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 Kellen Grayson, PsyD


Recently, I attended an event at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) which showcased a movie and discussion about psychoanalyst Bernard Bail. The discussion was led by CIIS professor and psychoanalyst Fernando Castrillon, about Bail’s theory regarding imprinting in which the mother imprints her psyche on her child. While Dr. Castrillon discussed how Lacan’s theory of language and his concept of the Law of the Father is integrated through a child’s development, it struck me that there is still something missing. Maternal and paternal introjects alone are insufficient to describe the experience of children and their development. The Law of the Father and Bail’s notion of the maternal imprint are excellent theories, groundbreaking when originally brought forward, but what about a third gender theory? Is this a possibility?

by Jane Reingold, MFT


Elle, a film by Paul Verhoeven, opens with sounds of grunting and dishes shattering against a black screen. A cat is witness to the scene unfolding, golden eyes indifferently watching before impassively sauntering away. The camera pans to tangled bodies amidst shards, a man with a ski mask stands and walks out. Michele, the protagonist, is left on the floor still and motionless — corpse-like. Is this a consensual sadomasochistic enactment orchestrated by Michele or a violent home invasion and rape? That it is the latter becomes clear, and yet Michele’s reaction is troubling: blank, affectless. Like the cat, she also impassively walks away from this violent scene as she sweeps up the shards, takes a bath, orders sushi, as if all these actions are equivalent to the rape, just another occurrence in her busy day.

by Molly Merson, MFT

The Selfish Shrink: Life With Jacques Lacan. An exposing and at times hilarious review of Catherine Millot’s recently published memoir about her relationship with Lacan, from being his analysand, to lover, to Lacanian analyst herself.

The Silence: The Legacy of Childhood Trauma. This is Junot Diaz’s very personal and moving account of being raped as a child, and the ways this trauma impacted his future relationships, including his relationship to himself and his masculinity. The piece also explores how his therapist helped him access a dissociated emotional universe inside him that opened room for healing and truth.

How Our Dreams Made Us Human. From Freud to neuroscience, the article explores how and why we dream, and how the evolution of dreaming has had a multidirectional effect on our development as human beings.

by Shannon Rogers, MFT


The Education Committee strives to develop programming that represents the intellectual diversity of contemporary psychoanalytic psychology, the diversity of therapists and patients, and the expansion of psychoanalytic theory and practice. Our courses take place in San Francisco, the East Bay, and the North Bay, and are available to NCSPP members and the larger community. Courses meet continuing education credit requirements for LCSWs and MFTs through BBS (Provider #PCE508) and psychologists through Division 39 of the American Psychological Association.

If you are interested in teaching a class, please click here to submit your course proposal:

Proposals for 2019-2020 will be accepted and reviewed on an ongoing basis and are due by September 30th, 2018. Decisions will be delivered by November/December 2018. If you have questions, please contact Education Chair Shannon Rogers at (510) 545-4175 or at


HALFTIME OFFICE SUBLET IN ROCKRIDGE. Light and airy, tastefully furnished office just off College Ave. Can accommodate couples, families, and small groups. Located in small professional building with congenial, stable group of psychodynamically oriented therapists. Easy access from BART, AC Transit, Routes 13/24/580. Available Monday mornings, Tuesday/Thursday all day, Friday afternoons (weekends negotiable). Rent $842.50/month, includes parking space, private garden patio, wifi & other utilities, waiting room w/call light system, kitchen access, weekly housekeeping. Available June 1, 2018. Contact: Maria St. John (510) 847-1888, or




LOVELY SUNNY THERAPY OFFICE. In 3-office suite available 2 days weekly. Flexibility M/T/W. Furnished for individuals and couples. Wifi, waiting area, fully outfitted kitchen in well-maintained building with weekly janitorial services. Alarm protected. Clay and Fillmore, half block from CPMC with easy street parking and nearby parking garages. Contact





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: 

Cultural Matters: Conversation With Karim Dajani and Daniel Yu
Wed, May 2 / 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / K. Dajani, PsyD; D. Yu, LCSW / $15 - $20

East Bay Psychotherapy Forum
Wed, May 2 / 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm / 2001 Dwight Way / Berkeley
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / L. Bograd, MFT; S. Baum, PsyD; et al. / free

San Francisco Psychotherapy Forum
Thu, May 3 / 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / L. Chu, PsyD; M. Levin, PsyD; et al. / free

A State of Mind: A Day With Dr. Orna Guralnik
Sat, May 5 / 9:00 am - 4:00 pm / 2150 Alston Way / Berkeley
NCSPP / (415) 763-8532 / O. Guralnik, PsyD; K. Dajani, PsyD / $40 - $260

Two Realities, One Life: A Professional Musician's Journey
Fri, May 11 / 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm / 530 Bush St / San Francisco
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / A. Smyla; O. Atzmon, PhD / free - $40

Widening the Royal Road: Making Dreams Accessible
Sat, May 12 / 9:00 am - 1:00 pm / 1672 University Ave / Berkeley
NCSPP / (425) 652-2673 / M. Sabini, PhD / $60 - $140

The Efficacy of Psychoanalytic Therapy
Mon, May 14 / 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / J. Shedler, PhD; M. Levin, PsyD / free

South Bay Psychotherapy Forum
Tue, May 15 / 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm / 401 Quarry Rd / Stanford
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / M. Smith, PhD / free

Prophet of Deceit: Reflections on President Trump's Rhetoric
Sat, May 19 / 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / E. Loewenstein, PhD / free

Retirement: An Indiscreet Conversation
Tue, May 22 (begins) / 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm / 530 Bush St / San Francisco
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / J. Sandler, MD / $50 - $110

Psychoanalytic Grand Rounds at Stanford University
Fri, May 25 / 12:15 pm - 1:30 pm / 401 Quarry Rd / Stanford
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / R. Almond, MD / free

Child Psychotherapy Training Program (CPTP)
Wed, May 30 / 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / E. Loewenstein, PhD; G. Villalba, LCSW / free