“Blood Moments” in Psychotherapy

“Your intelligence grows new leaves in the wind of this listening”     ….Rumi 

“Moments of meeting”  are special moments of now in which there is a profound sense of mutual connection.    The prototypical moment of meeting is the one that occurs in the first moments after birth, when the new baby looks into the eyes of a mother who is looking back.   Such moments of special intimacy in psychotherapy are a vital aspect of  the healing connection.

These moments  have also been termed blood moments, a description which derives from the native American ritual in which two members of a tribe mixed their blood in celebration of bonding as brothers. By this metaphor, we can understand a blood moment as an “intersubjective now moment” in which two individuals co-mingle their most vital essence.

Applying the idea of a blood moment to the psychotherapeutic encounter also carries the meaning that real feelings and actions are taking place between real people in real time.

Last but not least, because blood is a quintessential element in birth, the term “blood moment” is also well suited to express the meaning that something new is being born.

From my point of view, psychotherapeutic blood moments are those in which new aspects of self come into being.

excerpt from Marjorie Schuman, Ph.D.  Mindfulness-Informed Relational Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis: Inquiring Deeply.   Routledge Press, 2017.    

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