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Inland Empire Chapter of CAMFT


January 2019



The Professional Exchange - IE-CAMFT Newsletter


January 25, 2019 Featured Event

A Twin's Dialectic:  Being Noticed or Being Known

D Joan A. Friedman

Focus of the presentation: 

A twinship is like a marriage without the freedom to choose one’s partner.  Biological destiny determines the dyadic connection.  For many twin pairs, the course of their emotional life is dictated by this singular event.  Contrary to popular opinion, not all twins are soulmates, telepathic communicators, or best friends.  Twins have a unique developmental trajectory which deserves examination so that optimal treatment goals are implemented.

Presentation Summary:

An in-depth look into the challenges of growing up as a twin.  Societal and cultural perceptions about twin relationships rarely focus on the troublesome emotional issues that twins confront.  Many twin pairs are ill-equipped to function as a singleton after having been raised in a twin bubble.  The presentation will include brief historical overview of attachment literature as it pertains to twin development; an outline of the most challenging parenting dilemmas and corrective interventions; summary of particular developmental hurdles that twins face as they grow into young adulthood and beyond; recognition of the particular ways in which treating a twin in therapy differs from a singleton patient.

Four (4) learning objectives:

1.        Describe three characteristics unique to twin relationships

2.        Identify distinct childhood developmental differences that impact twin maturity

3.        Define three goals for the patient to help manage the twin connection

4.        Assess treatment strategies and interventions that resonate with twin patients

Bio of presenter:

Dr. Joan A. Friedman is a gifted psychoanalytically trained psychotherapist who has devoted many years of her professional career to educating twins and their families about twins’ emotional needs. Having worked through her own twinship challenges and parented her fraternal twin sons, she is a definitive expert on twin development.

She is the author of Emotionally Healthy Twins: A New Philosophy for Parenting Two Unique Children and The Same but Different: How Twins Can Live, Love, and Learn to Be Individuals. Her latest book Twins in Session: Case Histories in Treating Twinship Issues will be published in June 2018.  It is a book written for psychotherapists and educators who require specialized knowledge and insight about twin psychology in order to be effective professionals. Dr. Friedman’s work focuses on issues that adult twins confront as they adjust to life as singletons after having been raised as twins.


Inland Empire Chapter of CAMFT is a CAMFT Approved CEU Provider Agency  Provider # 62278

CEU Hours: This course meets the qualifications for 2 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences

Certificates: Completion certificates will be awarded at the conclusion of the training and upon participant’s submission of his or her completed evaluation.

Refund Policy:  If a participant is unable to attend and notifies IE-CAMFT 24 hours in advance of the training, full reimbursement will be sent within ten (10) working days.

Grievance:  If any aspect of the training is not to the full satisfaction of any participant, please notify the coordinator, CEU committee chair, or another IE-CAMFT board member.  We hope to resolve any issue immediately on-site.  If not resolved, the full IE-CAMFT board will review and resolve the issue.

IE-CAMFT wishes all participants to have an excellent learning experience.  Please notify the coordinator or other board member if you need special accommodations.  If possible, call Garry Raley at (951) 640-5899 in advance


The Need for Therapists Who Understand Twin Issues

Author:  Dr. Joan Friedman

In the course of one week, I received emails asking for guidance regarding the following twin issues:

  •  How do I cope with my twin’s health crises?
  •  Why have both my adult twin sons failed out of their respective colleges?
  • How do I handle conflict when my twin is my business partner?
  • Who can I contact regarding my inability to get along with my twin?

Each of these individuals struggled to find a therapist versed in treating twin issues. For example, the woman who contacted me regarding her anxiety about losing her twin sister to cancer consulted many therapists before finding me. None of them understood the kind of help that she needed. They had no knowledge of the caretaker and cared for dynamic integral to many twin relationships. Simply advising this woman to stop caring so much about her sister was not what she needed to hear. She required someone with a profound understanding of why one twin becomes the caretaker for the other if the parent is absent emotionally or pushed out by the twin connection. In this woman’s case, she has been her twin’s emotional and physical caretaker since early childhood. Understanding the complexities of twin loss in these particular circumstances requires a sensitive approach to this woman’s identity as a caretaker—not necessarily in any pathological sense but rather as a byproduct of her lifelong twin role.

Since the birth rate of twins essentially doubled over the last thirty to forty years, psychotherapists will benefit from familiarizing themselves with the psychological issues common to this subgroup of the population. Contrary to public opinion, not all twins are best friends, lifelong soulmates, or telepathic communicators. Rather than perceiving twins through antiquated stereotypes, mental health professionals should be advocates for a more enlightened subjectivity.

