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.

Editor’s Note: This edition of Impulse was compiled prior to the breakout of the war in the Middle East.  

I have a painting in my house that I affectionately call My Psychotic Flowers. I bought it years ago when a beloved antique store was closing. This unframed painting cost eight dollars and was leaning on a bench haphazardly, in the back of the shop. Perhaps it was not expected to be sold. I fell in love with it immediately. The images stuck out in aggressive 3-D blobs all over the painting. These blobs resembled shapes of indiscernible flowers. There was no identifying form or color. Maybe the only identifying theme was the boldness of the strange, alien-like flowers that took up most of the painting. Something went wrong here was the message. An object exploded and resembled figures of something familiar while blurring boundaries between fantasy and reality, between horror and beauty.

by San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis (SFCP)


Join us to eat, drink, and learn about psychoanalytic training at SFCP!

Thursday, November 9, 2023. 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm.

San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis
444 Natoma Street, San Francisco

Anyone interested is invited for dinner, drinks, and a discussion of training to become a psychoanalyst at the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis.

Hoa My Nguyen, LCSW (she/they) is a dedicated psychotherapist whose career is guided by her unwavering commitment to empathy, compassion, and inclusivity. She is located in the Bay Area, CA, and is fluent in both English and Vietnamese. With a strong belief in the transformative power of human connection, she has made it her mission to support individuals as they navigate their mental health needs. Driven by these values, she has joined NCSPP and the Community Mental Health Committee, actively engaging in efforts to support and connect with other community mental health providers.

by Claire Greenwood, MA


The Buddha and his followers begged for food. In Southeast Asia today, you can still see Buddhist monks on the side of the road with large, black bowls, into which townspeople deposit rice, vegetables, and fruit. 

In Japan, where I trained as a nun, things are different. We only begged for food once or twice a year, in a ritualized format. But we did eat out of large, black “begging bowls” called oryoki bowls every day, made to mimic the shape of the original Buddha’s bowl. Eating is drastically different in 2023 in Japan than it was in the Buddha’s time, but the begging bowl remains as a symbol of what was and what could be. However, current reality is very far removed from the original intention of the object. 

by Editorial Committee


When you’re reading or listening in sessions or watching something, what are the ideas that you’re playing with? fort da wants to bring more of your ideas into the conversation by publishing essays, reviews, poems, short stories, or whatever format best expresses your thoughts. Our journal is trying to capture the back-and-forth of theory and practice, the lived play of the unconscious, and we would love for you to join us. 

Click this link for information about submitting a piece or email Peter Silen at


FULL-TIME PSYCHOTHERAPY OFFICE FOR RENT (SF). Available February 1, 2024. Desirable location on Sacramento St., $1350/month, utilities and cleaning additional cost, already established. Light-filled office in Edwardian building with decorative fireplace, leaded glass cabinets, built-in bookcases and locking file cabinets, hardwood floor with rug included. Dimensions: 11’ x 14’. In a quiet, elegant three person suite, shared with two long-term tenants, both psychoanalysts. Shared kitchen, waiting room with signal lights to offices. Up one flight of stairs from street. Located on Sacramento St. in Pacific Heights, near JCCSF and Laurel Village. Please contact Beth Steinberg at


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: 

The Neuroscience of Long-term Memory Formation and Change
Sat, Nov 4 / 9:00 am - 12:00 pm / Zoom
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / C. Alberini, Ph.D.; M. Zellner, Ph.D. / $25 - $95

SFCP Psychoanalytic Training Informational Evening
Thu, Nov 9 / 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 826-9639 / SFCP Faculty and Candidates / free

Writing A Life: Visualizing Annie Ernaux
Fri, Nov 10 / 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm / Zoom
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / M. McClure, D.M.H.; A. Jones, M.D. / free - $40

The Allure of Fascism: A Psychoanalytic Conversation
Sat, Nov 11 / 9:30 am - 12:30 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / E. Loewenstein, Ph.D.; M. Diamond, Ph.D., F.I.P.A. / $30 - $55

Intensive Study Group: Longing to Belong
Fri, Nov 17 (begins) / 10:00 am – 12:00 pm / Zoom
NCSPP / (415) 496-9949 / M. Bratko, Ph.D., MFT, et al. / $1050 - $1475

Board Games with Community Mental Health
Sat, Nov 18 / 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm / Zocalo, 645 Bancroft Ave / San Leandro
NCSPP / (510) 593-8432 / free

Community in Support of Foster Youth — What is a CASA?
Sat, Dec 2 / 10:00 am - 12:00 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / K. Steifman, Psy.D.; D. Weisinger, Psy.D. / free

Property, Materiality, Proximity: Analytic Frame & In-Person
Mon, Dec 4 / 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / M. Wilson, M.D. / free