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 Cleopatra Victoria, MFT


From my hotel window, I could see the Salzburg railway. In Vienna, the cobblestone street drops down approaching Freud's office and house of 50 years. His consulting room looks out over a deep courtyard with tall trees -- very vertical. The air in his room was as dense as Sachertorte; rich with thousands of stories, the sting of truth, salve of interpretations, and words polished as stones. Freud warns us life is painful. We need distractions, satisfactions, and intoxicants. Freud advises that our primary duty as a human is to bear life. As one tourist's T-shirt read: "Get up. Survive. Go back to bed."

In a Viennese museum, the installation Hello Robot displays Paro, a small, furry robot who purrs when petted and is used by dementia patients worldwide. Kip is a robot that assesses your emotions, helping you regulate your feelings. A software program evaluates whether your job might be replaced by a robot. Professions requiring empathy were less likely to be supplanted. Whew.

by Elise Geltman, LCSW


Each year, NCSPP presents an award for outstanding community service by an individual or a mental health organization in the field of psychoanalytic psychology. With this award, we aim to acknowledge those who are building community as a way of supporting the overall health of our planet, the Bay Area, our patients, fellow professionals, and our field. Please take a moment to consider if there is a person or organization that you feel deserves recognition for their contribution. Nominees should demonstrate excellence in leadership, creative commitment to social welfare, and dedication to community service. Who do you think deserves recognition and support this year?

To nominate an individual or mental health organization, please write a paragraph description of why you think the individual or organization should be honored. Nominees do not have to be members of NCSPP. We will announce the award in the December issue of Impulse and present the award at the annual holiday party. Please email nomination paragraphs to by Monday, October 30.

by Lee Slome, PhD

with Samuel Gerson, PhD

The psychoanalyst as engaged witness to trauma -- both personal and historical -- will be examined in terms of its meanings, form, and impact on the therapeutic process. The act of witnessing, in terms of both its presence and absence, is considered as a constituent of Ogden's "thirdness" that creates a sense of liveliness or deadness in all participants. In addition, the role and challenges of artistic creation in providing a documentary witness will be explored.

Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California
530 Bush Street, Suite 700
San Francisco, CA 94108
October 16, 23, & 30
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

For information and to register, go to



We invite clinicians who have completed graduate school training and are pre-licensure, or up to five years post-licensure, to join this conference led by experienced clinicians who are graduates of the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California. We will focus on case presentations, clinical discussions, and community building. Readings relating to emerging clinical themes may be offered based on the interest of the participants and instructor.

The cost is $200 for the yearlong program, and includes community membership. Community Members receive a subscription to the newsletter and discounted or free admission to PINC lectures and events, including the Visiting Scholar series.

October 4, 2017 - June 1, 2018
San Francisco, East Bay, and South Bay locations

For more information and to register, please visit

by Lorrie Goldin, LCSW


In March, Joel Whitebook, Director of Columbia's Psychoanalytic Studies Program, published Trump's Method, Our Madness in the New York Times. Whitebook likened the disorientation of trying to make sense of the new president to working with psychosis. As the title of his piece suggests, Whitebook saw Trump as employing a deliberate strategy designed to sow confusion, anxiety, and exhaustion.

Now, the president's chaotic gyrations suggest less method than supposed. It may not be madness, but what we are witnessing bears the hallmarks of disorganized attachment.

Disorganized attachment can result when a child's primary caregivers are simultaneously a source of safety and danger. What Mary Main describes as "fright without solution" leads to a collapse of strategy. This and other characteristics of disorganized attachment -- erratic behavior, hostility, aggression, lack of empathy, problems with trust and truth, an incoherent narrative, and viewing the world as an unsafe place -- describe the president.

by Loong Kwok, PsyD


The NCSPP Board invites current graduate students and pre-licensed clinicians to submit original papers to be considered for our Annual Student Paper Award. The winning author will be published in the NCSPP journal, fort da, and receive a $250 award.

We invite papers that contain original thinking and creatively address topics from a psychoanalytic perspective. They may be theoretical or clinical, and should make use of psychoanalytic concepts to further the author's argument. The integration of psychoanalytic theory with clinical material should extend beyond case reporting to include theoretical or technical hypotheses. Papers will be judged on psychoanalytic content, writing ability and style, integration of theoretical concepts, and original thinking.

The submission deadline is Friday, October 29, 2017. Send submissions, cover letters, and a brief biography with your contact information (for the purpose of blind review, do not include your name on the paper) to Loong Kwok, at

KEEPING OUR BODIES IN THE ROOM: The Relevance of Bodily Experience in Psychotherapy Practice and Training. William Cornell and Jon Sletvold. Nov 11/12, 2017, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, Berkeley. Register & purchase tickets: This conference brings together two dynamic clinician-authors at the heart of the contemporary discourse on the place of the body and somatic experience in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. The program will combine conceptual elements with discourse, clinical and supervisory examples, demonstrations of training and supervision techniques, and a good deal of experiential work drawn from the speakers' many decades as clinicians and trainers. This diversely formatted program will appeal to psychodynamic and analytic clinicians and those involved in the training and supervision of psychotherapists.
LOVELY MARKET HALL OFFICE. Available Fridays and Saturdays. Beautifully designed specifically for therapists with air conditioning, kitchenette, excellent soundproofing, security, and patient parking near BART. Contact Jane Burka at or (510) 601-6885.
UPPER MARKET/CASTRO OFFICE. Elegant, quiet space with high ceilings, wood floors, and excellent light in newly built-out office suite with psychoanalytic clinicians. $1475, full-time, 120 sq ft (10.5x11.5) with additional 4x10 storage space. Standard three year term w/3% annual increases. Shorter term negotiable. Excellent location on Market Street near 16th Street. Best for established clinician seeking long-term space. Contact Kirsten Beuthin (415) 401-7180.
FOR RENT: Small Laurel Heights psychotherapy office in quiet, well-appointed suite of psychoanalysts & psychoanalytic therapists. Office is 12'x10' with a 46" square window & small closet. $800/month. Email: or for info & photos. Tel: (415) 563-5777, (415) 420-8633.
MAPLE SAND TRAY AND STAND ON WHEELS. $250 or best offer. Email
PARTNERSHIPS FOR TRAUMA RECOVERY: Seeks a Supervising Staff Psychologist to implement clinical programming, training, and partner capacity-building. For details visit:
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: 

