Impulse is a community newsletter produced by the Northern California Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology (NCSPP) and distributed electronically at no cost to subscribers. We envision Impulse as an integrative source for local news, events, and thinking of interest to the psychoanalytically inclined. Our goal is to be your guide as you explore the Bay Area's rich array of analytic resources.

We invite you to become a member of NCSPP, if you are not already. And, we welcome you as a subscriber to Impulse. Join us as we highlight the exceptional diversity of psychoanalytic thought and practice in Northern California.

by Danni Biondini, LMFT

Are our futures foreordained by history? Or can we revise the life given us? These are two of the questions psychoanalysis poses, and as a clinical treatment promises that revision is possible.

But are there limits to that revision? Are there some histories too brutal to edit, or too doomed by a history outside of the dominant culture’s awareness?

Mitchell S. Jackson’s recently released memoir, Survival Math (2019, Scribner), addresses the question of how to revise a life foreordained by generations of oppression. The book tells the story of Jackson’s family: a Black family in predominantly white Portland, Oregon. In his immediate family, his mom becomes addicted to crack cocaine, the drug which he, the son, will eventually spend 19 months in prison for selling. Then there’s the series of “fatherish men” in our author’s life, many of them pimps and hustlers.

by Cheryl Jacques, Psy.D. & Paula Mandel, Ph.D.

A Day with Joshua Durban

PINC International Visiting Scholar Joshua Durban
with Jed Sekoff, Ph.D., Rachael Peltz, Ph.D, and Facilitator Alice Shaw, Ph.D.

What is the sense of an internal home? A complex achievement developed in states of object relating, it can be severely disrupted by infantile, transgenerational and immigration traumas. “Nowhere-ness” arises from overwhelming anxieties of being, leaving the self in states of nameless grief, dread, and devastation. Drs. Durban, Sekoff and Peltz will discuss the psychoanalyst’s role in promoting the creation of an internal home through enlarging the patient’s capacity for grief and mourning and in the transformative processes of linking and mantling, the “double helix” of mental life.

Saturday May 4, 9:00AM – 3:00PM
International House Berkeley
2299 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720

Registration at

by Lorrie Goldin, LCSW 


Several years ago, my friend was hit by a bus and spent a month in a coma. Miraculously, as his injured brain began to recover, he told me that the bus had plowed into a large crowd, with dozens rushed to the hospital.

The number of people affected differed substantially from what his daughter had told me, but maybe I had gotten it wrong. Confused, I googled the date and location of such a massive accident, but nothing turned up.

Initially alarmed by the discrepant stories, I then learned that they indicated neurological repair rather than breakdown. The recovering brain knits fragments and conjecture together, filling in the lacunae inherent in trauma and memory loss to establish a cohesive narrative. The accident had such a significant impact on my friend’s life that it made sense for him to understand it in the context of something even bigger. He’d gotten some of the facts wrong, but the essential truth of the impact remained.

by Molly Merson, MFT

When Janet Malcolm Surveyed the World of Psychoanalytic Training. A review, from the archives, of a book about psychoanalysis and the reverberative, self-referential quality the field itself can embody.

Why Trump’s "Grandiose Paranoid Character" Appeals to His Supporters: Harvard Psychoanalyst. Read this interview with a psychoanalyst describing the tactics used by the Trump administration that may appeal to people with narcissistic wounding.

A New Way to Heal Borderline Bodies. Adapting psychoanalytic psychotherapy with neurobiology, and trauma and attachment theories, Clara Mucci has developed a theory of onset of Borderline Personality Disorder as located in the body and caused by the relationship between infant and caregiver. 

by Jeremy Mintz, Psy.D.

A Day with Kirkland Vaughans, Ph.D.

