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

Summer is usually when things slow down; therapists take vacations. Many therapists famously take two weeks off in August. We, here at NCSPP, are excitedly churning out new ideas. We have also been updating our policies and procedures as well as streamlining protocols. It may sound boring to some, but organization elates me. I have been known to shamelessly invite myself to my friends’ homes to organize their pantries and refrigerators.

But coming back to matters at hand, one of our sexier ideas is that we’re launching a new column. We are calling it, “Who is NCSPP?” This is an exciting opportunity for NCSPP members to share themselves with the community. Whether you have been a therapist for a while or are just starting out, we invite you to send us a little blurb describing yourself and your offerings. Maybe you are excited about a new therapy group you have put together. Maybe you are looking for networking opportunities and would like others to know about your niche specialization. Or maybe you would like to bravely put your capable self, your words, your face, and your tender ambitions into the internet world of other analytically-oriented therapists. We invite you to go for it! Send a blurb to me at Keep your write up to 200 words. And if you have a picture of yourself, send that to us as well. Our plan is to make this column quarterly but if we get a sizeable response, will consider it more frequently.

by Amber Trotter, Psy.D.


Psychotherapy is culturally ascendant. Therapy speech permeates modern culture. Everyone, it seems, is doing the work and holding space for others. Celebrities and nobodies alike vulnerably share their mental health challenges on social media—the New York Times recently quipped that going to therapy has become a dating ploy. Mental health-focused tech companies receive exponentially expanding VC funds.

Ostensibly, heightened awareness about mental health is a good thing reducing stigma and shame about mental illness, and increasing treatment options, access, and ultimately usage. But is all this talk about mental health actually making things better? There are myriad approaches to this question, but I will limit myself to one concern: heightened emphasis on mental health may be leading people away from professional therapy. Full disclosure: the de-skilling of mental health professionals directly affects me and biases my judgment. From my perspective, while there are real and incredibly valuable gains from increased concern about mental health, online therapy culture—now including AI—and workplace pseudo-therapy often have inadvertently deleterious effects. There is a new level of money at stake in mental health care. Companies are competing to capitalize on the expanding mental health market, while also being motivated to save money when it comes to paying for employees’ mental health care.


SPACE OPEN IN WEEKLY CONSULTATION GROUP. Wednesdays afternoons, for early-career clinicians. We aim to utilize the associative field of clinical, theoretical, and personal reverie in order to deepen our work with patients. Clinical orientation is contemporary psychoanalytic and relational, and we work to make foundational concepts therapeutically useful and experiential. Relevant papers are discussed in response to themes and concepts that emerge organically from our case discussions. Attention is paid to group process in order to maintain a safe and generative field for all participants. If interested email Jonathan Moss, MFT, at

BEAUTIFUL, QUIET OFFICE AVAILABLE FOR SUBLET (OAKLAND). Rent includes a sunlit, fully furnished office with an analytic couch, a private side-office, utilities, WiFi, cleaning service, and Coway air filter. This office is in a suite with other therapists in a great location a block away from Rockridge BART. Contact me for availability and rates:, (510) 601-6906.

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.