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

Well, that escalated quickly. We’re in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis, as you know, as you shelter-in-place and Zoom-into-session from your household bunkers. At the time I write this, we have yet to see the impact it will have. So far, our Spring psychoanalytic events and conferences have been cancelled, and the future of our communities remain uncertain. 

With no future to foretell, I decided instead to look into the past. This I’m clear about: as we adjust to our new lives, at least we have the Internet.

This was more than Freud had, in 1920, when the Spanish flu descended on his own family, killing his 26-year old daughter, Sophie. 

He wrote in a letter to Oskar Pfister, “That afternoon we received the news that our sweet Sophie in Hamburg had been snatched away by influenzal pneumonia, snatched away in the midst of glowing health, from a full and active life as a competent mother and loving wife, all in four or five days, as though she had never existed. Although we had been worried about her for a couple of days, we had nevertheless been hopeful; it is so difficult to judge from a distance. And this distance must remain distance [sic]; we were not able to travel at once, as we had intended, after the first alarming news; there was no train, not even for an emergency. The undisguised brutality of our time is weighing heavily upon us.” 



The Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California invites you to attend an informal OPEN HOUSE.

Thursday, April 16, 2020 
7:30 – 9:00 pm

530 Bush Street, Suite 700
San Francisco, 94108

Please join PINC faculty, administrators, graduates and candidates. Bring your questions, your friends and colleagues. We anticipate an informative and lively discussion.

***Due to concerns surrounding COVID-19, PINC will be hosting this Open House as a remote discussion via Zoom. Participants who RSVP will receive an email with the Zoom meeting link and instructions prior to the meeting.

R.S.V.P. by Tuesday, April 14 to

by Amber Trotter, Psy.D.

Parasite’s popularity in the United States reflects recent changes in class politics. Following the second World War, Americans largely defined themselves as middle class, pursuing the “American dream” in the putative land of opportunity. Criticism or resentment towards the rich was considered in poor taste; conventional wisdom held that people become rich through working hard. Recent decades, however, have witnessed a precipitous erosion of the middle class and widening gulf between rich and poor, as well as ever more blatant influence of money on politics. Talking about class has become a thing. If we can indulge in the perennially dubious transmutation of object relations theory to citizens’ relationship to government and society, it’s as if Americans have shifted from relating to a soft, magnificently abundant breast to a hard and hollow one. The ideology of neoliberalism, hegemonic in this country for roughly the past half-century and heavily promoted across the globe, decrees that with a strong work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit – with a good plan – a comfortable life is available for the taking. Parasite, directed by South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho, spotlights the bankruptcy of this ideology, while also elucidating its allure and persistence.

by Molly Merson, MFT

The Shell Game: From “Get Out” to “Parasite”. Through a review of the films “Get Out” and “Parasite,” the author grapples with questions of projection/introjection, incorporation, and the ghosts that won’t stay hidden.

Institution Building: On Anna Kornbluh’s “The Order of Forms. LARB is at it again this month with another great review. Dig in to this smart article reviewing “The Order of Forms,” featuring rhizomes, dialectics, and analyses of “social space.” On that note, I imagine we could probably all use a little less social space and a little more social connection right about now.

Quarantine can test any relationship. A couples therapist explains how to cope. Psychoanalyst Orna Guralnik shares relationship and mental wellness advice for folks sharing home space and close quarters, as well as for folks living alone, during "shelter-in-place." She offers suggestions on how to use the skills we're already practicing in therapy (such as recognizing projection and practicing clear communication), and shares her hope that this ordeal will bring us closer together.


PSYCHOTHERAPY OFFICE TO SUBLET. In Pacific Heights. Spacious, well furnished, light filled. Available Mondays and Fridays. $375/day. Contact Norman Postone, (415) 776-0907.

OFFICE SUBLET ROCKRIDGE/OAKLAND. Large Victorian set back from street in all therapist building. Spacious, beautiful, bright office available on Monday, Tuesday and Saturday. A few minutes walk from Rockridge BART. Close to shops and restaurants. Kitchen and Fax. ADA compliant. Available May 1st or sooner. 5313 College Ave. Contact (510) 658-4639,

FULL-TIME PSYCHOTHERAPY OFFICE. In four-office suite, available for lease-takeover starting May 1st. Perfect for therapists with adult practices (about 150 square feet). Excellent location (bicycling distance to Stanford), great sound proofing, huge window, comfortable waiting room. Photo on request. Contact Dr. Joyce Schmid at, (650) 321-9228. 

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: 

The Effectiveness of Long Term Psychotherapy with Foster Kids
Sat, Apr 4 / 10:00 am - 12:00 pm / 444 Natoma St. / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-3366 / M. Haake, Ph.D., et al. / free

San Francisco Psychotherapy Forum
Wed, Apr 15 / 7:15 - 9:00 pm / 444 Natoma St. / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-3366 / C. Turner, Psy.D. et al. / free

Ferenczi's 'Mutual Analysis' and Its Relevance to Current Practice
Sat, Apr 18 / 9:30 am - 12:30 pm / 444 Natoma St. / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-3366 / H. Markman, M.D. et al. / $60 - $65

Focus On: Analytic Work with Altered States of Consciousness
Sat, Apr 25 (begins) / 10:30 am - 12:30 pm / 530 Bush St. / San Francisco
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / K. Peoples, Ph.D., et al. / $40 - $110

Focus On: The Parent-Child Relationship Competencies
Thu, Apr 30 (begins) / 7:30 - 9:00 pm / 530 Bush St. / San Francisco
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / M. Seymour St John, Ph.D., MFT / $145 - $287.