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 June Lin-Arlow, AMFT

This month in Potential Space we begin to write about the theme of Silence, as I previously introduced in the November issue of Impulse. Amber Trotter starts us off with an introduction to the topic, and we have several new voices joining us over the next few months to build off her associations. We are hoping that writing about a specific topic will allow our community to engage and respond to one another’s ideas, and if you feel moved to join in the conversation please let me know at

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of joining with patients, especially along issues of power, privilege, and oppression. Many of my patients of color reached out to me after ruptures or feeling misunderstood by White therapists that they had previously worked with. The fantasy is that I would understand their experience more because I’m also a person of color or because I’m Asian or Chinese or a woman or the same age as them with the exact same shade of magenta-colored hair. There’s certainly a place for joining to build trust and an alliance, especially after a negative experience with therapy, but when does joining silence speech and prevent important dynamics and feelings from emerging in the therapeutic relationship? 

by Barbara A. Baer, Ph.D.


The Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California invites you to join us for an Open House via Zoom.

Maureen Murphy, Ph.D., Co-Editor/Contributing Author of Trauma & the Destructive Transformative Struggle: Clinical Perspectives will be interviewed by Kara Bunting, Ph.D./PINC Candidate. Moderated by: Carolina Bacchi, Psy.D.

Thursday, February 17, 2022 at 7:00 pm - 8:45 pm

Please join PINC faculty, administrators, graduates, and candidates to hear how we are thinking about the interface between trauma and psychoanalysis in the context of our program, while also having the opportunity to ask your questions about training and the admissions process.

by Francisco J. Gonzalez, M.D. and Rachel Peltz, Ph.D.


We are pleased and honored to receive this award, and we want to emphasize that we receive it on behalf of the entire Community Psychoanalysis Track and Consortium (CPT&C). In the spirit of community, we will dedicate the honorarium that accompanies this award to community program development.

The CPT&C is based on the work of many. The two of us had an initial vision and shepherded the hard work and creativity of a community of people committed to expanding psychoanalysis beyond the confines of the consulting room. We have felt a resonance with those who find the intersection of psychoanalysis and community deeply meaningful, invigorating, and necessary. From the outset we have felt supported by PINC; we are fortunate to be a part of an Institute that prides itself on welcoming change toward the better.

by Amber Trotter, Psy.D.


Psychoanalysis aims to vocalize that which has previously been silent. Making the unconscious conscious could be rephrased as making silence speak. A “safe space” bounded by strict confidentiality, an intimate relationship, and the signature undisciplined discipline of free association summon the repressed or inchoate unspoken. 

All this fuss begs the question: Why can’t some things be verbalized under normal circumstances? What causes silence? Freud developed an intricate theory of repression, with personal and sociocultural dimensions, to elucidate. Fear of consequence—shame, retaliation, excommunication—seals our lips, and important truths easily slip into hiding, even from our conscious selves. Perhaps at its most basic, communication is about safety. We use words to signal that everything is okay (“No danger here!”) or to ask for what we need to get back to there (“I’m feeling threatened – help!”). Thoughts and feelings that appear to work against that project are readily withheld. 

by Clara Brandt, Psy.D.

Are you looking to be more involved in the local psychoanalytic community? The Education Committee would love to have you. Members of this committee collaborate with instructors to make NCSPP's courses happen, and get to attend courses for free as a liaison. We are especially looking for members with an interest in psychoanalysis and social justice. If you are interested, please contact the Education Chair, Clara Brandt, Psy.D. at or (415) 685-0488.

The Education Committee is also accepting proposals for Spring, 2023.

The Education Committee strives to develop programming that represents the intellectual diversity of contemporary psychoanalytic psychology, the diversity of therapists and clients, and the expansion of psychoanalytic theory and practice. All courses are currently taking place online, and are available to NCSPP members of all levels and to the larger community. Courses meet the continuing education credit requirements for LCSWs and MFTs through BBS (Provider #PCE508) and for psychologists through Division 39 of APA. We are especially eager to receive proposals that address racial, cultural, and other types of diversity, and those that explore topics that are usually not addressed in graduate programs (e.g., practicing during COVID; working with couples, adolescents, infants, and pregnant people; utilizing material from client’s use of psychedelics, etc.).


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: 

Becoming a Couple: An Introduction to Psychoanalytic Couple 
Wed, Feb 2 / 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm / Zoom
SFCP / (415) 632-2438 / D. Iscoff, MFT / free

Neuropsychoanalysis – The Emotional Basis of Consciousness
Fri, Feb 4 (begins) / 11:45 am - 1:15 pm / Zoom
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / M. Zellner, Ph.D., LP / $260 - $355

Scientific Meeting
Sat, Feb 5 / 9:00 am - 11:00 am / Zoom
SFCP / (415) 632-2438 / M. Leuzinger-Bohleber, Ph.D., et al. / free

Racist Love: Asian Abstraction and the Pleasures of Fantasy
Fri, Feb 11 / 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm / Zoom
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / L. Bow, Ph.D., et al. / free - $40

SF-PPTP Informational Open House
Wed, Feb 16 (begins) / 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm / Zoom
SFCP / (415) 632-2438 / L. Weyland, Ph.D., et al. / free

Body as Enemy: The Risk of Coming Alive
Sat, Feb 26 / 9:30 am - 11:30 am / Zoom
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / D. Tillotson, Psy.D.; P. Goldberg, Ph.D. / free - $45

Early Career Psychoanalytic Case Conference
Mon, Feb 28 (begins) / 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm / Zoom
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / M. Diaso Rudy, LCSW, et al. / $80 - $170

The Art of Catching the Drift: An Introduction to Psychoanalytic Listening
Wed, Mar 2 (begins) / 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm / Zoom
SFCP / (415) 632-2438 / J. De Lon, MFT / free

Mentalizing Homeostasis
Sat, Mar 5 / 9:00 am - 12:00 pm / Zoom
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / A. Fotopoulou, Ph.D. / $25 - $95