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 Lazzuly Mello, MFT Associate


We are afraid of the world we live in. We are afraid of the inhumanity that exists within each and every one of us. Dr. Gonzalez said it right, "we are all racist here." So put aside your fears and take a journey with me.

Another horror today: a bombing in Gaza, indigenous children dying at the border, young black boys and girls incarcerated, annihilated, a (not so) quiet genocide of all things black and brown and red and yellow and queer and non binary and different.

Fascism rising across the globe.
Bolsonaro in bed with Netanyahu.
Extermination of our Palestinian brothers, our indigenous sisters, our land being ripped apart right before our eyes.
A president elect who is both hated and revered, and though it is said he is our shadow, I beg to differ. He is your mirror, he is our mirror.

It's not so much that we are in la crise but that we have been haunted by la crise since the beginning.

by Kellen Grayson, MFT, Psy.D.


Good news, clinicians: June is the perfect month for doing transformative analytic work. This month Uranus and Pluto will have a conjunction that will create restriction and constraint. There might be a bit of chaos in relationships if you don’t find balance, so you and your patients may be impacted by relationship troubles. When Uranus conjuncts, Pluto brings change and movement; if you’re a provider, you will finally see shifts in the stuck positions of your work. You’ll also be the change that is needed in the room. 

Aries – Transformations are on the horizon, Aries. Your progress is remarkable but beware of going into a tailspin. You forge ahead, but don’t forge too fast and furious or you’ll be over the cliff. Slow down and integrate your accomplishments in an ego-syntonic manner. Otherwise, your self-care will suffer as you will continue to achieve nothing but an empty black hole of nothingness. No achievement will ever satisfy.

Taurus – Are you exhausted from the green thumbing during April and May? Rest up in June with all the changes that are going to occur. No worries, you’ll dig in your hooves and weather being out of control for a bit. There’s no better astrology sign that can endure the storm. Focus on being creative and continuing to nurture your gardens and relationships. The unconscious can always use some weeding.

Gemini – Happy birthday to the two of you. It’s time to focus on the many changes that are happening in your occupation. You may be feeling oppositional with authority or impatient with co-workers. This will pass, so don’t make any major changes with your work or finances. Frustration tolerance should be your focus this month.

by Molly Merson, MFT

Tell It About Your Mother: Can brain-scanning help save Freudian psychoanalysis? What does it look like in one’s brain when a “shift” happens in a psychoanalytic treatment? Are neuroscientific images of a patient’s brain one way to keep psychoanalysis alive and relevant? Are we simply obsessed with tracking and measuring everything, including personality, emotion, and psychic growth? (And what happens in the psychoanalyst’s brain when the patient experiences that “shift”?)

Therapy saved a refugee child. Fifty years on, he’s leading a mental health revolution. Peter Fonagy was a depressed and suicidal teen until he was introduced to psychoanalysis. This article describes how Dr. Fonagy was helped by, and now practices, psychoanalysis.

Extended transcript: Howard Stern. Howard Stern talks about his personal experiences in psychoanalysis.

by Todd Rising, Psy.D.


The Territory of the Body: Psychoanalytic Conceptualizations of the Psyche-Soma

The introductory event – an informal, dynamic conversation with instructors from the East Bay and San Francisco ISG's – will invite participants to further investigate theoretical approaches and practical engagements with the body in the clinical setting. Topics to be discussed include gender and culture, self-harm, sexuality, dissociation, and the language of bodily experience.

If you are considering registering for the upcoming ISG, please join us in beginning our exploration of how the body speaks when words can fail. Three of our ISG instructors will present their ideas and answer your questions about this central topic: Betsy Kassoff, Ph.D., Audrey Martin, MFT, and Tom Wooldridge, Psy.D.


The Intensive Study Group will take up various conceptualizations of the body in psychoanalysis. Therapists from a range of theoretical backgrounds will use contemporary texts, contemporary artists, and writings to explore the psychological development of body-mind. The body that is born, the body that registers pain and trauma, the body that heals, the body that dies, and the territories in between.


CENTRALLY-LOCATED OFFICE FOR SUBLET in the historic Healing Arts Building (1801 Bush at Octavia). Small but charming office with French windows overlooking a courtyard, a Persian rug, and ergonomic armchairs that can recline for deeper work. Available on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays to see individuals. $200 per day or $550 for 3 days. Call: Ariane (415) 595-0353.

PSYCHOTHERAPY OFFICE SUBLET: Lovely upper Fillmore Street location at 2491 Washington Street in a suite with three other analysts. Office is available all day Tuesdays Thursdays, Fridays, and Wednesday morning until noon. The office has a contemporary ambience with high ceilings, bay window, analytic couch and closet with built in desk. Rent/day is $363. If interested please call Barbara A. Baer, Ph.D. at (415) 346-8868.

PSYCHODYNAMIC CASE CONFERENCE: Wednesdays: 1:45 - 3:15 pm. Cost: $70/session-NC vacations. Location: 3321 Sacramento Street, SF. CE-pending. This Case Conference attends to process and content, to understand anxieties and developmental levels occurring in the hour. We explore how transference-countertransference points toward foundational struggles, and pitch interpretations toward deepening engagement and promoting understanding. Holly Gordon DMH is a psychoanalyst in San Francisco, where she’s taught Character, Case Formulation, Dreams, Principles of Analytic Therapy, and Case Conference at SFCP. Contact Holly Gordon at or (415) 860-1778.

BEAUTIFUL, BRIGHT, FULL-TIME PSYCHOTHERAPY OFFICE: located in the Flood building. Office is unfurnished and has a shared waiting room. $1600/mo. Please contact for photos and further inquiries.

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: 

Beyond the Consulting Room with Francisco González, M.D.
Fri, Jun 7 / 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm / 3301 E 12th St., #259 / Oakland
NCSPP / (859) 652-1881 / F. González, M.D. / $15 - $18

Laplanche and Pontalis: Afterwords … After Words … Afterwards
Mon, Jun 10 / 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm / 444 Natoma St. / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / A. Wertz, Ph.D., Psy.D & M. Levin, Psy.D. / free