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

We would like to say goodbye to Ripple Patel, our Psychoanalysis in the News contributor, who is moving to Massachusetts for her internship program. Thank you, Ripple, for your steadfast selection, over the past four years, of so many interesting articles from a diverse range of publications, and for your commitment to Impulse.

Welcome to our new Psychoanalysis in the News contributor, Molly Merson, MFT. Molly is a relational, psychodynamic psychotherapist in private practice in Berkeley. She works with adults and adolescents of all genders to approach uncomfortable feelings, work through stuck patterns, and create room for joy and desire. Molly is also a Summer Sessions Wellness Lecturer at UC Berkeley and a contributing writer to PsychedMagazine, where she writes about social justice, psychoanalytic psychotherapy, relationships, and the universe. She is currently working on a series of articles about healing from the death of a mother, which she hopes to expand into a book. When she's not writing or being a therapist, Molly loves being active in her CrossFit and weightlifting community, hiking, and daydreaming.

by Jane Reingold, MFT


Jean-Luc Godard's Goodbye to Language unfolds as if in a dream, a visual free association, an avant-garde emotional experience to apprehend. The struggle is to view the film without memory or desire, to let go of prior expectations of the medium, of narrative, and to not grasp at quick meaning: to achieve a state of surrender, an evenly hovering attention that allows a "being with" the experience that is taking form. The moment something coheres, it is gone, wiped away, like windshield wipers whisking away the swath of multicolored rain painting the canvas of the windshield. Like a dream, the film is a stream of associative thoughts represented through images--disturbing, raw, beautiful, bizarre, fragmented--that have a rhythm and a sequence, constructing and deconstructing simultaneously and yet giving shape to that which the dreamer is expressing, dreaming, experiencing.

by Molly Merson, MFT

How Racism Came to Be Called a Mental Illness--And Why That's a Problem. The authors discuss the history of racism as a public health issue, and how framing racism as a mental health problem puts the onus on the individual rather than focusing on changing structural issues and policies that support a racist system.

Panel Examines Gender and Psychoanalysis. At the American Psychoanalytic Association's recent meeting in Chicago, a complex discussion took place about the Orlando massacre, gender boundaries, the Amazon show "Transparent," and psychoanalysis.

Donald Trump: The Modern-Day Nero Ready to Burn Down America? Psychoanalyst Jamieson Webster wonders why America is being seduced and captivated by Trump. Are we in the midst of a Winnicottian "fear of a breakdown that has already been experienced" by engaging with the presumptive Republican presidential nominee?

by Eric Essman, MA


Speculating on pre-natal existence, Bion extended psychoanalytic theory backward. Our thinking now must extend deeper into the present to accommodate the impact of virtual reality, which constitutes an unavoidable dimension of 21st-century existence. Do technological changes demand alterations in therapeutic technique, including the frame-altering deployment of Skype and texting? Might relational practice or modes of intervention derived from field theory or trauma theory better respond to the needs of a techno-savvy, techno-anxious, or technophobic patient population than more classical approaches? Do the new self-representational capabilities afforded by digital media resemble transference and enactments insofar as they not only promote resistances but also provide leverage and genuine pathways for psychoanalytic psychotherapy and personal growth? We invite you to join our 2016-17 Intensive Study Groups (ISG) as they explore clinical and theoretical implications of accelerating technological developments.

CONSULTATION GROUPS. Openings in two consultation groups: Mondays, The Treatment of Adolescents and Young Adults; Fridays, Deepening the Work: Psychoanalytic Process in the Treatment of Adolescents and Young Adults. Each meets weekly, 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm, from September 2016 to mid-June 2017. Contact Mary Brady, PhD, at; or Robert Tyminski, DMH, at
UNION STREET OFFICE. Elegant, light Victorian. Small kitchen. Mon, Wed, Fri 7:00 am - 5:00 pm, $450/month. For more information, contact
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.

DYNAMIC TRAINING IN INTENSE PHP SETTING: La Cheim's partial hospitalization program in Oakland is seeking pre-licensed MFTs/PsyDs/PhDs to conduct individual and group therapy with a challenging adult population. Qualifying supervision + hourly pay. Please email resume to Mical Falk, PhD, at

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