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 Stephanie King, Psy.D.


Can we as clinicians remain neutral right now? Is it analytically appropriate? Is it ethically responsible? Is revealing my political views as a clinician disrupting the treatment? Does it mean I’m attending to my own needs rather than the patient? Would political references made by the patient be better met with an interpretation about annihilation anxiety? Maybe I should just mention that there are “some very fine people on both sides.” I’m sorry, I just can’t. That’s not to say that I have not been grappling with this for the last two years, I have. It feels as if the “rules” of analytic neutrality are shifting, and, of course, this is assuming we already agree that we are lightyears away from the “blank screen". But in my opinion, the scales just recently tipped even more. In the past, before Trump (B.T.), I might have had more of a poker face when it comes to politics, perhaps offering an appropriate interpretation, be it in the transference, or something else. Now, I feel strongly that I need to validate the everyday danger our current administration poses to my patients' lives.

by Jim Meyers, MFT


The Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California (PINC) invites you to attend an informal Open House.

Monday, March 11, 2019
7:30 – 9:00 pm

530 Bush Street, 7th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94108

Please join PINC faculty, administrators, graduates, and candidates. Bring your questions, your friends, and your colleagues. We anticipate an informative and lively discussion. Supper will be served.

by Charles Fisher, M.D.


Sunday, March 24
Coffee and tea: 9:00 am
Program: 9:45 am – 4:00 pm

The SFCP and PINC communities, along with psychotherapists, therapists in training and interested members of the public, will have a special opportunity to meet and interact with Mark Solms, Ph.D. Mark will give two lectures in the program, with ample time for questions and discussion.

In the first of the lectures in this program, Freud in Translation: German to English, Mark Solms, will introduce a powerful new perspective on emotional and mental life. How is it that Sigmund Freud, who saw himself as a natural scientist, described the mental apparatus as the Seelenapparat, or "apparatus of the soul"? Solms' forthcoming new translation, The Revised Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, combines a literary perspective with deep insight into the emotionally immediate language of German science. This revised translation reveals Freud in new ways as a person, a writer, and a thinker, while presenting an enriched view of human subjectivity. 

by Amber Trotter, Psy.D.


Foucault’s (1975) panopticon metaphor for modern society has become fully realized: we live under nearly constant surveillance. Political consequences are manifold and have been discussed extensively. As a clinician, I wonder about the psychic impact of glass house living.

The Radiohead song croons, “Well, of course I’d like to sit around and chat, but someone’s listening in.” Hyper-surveillance is inhibitory, or so Foucault (1975) believed; it breeds self-censure. The thought of being watched functions as internal pressure, fostering perfectionistic self-monitoring: the ego engages in a desperate, anxiety-ridden struggle to be flawless. Performance becomes paramount, at the expense of authentic relating, of sitting around and chatting. We might say that the pervasive and relatively invisible power of surveillance induces neurosis.

by Molly Merson, MFT

The Good Enough Life. Perhaps what makes life “good enough”, or well-lived, is to let go of the pressure to achieve greatness.

The Contributions of Wilhelm Reich. This radio piece explores Reich’s focus on a sexual and bodily revolution to liberate oneself from a repressive fascist state. Not only did this not go over well in fascist Europe, but it wasn’t well-received in the United States, either.

Burned out and overwhelmed: Should you embrace the joy of no? What if our current cultural fixation on joy is another way of filling a lack left behind by a manic society, or a way of pushing back against a culture that encourages us to be productive rather than be ourselves?

The New Psychoanalysis  This article explores several ways in which psychoanalysis is an ideal position from which to address our current sociopolitical climate and cultural and historical traumas. Far from being a stodgy patriarchal treatment approach, psychoanalysis thrives in the depths of the human condition, and helps us understand ourselves personally and contextually in radical and honest ways.

by Katherine Eng, Ph.D.


The NCSPP Community Mental Health Committee is excited to announce two upcoming events designed to support and build community.

Join with others and experience something creative and tactile. Enhance the bonds with members of your community as we re-invigorate our creative selves. On Saturday, April 13th, from 12:00 to 3:00 pm, we will be meet at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco for a tour and workshop. We’ll be carving a whole set of wooden spoons. Register:

This year’s Annual Lecture will feature Kirkland Vaughans, who will be speaking on the School to Prison Pipeline — a vital topic especially to those who work in community mental health settings. In preparation for this event and to provide a space for discussion on this topic, a reading group will be convened on Dr. Vaughans’s work in the East Bay in early May. Stay tuned for details. Registration details will be posted in future NCSPP e-mails.