When I began my research on the psychology of twinship over thirty years ago, most of the literature was inaccessible to the nonacademic reader, and many psychotherapists focused on extreme abnormalities among twins. Understanding the role that twinship can play in causing serious emotional dysfunction is certainly important; however, the extreme case studies in my research did not mirror the issues that I struggled with in my own twinship and that I knew other twins grappled with as well.

The lack of published analyses reflective of common twinship issues motivated me to write The Same but Different, a book for adult twins. I wanted to offer adult twins the opportunity to learn about the expectable—rather than the extreme— developmental issues that often arise as a consequence of being a twin, and I wanted to explain the positive and negative impacts that a twinship can have on one’s emotional health, relationships, and sense of self.

As my therapy practice grew and an increasing number of twins contacted me for help with their twinship problems, I realized that many of my clients had experienced difficulties with previous therapists who were unfamiliar with twin psychology. In fact, a number of clients related how past therapists misunderstood their twinship issues and inaccurately characterized what it meant to be a twin.

Why would a twin forgo her own needs to ensure her same-age sibling is always cared for when her sister doesn’t even appreciate her sacrifices? What would cause a twin to experience severe anxiety and panic attacks when he and his brother go away to separate colleges? What makes it so difficult for some twins to develop friendships and romantic relationships?

A twin who is having problems with a same-age sibling may think of himself or herself as part of a couple in conflict. Since twins are conditioned to expect effortless intimacy with their sibling, they often feel deeply distraught when problems arise between them. Rage often underlies the anxiety that some twins experience due to their being perceived as, and essentially functioning as, one half of a single entity.

The twin mystique—our culture’s idealization of the twin relationship—and twins’ own expectations contribute to their difficulties. A therapist who understands the psychology of twinship can articulate what is actually going on between the siblings and become a trusted outsider who can give twin clients perspective about their twinship issues and help them develop healthier relationships.

Dr. Joan A. Friedman is a psychoanalytically trained psychotherapist who has devoted many years of her professional career to educating twins and their families. She has written three books about various aspects of twin development.

To learn more, visit

This issue:  

January Featured Event

Article by Dr. Joan A. Friedman


Welcome New and Renewing Members!                                          

President's Message

Upcoming Events



The next IE CAMFT 3000 club meeting for February 9th from 12 to 1:30 p.m. 2641 Hamner Avenue Suite 210, Norco, CA. It will be a Q&A with a focus on getting into private practice.

Welcome New Members!

Illana Lara, Antenique Nevarez, Michael Rector, Cynthia Brownlee, Michele Putini

Thank you for renewing!

Maryana Helu, Frank Gonzalez, Lisa Popper, Daniel Nyirady, Sarah Jane Martinez, Sally Finn, Marie Honda, Holly Leary, Nehreen Ayub

Renewal Reminders:  Nicholle Stepanian, Katherine Hunter, LuAnn Ahrens, Sarah Oh,  Sarah Wood, Jasmine Goindi, Roberta Verderico, Charmayne Bowens, Omar Gonzalez-Valentino, Stacy Rusu, Traci Lowenthal, Kari Hidalgo, Betty Avery, Vernon Bradley, Norma Jasso, Josie Guillen, Joshua Starks

It is YOU the members who keep our chapter going!  If your membership is up for renewal please complete the renewal process as soon as possible--your membership is the backbone of our organization and what allows us to keep offering great seminars and CEUs, the Therapist Directory, Membership Directory, and more.  Thank you! :)


    Happy New Year, everyone!  I hope you are all well rested and ready for 2019.  Quick note: if you are currently in school, planning to go back, or are participating in advanced training, and have not yet looked into the scholarship opportunities that CAMFT offers, I urge you to follow this link to see if you might qualify.  The deadline for this year has passed, but start thinking about next year now so you don't miss it for next year.

    First and foremost I would like to congratulate IE-CAMFT’s Program Chair, Ilse Aerts, on being nominated for the Outstanding Leadership Award, which will be awarded at next month’s CAMFT Leadership Conference.  Ilse is responsible for creating the wonderfully varied and relevant training program that we offer through IE-CAMFT, and we are incredibly grateful for all of her hard work and dedication that makes it all possible.   In addition to Ilse, our entire board does some amazing team work with regards to membership development, including Carol A. Bouldin, Membership Chair and Webmaster for our website, Steve Gray, Financial Officer, the CEU committee, and hospitality committee, who always provide a wonderful breakfast spread for our monthly meetings.  This amazing talent and teamwork has also earned IE-CAMFT a nomination for the Chapter Excellence Award in the area of Best Membership Development.  Congratulations, everyone!  And thank you for all that you do for our members and our community!

Amanda Cavicchi, MA, LMFT


Upcoming Events:

Law & Ethics: The Psychotherapist as a Creator of Outcomes! - February 22, 2019

How do I Talk to my Grieving Client? - March 22, 2019

Deep TMS and Beyond - April 26, 2019



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