Kohut's Twinship Across Cultures: The Psychology of Being Human chronicles a 10-year-voyage in which the authors struggled, initially independently, to make sense of Kohut‘s intentions when he radically re-defined the twinship experience to one of "being human among other human beings".

Commencing with an exploration of Kohut’s work on twinship and an illustration of the value of what he left for elaboration, Togashi and Kottler proceed to introduce a new and very different sensitivity to understanding particular psychoanalytic relational processes and ideas about human existential anguish, trauma, and the meaning of life. Together they tackle the twinship concept, which has often been misunderstood and about which little has been written. Uniquely, the book expands and elaborates upon Kohut’s final definition, "being human among other human beings." It problematizes this apparently simple concept with a wide range of clinical material, demonstrating the complexity of the statement and the intricacies involved in recognizing and working with traumatized patients who have never experienced this feeling.  It asks how a sense of being human, as opposed to being described as human, can be generated and how this might help clinicians to better understand and work with trauma.

Written for psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists interested in self-psychological, intersubjective, and relational theories, Twinship Across Cultures will also be invaluable to clinicians working in the broader areas of psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, social work, psychiatry and education. It will enrich their sensitivity and capacity to understand and treat traumatized patients and the alienation they feel among other human beings.

chapter |18 pages

The many faces of twinship

From the psychology of the self to the psychology of being human

chapter |18 pages

Twinship and “otherness”

A self-psychological, intersubjective approach to “difference”

chapter |22 pages

Trauma, recovery, and humanization

From fantasy to transitional selfobject, through a twinship tie

chapter |12 pages

Contemporary self psychology and cultural issues

“Self–place experience” in an Asian culture

chapter |18 pages

“I am afraid of seeing your face”

Trauma and the dread of engaging in a twinship tie

chapter |12 pages

Being human and not being human

The evolution of a twinship experience

chapter |4 pages


What is “being human”? – re-conceptualizing and redefining twinship