PACIFIC HEIGHTS OFFICE FOR SUBLET. Located on Fillmore Street. Sunny, spacious office in a charming Victorian building is available Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Suitable for seeing individual adults and couples. Available for someone who wants at least two days a week. All-therapist building. Photos available upon request. Please contact Janet Lee, MFT at

PSYCHOTHERAPY OFFICES AVAILABLE. Located in the Presidio. A group of us plan to rent a suite of offices in the Presidio. The suite has three large offices, two small offices, and a waiting room. We are looking for tenants for one of the large offices and the two small offices. We are open to people who are interested in splitting an office as well. The office is just off Park Presidio and Lake St. It is on the 2nd floor with beautiful light and views. The space is fully refurbished. I have had an office in the Presidio for the last 5 years and love the quiet, calm, and easy parking. If you are interested, please contact me at (415) 793-6511 or

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: 

South Bay Reading Group
Fri, Mar 1 / 6:45 - 9:15 pm / private residence / Palo Alto
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / J. Gerhardt, Ph.D. / $15

Focus On – Interrogating Psychoanalysis with Color in Mind
Sat, Mar 2 (begins) / 2:00 - 3:30 pm / private office / Berkeley
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / M. Muralidharan, Psy.D.; S. Herlekar, Psy.D., MFT / $75 - $170

2nd Fridays – Heaven Is A Traffic Jam On the 405
Fri, Mar 8 / 6:30 - 8:30 pm / 530 Bush St / San Francisco
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / M. Murphy, Ph.D.; R. Cowan, Psy.D., LCSW / free - $40

Focus On - When the Analytic Third Includes a Psychedelic
Sat, Mar 9 / 9:30 am - 12:30 pm / 530 Bush St / San Francisco
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / K. Peoples, Ph.D., et al. / $35 - $90

Working with Psychotic States of Mind in a Child Treatment
Sat, Mar 9 / 10:00 am - 12:00 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / J. Magagna, Ph.D.; D. Frankel, Ph.D. / free

Understanding Psychotic States Underlying Eating Disorders
Mon, Mar 11 / 7:30 - 9:30 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / J. Magagna, Ph.D.; M. Levin, Psy.D. / free

Spring Happy Hour
Thu, Mar 14 / 6:00 - 8:00 pm / 2424 Telegraph Ave / Oakland
NCSPP / (310) 713-4776 / free

Trauma, Process and Representation
Sat, Mar 16 / 10:00 am - 12:00 pm / 530 Bush St / San Francisco
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / H. Levine, M.D. / free - $40

Focus On – Reading Ta-Nehisi Coates
Wed, Mar 20 (begins) / 7:30 - 9:00 pm / 530 Bush St / San Francisco
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / S. Hartman, Ph.D. / $125 - $275

Creating a Mind: Theoretical and Clinical Considerations
Sat, Mar 23 / 9:30 am - 12:30 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / G. Civitarese, M.D., Ph.D., et al. / $25 - $65

Found in Translation: A Day With Mark Solms
Sun, Mar 24 / 9:00 am - 4:00 pm / 2299 Piedmont Ave / Berkeley
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / M. Solms, Ph.D., et al. / $75 - $150

Death, Death objects, and Murderous Mourning
Tue, Mar 26 / 7:30 - 9:00 pm / 530 Bush St / San Francisco
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / C. Jacques, Psy.D. / free - $15

Malignant Narcissism in an Oedipal Victor
Thu, Mar 28 / 7:30 - 9:00 pm / 530 Bush St / San Francisco
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / S. Lines, Ph.D.; R. Kaywin, DMH / free - $35

Foundations: Freud: Opening to and Healing Desire
Tue, Apr 2 (begins) / 7:30 - 9:00 pm / 2837 Claremont Blvd / Berkeley
NCSPP / (425) 652-2673 / R. Bartner, Ph.D. / $135 - $315

The Mirror's Other Face: Anima/Animus and the Unconscious
Sat, Apr 6 (begins) / 10:00 am - 4:00 pm / 2040 Gough St / San Francisco
Jung Institute / (415) 771-8055 / Q. Ching, LCSW / $250 - $275