We often hear talk of building bridges for psychoanalysis to exist in spaces beyond private consulting rooms. Our guest lecturer for this year’s annual event, Kirkland Vaughans, Ph.D., has spent his entire career putting that into practice, and we are very fortunate to host him. Dr. Vaughans will be speaking about failures within social institutions to mentalize the experiences of Black boys, particularly in the education and juvenile justice systems. He will also talk about how racism impacts clinical work with Black youth in mixed-race therapeutic dyads through unconscious processes, which renders race a forbidden topic. A response will be delivered by Diane Adams, Ph.D., followed by a panel discussion in the afternoon. To register, go to

Saturday, May 18, 2019
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
The David Brower Center
2150 Allston Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
Cost: $40 - $210 (in person attendance); $55 - $250 (live stream)

Additionally, for those interested in getting familiar with Dr. Vaughans’ work, there are still some spots left in the free reading group that will explore one of his articles. The group will meet on Sunday, May 5, 2019 in Berkeley and is free for clinicians working in community mental health. For more information, visit


PSYCHOTHERAPY OFFICE SUBLET. Attractive, quiet space with high ceilings, wood floors, excellent light, in a recently built-out office suite with psychodynamically oriented therapists. Includes waiting area with call light system. Mondays, Saturdays, & Sundays $224/day. 1-2 day rental also negotiable. 120 sq. ft. (10.5 x 11.5). Excellent location: Market near 16th. Close to MUNI, F-Line, 15-minute walk from BART. Contact Lilly: (415) 881-8260 or

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Old couches, new books, hot jobs, cool internships, office rentals? List them in Impulse's Classifieds for a modest fee. Please see our submission guidelines for details.   

Appointment Book: 

Climate Justice and Psychoanalysis
Mon, Apr 1 / 7:30 - 9:30 pm / 444 Natoma St. / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-3366 / D. Orange, Ph.D; M. Levin, Psy.D / free

Foundations: Freud - Opening to and Healing Desire
Tue, Apr 2 (begins) / 7:30 - 9:00 pm / 2837 Claremont Blvd / Berkeley
NCSPP / (425) 652-2673 / R. Bartner, Ph.D. / $135 - $315

Jungian Work With Boys/Men: Alienation, Identity, Cyberspace
Thu, Apr 4 (begins) / 7:00 - 9:00 pm / 2040 Gough St. / San Francisco
Jung Institute / (415) 771-8055 / R. Tyminski, DMH / $250 - $275

The Mirror's Other Face: Anima/Animus and the Unconscious
Sat, Apr 6 (begins) / 10:00 am - 4:00 pm / 2040 Gough St. / San Francisco
Jung Institute / (415) 771-8055 / Q. Ching, LCSW / $250 - $275

2nd Fridays – Making Sense Out of a Life Sentence
Fri, Apr 12 / 6:30 - 8:30 pm / 530 Bush St. / San Francisco
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / D. Slater, et al. / free - $40

Between Esotericism and Psychology: Jung's Red Book
Fri, Apr 12 / 7:30 - 9:30 pm / 1355 Franklin St. / San Francisco
Jung Institute / (415) 771-8055 / S. Shamdasani, Ph.D. / $50

Thinking Together About Race & Culture: Ongoing Reflections
Fri, Apr 13 / 9:30 am - 12:30 pm / 444 Natoma St. / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-3366 / G. Grossman, Ph.D. et al. / free

Community Social and Gallery Mixer
Thu, Apr 18 / 5:30 - 8:30 pm / 530 Bush St. / San Francisco
PINC / (415) 937-1041 / PINC Outreach Committee / free

The Divine Mind
Fri, Apr 26 (begins) / 7:30 - 9:30 pm / 2040 Gough St. / San Francisco
Jung Institute / (415) 771-8055 / M. Gellert / $150 - $175

Poetry & Psychoanalysis: A Program on Protest Poems
Sat, May 4 / 3:00 - 5:00 pm / 444 Natoma St. / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-3366 / F. Hamer, Ph.D. et al. / free

Ferenczi Lost and Found: Working with the Rumble of Trauma
Tue, May 7 (begins) / 7:30 - 9:00 pm / 530 Bush St. / San Francisco
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / D. Liebowitz, LCSW / $100 - $220