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 Luba Palter, MFT

In her new book, Happily, Sabrina Orah Mark recalls the idea proposed by poet Lucie Brock-Broido that each self keeps a secret self which cannot speak when spoken to. Mark professes that she has been teaching her secret self to speak. I devoured Mark’s new book as if my life depended on it. Maybe it does.

I first learned of Mark through her column in The Paris Review – also entitled Happily – during the thick of the pandemic. I hungrily proceeded to read every one of her entries numerous times over. I felt they were breathing air into me during a listless period. Her strange, dreamlike essays connected me to something primal, dynamic, vital, and forgotten inside of me. I remember wishing her columns would be published in a book. I would have this book on my nightstand where I display special keepsakes from friends and loved ones. I would read these prayers/incantations and they would whisk me away into sleep. And in my dreams, I would hear and speak the language of forgotten selves. That was my fantasy. But maybe it was not such a fantasy after all.

by Community Institute for Psychotherapy (CIP)


We are looking for a Licensed Psychologist, LMFT, LCSW, or LPCC to provide supervision and training for interns as well as play an essential role in continuing to create and expand psychological services to our community.

This Assistant Clinical Director position includes overseeing clinical programs as well as administrative responsibilities. We are expanding our team to enable us to provide more psychotherapy to our community. 

by Christi Baker, AMFT


“It is a joy to be hidden, and disaster not to be found.” 

D.W. Winnicott

I felt the end before we began. As I reflect now, I am uncertain if I made any headway in finding her. When we first started working, I couldn’t breathe; I couldn’t think. I couldn’t discern which affect belonged to whom. I couldn’t tell what was fact and what was fiction. I was confused about who was a friend (good object) and who was a foe (bad object).

This fog seemed to exist in her world, in the space we shared weekly, and in the positions we shared in relation to each other. I got caught up in content. More so, I got overwhelmed by affect and experienced difficulty in holding onto my emotions. Often, I vacillated between anger and exasperation. After a few months of working together, she indirectly pointed out my impotence in this relationship. I was shocked that my internal reaction was visceral fury. I wondered whether the rage was mine or hers, and was left with the eerie sense that she had no trouble locating hidden parts of me.

Appointment Book: 

Body to Body: Enacting Process in Art and Psychoanalysis
Fri, Jun 9 / 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm / Artist's studio / Berkeley
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / D. Mattes; D. Melman, Ph.D. / free - $40