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 Shlomit Gorin, MA

This past month, amid the seemingly daily news about another horrid act of violence, Louis CK provided comic relief to thousands of Bay Areans. Along with talking, thinking, feeling, and processing, laughing plays a righteous role in digesting and surviving the messy darkness that comprises huge chunks of human experience.

But Louis CK doesn't just provide laughs. He also tends to discuss his work in ways that invoke easy parallels with our work. In addition to pithy remarks that immediately resonate, such as "Family is something you can't escape. It's a relationship you can't get out of," the things he has to say about his creative process are remarkably relevant to the therapeutic process.

by Lorrie Goldin, LCSW


In just the last few weeks, America has yet again been transfixed by gun violence: Orlando, two more black men shot to death by white police officers, Dallas. No doubt the roster of slaughter will grow to include other shattered towns and families.

Yet almost two-thirds of gun deaths do not make national headlines. These are the more than 21,000 people--many of them teenagers--who every year kill themselves with a gun.

Suicide prevention experts know that the best way to prevent these tragedies is to restrict access to guns. Their research upends the common but false belief that those who are suicidal will just find some other way to kill themselves. In fact, self-destructive feelings are often impulsive and fleeting, dissipating as the crisis passes. Ninety percent of those who survive an attempt never go on to die by suicide. But when guns are involved, the crisis can quickly escalate, precluding safe resolution. Fast and deadly means no second chances.

by Molly Merson, MFT

Racism's Psychological Toll. Race-based stress and trauma, including vicarious traumatization, is a byproduct of experiencing racism in the United States. One psychologist advocates for adding it to the DSM it should be added to the DSM.

Freudian Notions Are Apparent in How We Use the Internet. What would Freud say about the internet, and how we express ourselves online?

How Therapy Became a Hobby of the Wealthy, Out of Touch for Those in Need. One Stanford psychiatry professor shares his perspective on the perceived elitism of private practice psychotherapy.

by Elise Geltman, LCSW

This November, the Education Committee is excited to host a course with Peter Hobson, PhD, from London's Tavistock clinic. Introduction to Brief Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy will consider the principles and practice of working in the transference within the framework of time-limited therapy and with a focus on moment-to-moment transactions. This two-day course is an important offering for clinicians who encounter patients with limited time or finances and/or clinicians who work in settings where long-term work is neither funded nor available. Hobson is Emeritus Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at the University of London and a psychoanalyst at the British Psychoanalytical Society and SFCP. His books include The Cradle of Thought (2004), Consultations in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (2013), and Brief Psychoanalytic Therapy (2016). If you are interested, please sign up early as space will likely fill. For more information, go to

PRESIDIO OFFICE AVAILABLE FOR SUBLET. Thursdays and Fridays. Suitable for seeing analytic patients. Rent for each day is $400. To inquire, call Marshall Bush at (415) 561-6775.
OFFICE SUBLET. Lovely upper Fillmore Street location at 2491 Washington Street in a suite with three other analysts. Office is available Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays as well as Wednesday morning until noon. The office has a contemporary ambience with high ceilings, bay window, analytic couch, and closet with built-in desk. If interested, please call Barbara A. Baer, PhD, at (415) 346-8868.
PART-TIME OFFICE AVAILABLE TO RENT. Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday in Pacific Heights. Rent is $400/mo for one day, $800 for two and $1200 for three. Email for details.


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.