured the essence of twin loss. …It is clinically written in a way the lay person can understand. This is a must read for the mental health professional and is a welcome sight for those of us as twinless twins who try to explain why the loss of their twin is so difficult.
Dawn Barnett
Board Member, Twinless Twins Support Group International, USA
This book offers a lucid account of the draw, tightness, and turbulence of a twin relationship. It is filled with case histories that provide a rich tapestry illustrating the deep internal dynamics of the twin relationship.
Vivienne Lewin
Fellow, Training Therapist, and Supervisor, London Centre for Psychotherapy, UK; Author, The Twin in the Transference and Siblings in Development: A Psychoanalytic View
Alone in the Mirror is an invaluable resource…The significance and consequences of twinship are difficult for even the most sensitive, intuitive and highly trained singletons to really understand. This book is essential for anyone trying to navigate the complexity of twin relationships.
Jacqueline M. Martinez, PhD
Associate Professor of Communicology, Arizona State University, USA
Alone in the Mirror is a must read for those tired of the superficial coffee-table styled twin books. …Twins in therapy have unique needs from that of non-twins. …[and] the combination of case studies and therapeutic suggestions helps bridge the gap between what works for twins in therapy vs. those in a non-twin world. Alone in the Mirror stands alone on the reference shelf for therapists, mental health professionals, and twin enthusiasts.
Sarah Moukhliss, MLIS
Education Librarian, USA
Dr. Klein engages the reader through a rare sharing of her own personal life experiences as a twin, which makes reading Alone in the Mirror a more humanistic, meaningful, and intimate encounter. Her personal and professional experiences illuminate the struggles of twins to find their own individuality.
Muriel Kessler, LCSW, PhD
Board Member, The Sanville Institute for Clinical Social Work and Psychotherapy, California, USA
So, I've read the new book by Barbara Klein and it's an absolute MUST-READ for anyone who wants to understand twins—or him/herself, if you are a twin. I have read some scientific approaches to twinship before, including Segal and Sandbank, but Klein presents the reader not only with twin-behavior but with the underlying psychological reasons. Dr. Klein carefully balances nature vs. nurture speculation (that is, she takes the primary attachment between twins into consideration and also describes the way this attachment develops through early and later experiences in the twin's life but she avoids judging what behavior is due to one or the other traits, inborn or acquired). So, for me as an early-loss twin, it is possible throughout the book to identify with twin-behavior and still take the different experiences I necessarily had through growing up without my twin into consideration. I was surprised how much I resemble the twins described, not always in behavior, but in the underlying principles. Since it is common knowledge that a multiple pregnancy is very different from a singleton-pregnancy, I don't see why this shouldn't be true for the babies as much as for the mother. Twins develop in a different prenatal environment than singletons, they ARE different and they are born fully equipped for a different world than the one they'll encounter. This is doubly true for the single born twin whose brain was exposed to stimulations which were entirely normal for him/her and which suddenly no longer exist after birth. Tricky situation. Although growing up with your twin is very different from being a twin and growing up single, the ideas and tips on how to deal with having to cope in a non-twin world are extremely helpful even for an in-utero-loser. Before I knew I was a twin I considered myself just a freak—which is a bad thing. After I learned about my twin's miscarriage I considered myself a twinless twin, a wombtwin survivor, a traumatized victim of early twinloss—which is not a good thing in itself, either. After reading Dr. Klein's book I have just started to consider myself a twin trying to cope in a non-twin world (with additional handicaps)—which is in itself not a bad thing at all. It makes a great difference to see my expectations toward closeness and communication either as over-demanding, freakish or pathological or as a pattern stemming from an in-utero experience. It greatly helps to understand myself and be more tolerant with others. Before I ordered the book I was reluctant because of the more than 20 Euro I had to pay, but it was worth every cent.
Kya von Kemathenga