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 Sydney Tan, PsyD


But the queen -- too long she has suffered the pain of love,
hour by hour nursing the wound with her lifeblood,
consumed by the fire buried in her heart.


At last she assails Aeneas, before he's said a word:
"So, you traitor, you really believed you'd keep
this a secret, this great outrage? Steal away
in silence from my shores? Can nothing hold you back?
Not our love? Not the pledge once sealed with our right hands?
Nor even the thought of Dido doomed to a cruel death? ...
If only you'd left a baby in my arms -- our child --
before you deserted me! Some little Aeneas
playing about our halls, whose features at least
would bring you back to me in spite of all,
I would not feel so totally devastated,
so destroyed."

by Alexandra Guhde, PsyD


"The political landscape has been so phantasmagoric that even the most sensationally interesting personal essays have lost some currency when not tied head-on to the news..."
--Laura Bennet, of Slate, in an email to Jia Tolentino, of The New Yorker

In her recent New Yorker article, "The Personal-Essay Boom is Over," Jia Tolentino describes the rapidly declining arc of first-person narratives in modern journalism. The "boom," which began in the mid-aughts after the mushrooming of the blogosphere, had a distinctly feminine feel -- not merely because many of the articles were written by women, but because personal essays are unabashed in filtering cultural observations through the Subjective (with a capital S). In personal essays, the perspective is interior, and the facts are feeling-ful.

by Molly Merson, MFT

Mirror Stage President. Lacan's theory of the mirror stage is one useful way to think about the current U.S. president and the "impossible tragic drama" of ever being able to be the idealized version of ourselves that we see in the mirror.

From Bill Maher to Sigmund Freud: A Very Unfunny Look at the Politics of Hate. In written correspondence between Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein, Freud suggests that aggression and violence cannot be repressed, but that the antidote to hate might lie in community and equity. The article lists three takeaways from these letters that could be useful in combating the way hate is manifest on a social and political level today.

Politicians Used Freudian Ideas to First Convince Americans They Needed Capitalism. San Francisco analyst Michael Donner offers insights into how capitalism and American politics benefited from Freudian theory, and how our unconscious drives and desires are influenced and soothed by propaganda and marketing.

by Brenda Bloomfield, LCSW

A Summer Conversation with Dawn Farber, PsyD, and Israel Katz, MD

Saturday, July 15, 2017
2:00pm - 4:00pm
St. John's Presbyterian Church
2727 College Ave
Berkeley, CA 94705

CE: 2 Credits

Tuition: $30 General Public | $20 NCSPP Full Members | $15 NCSPP CMH, Associate, and Student Members | $15 Scholarship Rate (must have prior approval) | Additional $10 for CE credit

PACIFIC HEIGHTS OFFICE FOR SUBLET. Beautifully furnished with floor to ceiling windows, analytic couch, hardwood floors, shared waiting room. Available Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Call Wendy von Wiederhold, Ph.D. if interested. (415) 797-2496.
ASSISTANT/ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR. NDNU Clinical Psychology Dept seeking non-tenure-track, assistant or associate professor to teach clinical and research oriented courses for Clinical Psychology Masters students while performing Departmental service and growth projects including professional/program development and student/alumni recruitment and relations. Ideal candidate will be aligned with the scholar-practitioner model, actively practicing as a licensed psychologist, and engaged with the community. Please submit a cover letter, resume, and two letters of reference to: Human Resources, Notre Dame de Namur, 1500 Ralston Ave, Belmont, CA 94002 or via email:

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: 

Collective Paranoia in Historical Perspective
Sat, Jun 10 / 10:00 am - 1:00 pm / 2040 Gough St / San Francisco
Jung Institute / (415) 771-8055 / L. Zoja, PhD / $25 - $35

The Body of the Analyst and the Analytic Setting
Sat, Jun 10 / 9:30 am - 12:30 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-3366 / A. Lemma, PhD / $45 - $65

The Disintermediation of Desire
Sun, Jun 11 / 11:00 am - 1:00 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-3366 / A. Lemma, PhD / free