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 Luba Palter, MFT

“I want you to know we have only 7 minutes left.”

I gulped, and it was over. How could it be over so soon? I have only just begun to breathe. Time shrinks and expands based on our emotional states. In a moment, I will be left alone with my internal and external worlds. Time to be a grown-up: a functional adult in the world with commitments, schedules, errands, to-do lists, aspirational to-do lists, nagging to-do lists, phone calls to respond to, and emails to read. But while I am still here in the liminal land of not- quite- a- child /not- quite- an adult, I cannot imagine that I am up for this task. I cannot imagine leaving this land to venture into adulthood with this child in tow. She will weigh me down. She needs so much. She is destructive and has no sense of time. Years ago, an old supervisor said to me, “Maybe she is scared you will not take her into the rest of your journey.” She and I have been fighting about that ever since.

by Nicolle Zapien, MFT


Professor Jan Abram is a training and supervising analyst of the British Psychoanalytical Society, an award-winning author, and psychoanalyst in London. Her new paper addresses Winnicott's formulations of fears and anxieties in early psychic development, which sets the scene for reflections on the birth story of Mary Shelley and her predicament when she wrote Frankenstein. This novel, Abram argues, not only constitutes an emotional autobiography about Shelley's particular phantasies but also a universal truth. A clinical example of the Frankenstein complex will be presented by Kristin Fiorella. The paper will be discussed by Dr. Peter Goldberg.

Saturday, May 6, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
World Affairs Center (Zoom accessible)
312 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94108
Registration at

by Mariya Mykhaylova, LCSW


A therapist and creative in San Francisco, I am situated in the borderlands of tech. My connections to it are primarily through my relationships with clients and loved ones in the industry. Perhaps all of us in the Bay Area are in one way or another either in tech or tech-adjacent. 

In the borderlands, you hear things. It’s not unlike learning a new language – the difference between front end and back end web development, the meaning of acronyms like UX, IPO, and PM (though I’ll probably always mix up who is a product manager versus project manager because they sound exactly the same to me). Sometimes the jargon goes over my head. To hang onto the thread, I focus less on the content and use context clues to get at the emotional meaning.

As of late, murmurs about AI and ChatGPT are intensifying both from those in tech and the tech-adjacent. A software developer friend worries she is going to be out of a job. My social media is riddled with picturesque avatars created by Lensa AI. At a gallery in Palo Alto, I overhear an engineer and an artist debate whether AI is more of an asset or a detriment to the creative process. “If you can’t beat them, join them” meets “AI is the executioner of creativity.” Both seemingly walk away with their opinions intact. 


SF SUBLET AVAILABLE. I am looking to sublet my psychotherapy office three days per week in a beautiful Victorian building at 3241 Sacramento Street in Laurel Heights near the SFJCC and Laurel Village. There is a waiting room, bathroom, and three other psychotherapy offices on the floor. Parking is readily available by metered parking or by SF parking registration for the area which allows for all day parking. Please call Tracy Artson, Ph.D. at (415) 596-4057 if interested.

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: 

Erich Neumann's Developmental Relational Theory - A Synthesis
Sat, Apr 1 / 10:00 am - 5:00 pm / 2610 Mission Street / San Francisco
Jung Institute / (628) 688-0646 / L. Shany, Ph.D. / $150

Spring Film Night: C'mon C'mon
Sat, Apr 1 / 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm / 444 Natoma Street / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / R. Cowan, Psy.D., LCSW / free

The Uses of “The Use of An Object”
Wed, Apr 5 / 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm / Zoom
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / R. Cowan, Psy.D., LCSW / free

Estranged from Oneself
Sat, Apr 8 / 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm / Zoom
NCSPP / (415) 496-9949 / R. Gupta, Psy.D., LCSW / $60 - $120

The Emergence of a Selected Fact: Student Seminar
Wed, Apr 12 (begins) / 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm / 444 Natoma Street / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / O. Kirson-Trilling, Psy.D. / free

PINC Second Fridays: Spiraling
Fri, Apr 14 / 6:30 pm - 8:45 pm / Zoom
PINC / 415) 288-4050 / J. Rudnick; M. Tennes, Ph.D. / free - $40

CMH Hike
Sat, Apr 22 / 10:00 am - 12:00 pm / 3849 Mt. Diablo Blvd. / Lafayette
NCSPP / (415) 496-9949 / N/A / free ($6 parking)

Focus On: Visioning an Anti-Carceral Psychoanalysis
Thu, May 4 (begins) / 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm / Zoom
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / B. Suslovic / $150 - $315

The Frankenstein Complex: On Birth Traumas
Sat, May 6 / 9:00 am - 3:00 pm / 312 Sutter St. / Zoom / San Francisco
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / J. Abram, et al. / $80 - $240