Being an identical twin has profoundly influenced my life and my perception of others. From birth I had an intimate knowledge into how another person experiences and relates to the world, an experience that has left me deeply empathic.
My brother and I had an abbreviated language that conveyed what we were feeling and thinking; we understood each other thoroughly. As I look back at our relationship, I realize that this intimacy has enhanced my ability to empathize with other people. Because my brother and I were so alike, the empathy we shared taught me to have strong empathy with others – an enormous gift in my work as a psychotherapist.
Along with empathy, my brother and I shared a deep understanding of each other. This has left me particularly sensitive to the feeling of being misunderstood by others. With those I work with in my practice, this sensitivity sharpens my diligence such that I ensure others feel heard and understood.
Although not universal, the desire to be understood and to share a world view presents itself frequently in the course of an analysis. As an analyst, my experience as an identical twin invaluably illuminates my work.