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

Issues of identity in the context of race and gender have recently taken the media world by storm, raising foundational questions about self-experience and self-representation while sparking considerable controversy, even among traditionally aligned groups. Certainly, there are significant differences between Bruce Jenner's transformation to Caitlyn Jenner and Rachel Dolezal's racial identification as Black. Nevertheless, both cases exist within a culture that social critics refer to as "makeover culture" because of its increasing encouragement of self-reinvention.

by Shannon Dubach, PsyD

Once a year, past NCSPP presidents gather to think about how NCSPP can meet our mission to encourage the interest, study, and practice of psychoanalytic psychology. Each year this group generates new ideas, and this year was no exception. We discussed creating a biennial conference in the Bay Area that would bring together experts from various disciplines to discuss clinical approaches and techniques, as well as theoretical perspectives, involved in "psychotherapy with another." By "another", we mean multiple marignalized social groups. The first of these conferences will focus on the theory, technique, and cultural requisites that strengthen work with LGBTQ adults, families, and youth.

by Jane Reingold, MFT


An establishing shot in the French Alps of a small resort town -- dwarfed by majestic mountain peaks, seemingly trapped and surrounded, vulnerable to the elements -- sets the stage for a young family's ski vacation in Ruben Ostlund's film Force Majeure. As the camera pans closer and we hear Vivaldi's syncopated summer concerto, we see a highly controlled and manicured environment, a facade of harnessed, controlled, neutered nature. Ominous blasts setting off controlled avalanches, puncturing the suface of what cannot be known or controlled, of what lurks beneath, are the only disquieting signs of something amiss.

by Ripple Patel, MA

The Role of the Unconscious in Career Development. A psychoanalyst shares her wisdom on the less obvious determinants of people's work lives.

The Dowdy Patient. Looks shouldn't matter, but they do.

The Architecture of Psychotherapy. An architect sketches the therapeutic frame.

by Eric Essman, MA

Freud identified psychological health with the ability to love and to work; Winnicott added play and Bion, dream. The 2015-16 East Bay and San Francisco Intensive Study Groups on "What Works: The Nature of Therapeutic Action" aim to understand the unconscious processes and conscious techniques that endow clinical exchanges with the power to transform lives. As this year's instructors, readings, and case materials will demonstrate, loving, working, playing, and dreaming are self-reflexively part of the clinical process: transference love motivates the interaction; the analytic frame supports the "working through" that integrates knowledge and emotions; and the play of associations, fantasy, and dream expands containment and meaningful representation of experience. One of the earliest beneficiaries of psychoanalysis named it "the talking cure." One of our instructors neatly formulated the educational focus of these ISGs: how the talking cures. We hope you will join us to share what promises to be an informative and exciting year-long experience.


UPDATED OFFICE SPACE AVAILABLE at Associated Counselors in San Jose. For over 20 years, our group has provided a home for psychotherapists to grow their practice. We offer reasonable rent, a call light system, private patient exits, case consultation, and community. To view our space and meet our group, call Karen Wride, LCSW, at (408) 886-7143.

BEAUTIFUL OFFICE SPACE. 2nd floor, no elevator, Wed, Fri and Sat. Cupertino at 85 and Stevens Creek. Call Kalpana Asok at (408) 808-1490.

SEEKING ADJUNCT GRADUATE CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY FACULTY.  Notre Dame de Namur University, in Belmont, CA, is seeking adjunct faculty members to teach courses in the graduate Clinical Psychology Department for students pursuing a Master of Sciene in Clinical Psychology. Students are primarily training to become licensed Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Clinical Counselors. Qualifications (necessary): Ph.D. in Psychology from a regionally accredited university department of psychology, Licensed Clinical Psychologist with current CA license and active clinical work. Other qualifications (highly desirable): Demonstrated experience teaching a range of Clinical Psychology courses at the graduate level; demonstrated experience working with students of diverse populations; traditional and non-traditional age students; and compatibility with the department and university mission and philosophy. Please email your CV and teaching interests to the Clinical Psychology Department:

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.   

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