Poison Into Medicine: Trauma, Transformation, and Activism
Wed, Oct 4 / 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / J. Calderon; L. Hammonds, Sr. / $15 - $20

East Bay Psychotherapy Forum
Wed, Oct 4 / 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm / 2001 Dwight Way / Berkeley
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / J. Conant, PsyD; M. Donner, PhD / free

San Francisco Psychotherapy Forum
Thu, Oct 5 / 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / A. Howard, MFT; E. Mullin, PhD / free

Encountering Race and Culture in Psychoanalytic Treatment
Fri, Oct 6 / 9:00 am - 11:30 am / 2837 Claremont Blvd / Berkeley
NCSPP / (415) 580-1779 / R. Shields, PhD; D. Swirsky, PhD / $150 - $350

The Psychoanalytic Imperative to Environmental Injustice
Sat, Oct 7 / 9:30 am - 12:30 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / M. Katz, MD; R. Poggi, MD / $46 - $67

"What were they thinking?" Freud's Insights Into Group Psychology
Wed, Oct 11 / 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm / 5433 College Ave / Oakland
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / C. Fisher, MD / free

Beginning Treatment
Wed, Oct 11 (begins) / 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / B. Lemmon, LMFT / $40

At Sea: Traumatic Failures of Containment in Waves of Refuge
Fri, Oct 13 / 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm / 530 Bush St / San Francisco
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / J. Carstensen; L. Slome, PhD / free - $40

10th Annual Psychoanalytic Couple Psychotherapy Event
Sat, Oct 14 / 9:00 am - 4:00 pm / 2150 Allston Way / Berkeley
NCSPP / (510) 982-1280 / M. Morgan, et al. / $40 - $250

The Misogynist Within: Modern Women's Self Aggression
Sat, Oct 14 / 10:00 am - 5:00 pm / 2040 Gough St / San Francisco
Jung Institute / (415) 771-8055 / K. Arden, MD; F. Matto-Shepard, MFT / $100

Fall Movie Matinee: Moonlight
Sun, Oct 15 / 2:00 pm - 5:15 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
NCSPP / (510) 548-9716 x230 / F. Hamer, PhD / $15 - $20

Embodied Memory: Finding the Body in the Mind
Mon, Oct 16 / 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / M. Leuzinger-Hobleber, PhD / free

Beginning Essentials: Initiating a Psychoanalytic Process 
Fri, Oct 20 (begins) / 10:15 am - 11:45 am / 2440 W El Camino / Mtn View
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / K. Hess, MFT / $200 - $315

Law and Ethics: A Psychoanalyst's Perspective
Sat, Oct 21 / 9:00 am - 4:00 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
NCSPP / (415) 529-0281 / M. Donner, PhD / $90 - $210

Phantoms and Dreams of the Underground: Seeking Freedom
Sat, Oct 21 (begins) / 10:00 am - 5:00 pm / 2040 Gough St / San Francisco
Jung Institute / (415) 771-8055 / F. Brewster, PhD; et al. / $250 - $275

Hollowing the Winchester Mystery House
Wed, Oct 25 / 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm / 530 Bush St / San Francisco
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / J. Leavitt, MD; M. McVarish / free - $35

South Bay Monthly Reading Group: Reading Philip Roth
Fri, Oct 27 / 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm / Private Residence / Palo Alto
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / O. Atzmon, PhD; et al. / $15 - $35

A Circuit Shaped by Attachment
Sat, Oct 28 / 9:00 am - 12:30 pm / 530 Bush St / San Francisco
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / N. Tottenham, PhD; et al. / $35 - $90

Walls, Borders, Boundaries: An Interdisciplinary Inquiry
Sat, Oct 28 / 9:30 am - 12:30 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / M. McClure, DMH; et al. / $46 - $67

Focus On: Reading Frantz Fanon's Black Skin, White Masks
Tue, Oct 31 (begins) / 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm / 530 Bush St / San Francisco
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / F. Gonzalez, MD / $130 - $280

International Congress on Infant Observation
Thu, Nov 2 (begins) / 9:00 am - 4:30 pm / Corso V. Emanuele / Turin, Italy
AIDOBB / (415) 821-1766 / J. Magagna, PhD; J. Messer, MFT / $575

Post-Graduate Program in Control-Mastery Theory 
Tue, Nov 7 (begins) / 11:30 am - 1:00 pm / 9 Funston Ave / San Francisco
SFPRG / (415) 561-6771 / J. Curtis, PhD; et al. / $1500 - $1750