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 Loong Kwok, Psy.D.

I will admit to being biased, but at this year's Division 39 Spring Meeting, many of the best panels I attended featured presenters from the Bay Area. It made me appreciate how fortunate I am to be here, where there are so many great thinkers and writers. It also made me aware of the fact that I traveled across the country to discover that some of my neighbors were so talented. That's a lie. I already knew that most of the people I saw speak were going to be good. That's why I went to see them. But I know that there are remarkable people whom I see regularly who do not present their thinking in ways that are more widely accessible.

by Mark McKinley, Psy.D., Impulse Staff Writer


Certain metaphors are particularly apt in psychotherapy and home is certainly one of the richer ones. Home is not simply the place where one lives, not just the location of one's abode. It is also an affectively imbued space that reflects how one inhabits one's life. In its ideal sense, home is suggestive of what is familiar and comfortable. It provides shelter, warmth, and safety. Home is a place where one can settle in, let one's guard down, and be who one is, all the while feeling a sense of belonging. To feel "at home" is therefore to feel at ease with one's self and one's experience.

by Ripple Patel

Recalling Chestnut Lodge: Seeking the Human Behind the Psychosis. This article unpacks the paradoxical impact of a psychoanalytically-informed psychiatric hospital upon the treatment of schizophrenia.

Shellburne Thurber's Images of Consulting Rooms. Far from being a blank canvas, consulting rooms convey something important about the person of the analyst and their understanding of the task at hand.

What about me, and the ills of society? Stephen Saunders reviews Belgian psychoanalyst Paul Verhaeghe's most recent publication, which challenges a "neo-liberal" worldview and highlights the difficulties of crafting an identity in a market-based society.

by Andy Harlem and Michael Donnell


Psychoanalysis is not just a treatment; it is a way of life. Individually and collectively, we live psychoanalysis and it lives within us. We invigorate psychoanalytic thought through our evolving musings and conversations. In turn, we draw on it to enliven our minds, our relationships, and our work, while we strive to use psychoanalysis to make changes in the world around us. The life we live in psychoanalysis changes with time and setting. We discover it in diverse internal and external spaces, in expected and surprising ways at different times in our lives, and at different times in the life of psychoanalysis.


BERKELEY OFFICE FOR RENT. Lovely, newly constructed office, 225 sq.ft. Bamboo floors, skylight, therapists' bathroom and kitchen, Parking, free wi-fi. Contact Alice Jones, MD, 510-845-8800,

SUBLET DAYS & EVES: Monday, Friday & Thursday after 5:00 pm in psychotherapy suite: Washington & Fillmore, $550 large, beautifully furnished, quiet, fireplace, built-in cupboards. Wi-fi, Fax.  Ellen Salwen, or (415) 273-1315.

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: 

Murdering Minds: Violent Solutions to Inexorable Pressures

Sun, Jun 1 2014 / 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm / 2919 Mission Street / San Francisco
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / D. Cartwright, B. Kita, E. Currie / $0 - $15

East Bay Psychotherapy Forum
Wed, Jun 4 2014 / 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm / 2001 Dwight Way / Berkeley
SFCP / (415) 563-3366 / P. Neer, Psy.D.; T. Schulman, Ph.D. / free  

Community Membership Social Event
Fri, Jun 6 2014 / 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm / Pied Piper Bar & Grill / San Francisco
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / Various / Free

The African Diaspora and Western Psychology
Sat, Jun 7 2014 / 10:00 am - 1:00 pm / 2040 Gough St / San Francisco
Jung Inst. / (415) 771-8805 / G. Stanislaus; A. Vaughan, U. Vaughan / $45 - 90

Topographies in the poetry of Heaney and Tranströmer
Mon, Jun 9 2014 / 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm / 444 Natoma Street / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-3366 / A. Jones, M.D.; F. Hamer, Ph.D. / free  

Will You Marry Me? A Daylong Symposium on Marriage Equality
Sat, Jun 14 2014 / 9:30 am - 4:30 pm / 965 Clay Street / San Francisco
Jung Inst. / (415) 771-8055 / C. Downing, J. Beebe, et al. / $30-80