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.




November 14, 2020
10 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Via Zoom

To register:

This program is open to licensed clinicians only.

This current time, dominated by a global pandemic and social and political unrest, challenges the very notions of the individual and the shared. Ferenczi’s assertion that “not employing the spirit of mutuality dooms many analyses to deadness and repetition" rings especially true now, as many of us navigate the shared traumas and losses that are experienced simultaneously and mutually by both patient and therapist. We invite you to share in this discussion about the efficacy of the “spirit of mutuality” in our current clinical practice.

by Amber Trotter, Psy.D.


I can finally frequent the gym. And get my hair cut. My canceled tattoo appointment has been rescheduled. But I can’t see my shrink. Psychotherapy, always explicitly deemed an essential service, remains largely remote. Why?

Certainly, we have learned the grave severity of COVID-19. We have also learned how to keep ourselves relatively safe as we go on being. Rates remain low in San Francisco. Every interaction contains a risk, but with all the risks we’re now taking, psychotherapists persisting fervently in telehealth presents an intriguing anomaly. The same colleagues who travel by plane and enjoy in-home massages seem aghast at the idea of returning to work.

“It just doesn’t feel safe.”

“When will it? How will you decide when to go back to the office?”

(Long pause.) “I’m not sure I want to.”

by Molly Merson, MFT

Was Freud Right about America? Does “America”’s social contract contradict Freud’s take on the give-and-take necessary for a functional society? And, is this settler-colonial project sustainable? 

Game Review: ‘The Signifier’— A Heady Mix of Cutting-Edge Tech and Psychoanalysis. What might Freud think of psychoanalysis vis-a-vis the world of gaming? While psychoanalysts have wondered about gaming and gamers, could a game help us wonder about psychoanalysis in turn? The game ‘The Signifier’ could offer this space of turning the mirror back towards ourselves, both eerie and familiar…

Clipping.- Visions of Bodies Being Burned. This review of the musique concrète-meets-rap trio Clipping. incorporates Freud’s views of the uncanny to describe the soundscape of an experience of ghosts, the phantasmal, the unsettled, and the undead. This album may be a good accompaniment to Halloween (or to psychoanalysis).


DOWNTOWN BERKELEY SUBLET 4-5 DAYS. Beautiful, quiet office in a suite of ten offices with two shared waiting rooms, two bathrooms, and wifi. Near BART. $600-750. Contact

FOR RENT IN BEAUTIFUL HISTORIC BUILDING. Upper Fillmore, two offices: 15x18 ($1190) and 8x15 ($840). Built in bookcases and natural lighting. In a private suite with an inviting waiting room, bathroom, and elevator access. Suitable for individual, couples, child therapy, and psychoanalysis. Spacious, serene courtyard and garden. Secure building. Pictures available. Genie Dvorak (415) 249-9184.

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: 

VS George Bermudez: Social Dreaming & Reflective Citizenship
Sat, Nov 7 / 10:00 am - 12:00 pm / Zoom
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / G. Bermudez, Ph.D., Psy.D. / free - $40

Child Colloquium Series: Working Analytically with Children 
Sat, Nov 7 / 10:00 am - 12:00 pm / Zoom
SFCP / (415) 632-2438 / A. Martini, LCSW; A. Alvarez, Ph.D. / free

The Healing Value of Love in Clinical Practice – Persian Mystics
Sat, Nov 7 / 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm / Zoom
Jung Institute / (415) 771-8055 / D. Steven Nouriani, Ph.D., MFT / $100

Psychoanalysis and Tango: Complex Arts of Grief Therapy
Mon, Nov 9 / 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm / Zoom
SFCP / (415) 632-2438 / D. Farber, Psy.D.; L. Rosean, MA / free

Student Seminars - Psychoanalysis and The Social World
Wed, Nov 11 (begins) / 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm / Zoom
SFCP / (415) 632-2438 / J. Rao, MFT / free

San Francisco Psychotherapy Forum
Thu, Nov 12 / 7:00 pm - 8:45 pm / Zoom
SFCP / (415) 632-2438 / C. Wai, Psy.D., et al. / free

2nd Fridays: COVID as Metaphor
Fri, Nov 13 / 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm / Zoom
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / N. Kates / free - $35

Dialogues in Contemporary Psychoanalysis
Sat, Nov 14 / 10:00 am - 12:00 pm / Zoom
SFCP / (415) 632-2438 / H. Markman, M.D., et al. / $40 - $50

Virtual Movie Matinee: Thelma and Louise
Sun, Nov 15 / 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm / Zoom
NCSPP / (415) 496-9949 / M. Merson, MFT; S. King, Psy.D. / $10 - $13