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

I can’t believe it's already 2022, and we are entering the third year of the pandemic hanging over us. In this precarious time, many of us are making difficult tradeoffs between taking risks and moving on with living life. This month at Impulse we say goodbye to two regular contributors, Molly Merson and Lorrie Goldin. 

Lorrie has been a consistent contributor to “Potential Space” for the last 11 years, and she entered retirement this past year. During her time here she has introduced us to films, art, essays, talks, and political discourses, always with a keen eye for psychoanalytic themes and an incisive social critique. This month I’m glad to see a more personal side in her reflections following retirement. I will miss learning from her, and I wish her all the relaxation in the time ahead. 

Molly has held the column “Psychoanalysis in Society,” formerly known as “Psychoanalysis in the News,” for the last 5 years. This column is where we look outside of psychoanalysis in places like critical race theory, sociology, and personal reflection for content that challenges us and moves our thinking forward. When she started in 2016, a fateful year, she decided to take the column in a more sociopolitical direction. In my time working with her, I have seen her take risks in sharing articles that were challenging and important as well as taking the time behind the scenes to engage with patience and compassion when she received feedback. Molly, I will miss your voice here, and I’m excited for your new projects ahead. 

by Tanisha Stewart, Psy.D.

"Equality is leaving the door open for anyone who has the means to approach it; equity is ensuring there is a pathway to that door for those who need it." - Caroline Belden

I step into the role of President after a year of reflection. Each year our esteemed board members and dedicated collection of volunteers set out on a path to steer the field of psychoanalysis towards a more open and inclusive society. While psychoanalytic institutes restrict the study of analysis to those who already possess an advanced degree in mental health, NCSPP remains committed to its core tenet of providing access and promoting analytic theory to all. We have made significant strides towards these values. We have increased representation of BIPOC at both the leadership and committee member levels. Additionally, before approving any programming, we ask each of our instructors and lecturers to view their course material through the lens of anti-oppression. 

Despite, and at times, due to our earnest efforts to increase racial inclusion, our successes have been marred by misplaced exuberance, malignant neglect, and glaring silence. Last year NCSPP placed a hiatus on programming to reflect on the culture of our organization and explore the practices and policies that contributed to creating exclusionary environments and maintaining multiple barriers to entry. There is much work to be done. As we gear up to resume programming and educational courses, I encourage our members to continue holding us accountable when we inevitably falter.

by Lorrie Goldin, LCSW


I entered the mental health profession at age 22 with a newly minted BA in English, a job scooping ice cream, no idea about my future, and time on my hands. When I saw a notice seeking volunteers for a local crisis hotline, I thought, “Why not? I’ve got nothing better to do.”  

I loved it immediately: the raw intimacy, the power of connection and presence, feeling like I made a difference. I was in awe of peoples’ dignity and capacities in the face of overwhelmingly grim circumstances. 

Scooping ice cream is tasty and fun, but I had found my life’s work. So I decided to go to graduate school to become a therapist. Nearly four decades later, I’ve just retired, and offer these reflections. 

As therapists we grapple with the age-old question: “Do people change, or do they remain the same?” Blessedly, we now live at a time when false binaries are called out. “Both/and” replaces the splits of “either/or.” The complexity of paradox is one of the extraordinary riches of being human and of being a therapist.

by Molly Merson, MFT


In July 2016, I spoke with Impulse’s then-editor, Shlomit Gorin, about contributing articles to the column Psychoanalysis in the News. My colleague from the Women’s Therapy Center, Ripple Patel, had been the feature contributor for several years prior and left the position in June of that year. Ripple had a way of finding cultural and psychoanalytic “deep cuts” (a music nerd reference), articles from around the world about the ways psychoanalysis and art, music, and creativity intersected, which I deeply admired. My hope was to use the column as a platform to speak of psychoanalysis in culture from a systemic lens, by finding news pieces that attempted to frame social analyses via psychoanalytic ideas and perspectives. 

Then, just a few months later, the 2016 presidential election sent a surge of concern through the Bay Area psychoanalytic community, the nation, and beyond. The types of articles I was seeking became more and more available, as social theorists turned to Freud, Lacan, Klein, Kristeva, and Fanon to understand the political “primal scene.” Psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic clinicians began breaking the “Goldwater Rule,” speaking out through blog writing, presentations, scholarly papers, and interviews, attempting to warn about the potential harms of the new president, as well as what this election might tell us about the social psyche of this country and sociopolitical sentiments throughout the world. Feminists and Black scholars shared their viewpoints and experiences of racism and misogyny in ways that were deeply psychoanalytic. Through the articles I have been able to find, these two locations, the social and the intrapsychic, have appeared irrefutably interconnected.


EARLY CAREER CONSULTATION/STUDY GROUP NOW FORMING. Weekly 1.5 hour group for pre-licensed and licensed Early Career Clinicians, as well as more experienced clinicians newer to psychoanalytic thinking and practice. We will use contemporary psychoanalytic theories to deepen clinical work, with an emphasis on case consultation supplemented by close reading of clinically relevant papers. The group seeks to foster clinical, personal, and intellectual growth, creating a space for developing our capacities for emotionally-engaged thinking and dreaming the work together. For more information and questions, please contact Jonathan Moss, MFT -

SEEKING PSYCHODYNAMIC CORE FACULTY. CIIS is seeking psychodynamically-oriented faculty to contribute to the growth of our innovative Clinical Psychology (PsyD) program. Our distinctive approach to doctoral education synthesizes integral philosophy and psychodynamic approaches to psychotherapy. We emphasize the radical roots of this discipline, as well as its unparalleled emphasis on the therapeutic relationship as a catalyst for change. Our faculty is deeply interested in the many intersections between psychodynamic psychotherapy and humanistic, existential, somatic, and transpersonal psychotherapies. In addition, we actively cultivate dialogue between Western psychology and other wisdom/spiritual traditions. We are particularly interested in continuing to grow the diversity of our community, and enthusiastically welcome applications from members of groups that are underrepresented in higher education. Successful candidates will join a community who shares a passion for social justice and for working with underserved populations. Interested faculty candidates can apply here:;jsessionid=983EEEC426B42F5B3808B61A7C7C8091?JOBID=138096

PSYCHOANALYTIC WOODEN COUCH. Custom made, hand carved details, 7-foot long with 4-in upholstered pad. Can send photo. $399. Contact Eugenia A Perez:

OFFICE FOR RENT. Located two blocks from downtown Los Gatos. Join a team of three long-time therapists in a suite of quiet and spacious offices with lots of natural light, windows that open, and a staff room. Includes private parking, Wi-Fi and air conditioning. Please contact Hugh Grubb: (408) 395-7592.

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