The Twin in the Transference

Author(s) : Vivienne Lewin

The Twin in the Transference

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Second Revised Edition

The universal phantasy of having a twin originates in our earliest relational experiences. This book is about twins and twinning processes. The existence of an actual twin, alive or dead, may be experienced as an embodiment of the phantasy of having a twin, with developmental consequences. Twinning processes in twins lead to the creation of an internal twin relationship that is enduring. The twin relationship may be at the narcissistic end of the spectrum leading to an enmeshed twinship, or it may be a more mature object relationship. All twin relationships will be manifest in the transference relationship with the analyst.

The twin transference has been largely neglected in the psychoanalytic literature, to the detriment of our understanding of dynamic processes in twin patients. In this book, case material is used to explore the nature of the twin transference relationship and the necessity of analysing the twin transference, as well as maternal and paternal transference relationships.

Reviews and Endorsements

‘The topic of twin transference is clinically of enormous importance. In this book, the author has successfully put into the centre of psychoanalytic theory and praxis this phenomenon which has been, despite Bion’s early eye-opener, chronically neglected and sidelined. I think she deserves full praise for this re-evaluation and re-adjustment. In my eyes, this book is a real achievement and a very important contribution to psychoanalytic theory and praxis.’
— Christoph Hering, psychoanalyst, Geneva, and on the Editorial Board of Free Associations

‘I cannot tell you the enormity of the impact of this work. Nothing before has made such sense of the awful intensity of the twin transference. Thank you for this seminal and transformative piece of work.’
— Valerie Sinason, child psychotherapist, and President of the Institute of Psychotherapy and Disability

‘The book is sure to become a highly regarded classic on a particularly difficult clinical experience.’
— Victoria Davenport, psychotherapist, and member of the British Psychotherapy Foundation

‘There’s no doubt the book will long remain at the forefront of psychoanalytic literature on working with twins.’
— Harriet Thistlethwaite, psychoanalytic psychotherapist, and member of the British Psychoanalytic Council

About the Author(s)

Vivienne Lewin is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist. She trained at the London Centre for Psychotherapy (now the British Psychotherapy Foundation) and was a Training Therapist and Supervisor. She is a Fellow of the British Psychotherapy Foundation. She has retired from clinical practice, but continues to write and offers some clinical services – assessments, supervision, and consultations for twins and parents of twins.

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