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 Todd Rising, Psy.D.

We are seeking nominations for the NCSPP 2021 Community Service Award to be presented for outstanding community service by an individual or a mental health organization in the field of psychoanalytic psychology. We know that while the important work of building community serves a vital role in development of the social good, it remains under-recognized in our field. We want to honor those who spend their time and effort in this critical endeavor. Nominees should demonstrate excellence in leadership, creative commitment to social welfare, and dedication to community service. 

To nominate an individual or mental health organization, please write a paragraph description on 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 January Impulse.

To view a list of past Community Service Award recipients click here


by Psychoanalytic Couple Psychotherapy Group


Join PCPG for our annual lecture (via Zoom) as we host Dr. Amita Sehgal of Tavistock Relations who will be presenting, "Viewing the Absence of Sex from Couple Relationships through the Core Complex Lens." Dr. Sehgal will describe how psychoanalytic couple psychotherapy can be used to work with couples in which the absence of sex is a feature of the relationship. Using a contemporary Freudian perspective, as well as viewing this symptom through Glasser’s core complex lens, she will offer a perspective that highlights the ways in which anxieties arising in the earliest relationship between infant and mother are believed to contribute to the claustro-agorophobic anxieties in adult relating. Additionally, the unconscious dynamics that may be operating in couple relationships in which sex is absent will be explored.

Saturday, October 30, 2021, 9 am – 12 pm PST

For information and to register, click here

by Lorrie Goldin, LCSW


I recently watched the 2018 film, Springsteen on Broadway, based on the Broadway show drawn from his memoir. It made me think a lot about therapy.

Springsteen recounts his life in song and story. Underneath the consummate performer is a man haunted by pain and anger. He clearly comes by this honestly; story after story reveals his difficult relationship with a hard-drinking, constantly wandering father. 

So many people come to see us caught in dual lives of their performative and hidden selves. Often they are highly successful on the outside but scarred on the inside. Many times we uncover a redemptive grace and depth of resilience, but not always. 

by Molly Merson, MFT

The Limits of My Empathy for COVID Deniers. Tressie McMillan Cottom interviews psychotherapist Martha Crawford, about what might be behind COVID-19 denial from a psychoanalytic lens.

The Therapist Will See You Now. But Where? Hannah Zeavin takes up teletherapy in this article, a topic her book The Distance Cure expands on, and asks, what are our assumptions about what psychoanalysis (and the frame) must look like? What else could it look like? And where else could, and does, it exist?

Lovecraft Country Sent Michael K. Williams to the Darkest Place of His Career. Many mourned the passing of Michael K. Williams last month, and this article describes some of his experiences with therapy — and the generational racial trauma, evoked by the content of Lovecraft Country, that brought him there. (It also highlights the grief counselors on the set of Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us.)



LIGHT FILLED OFFICES, AVAILABLE NOW. Located in Divisadero Professional Offices – a dedicated Psychotherapy office building – at Divisadero and California, close to public transportation, parking garages, and restaurants. Great location. Building contains 5 suites, each with 4 offices, a shared waiting room, and bathroom. Secure keypad entry to building. Cleaning service provided. Offices range from $700-$1300. 20% Discount for first 6 months. Contact:

Sample office:

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: 

Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy with Queer & Gay Men
Wed, Oct 6 (begins) / 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm / Zoom
SFCP / (415) 632-2438 / G. Grossman, Ph.D. / free

Second Fridays – Sensing Transgender
Fri, Oct 8 / 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm / Zoom
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / C. Keegan, Ph.D. / free - $40

Humanity Under Siege: Psychoanalysis in The Meantime
Sat, Oct 9 / 10:00 am - 12:00 pm / Zoom
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / L. Beritzhoff, MFT, et al. / free - $45

San Francisco Psychotherapy Forum
Sat, Oct 9 / 7:00 pm - 8:45 pm / Zoom
SFCP / (415) 632-2438 / J. Lopez, M.D. & C. Schneider, Ph.D. / free

Early Career Case Conference—All Locations
Tue, Oct 12 (begins) / 5:15 pm - 6:45 pm / Zoom
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / M. Holub, Ph.D., et al. / $250 - $350

Early Career Case Conference—East Bay
Wed, Oct 13 (begins) / 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm / Zoom
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / C. Bacchi, Psy.D., et al. / $250 - $350

Early Career Case Conference—San Francisco
Wed, Oct 13 (begins) / 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm / Zoom
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / J. Sandler, M.D., et al. / $250 - $350

Perspectives on the Absence of Sex in Couple Relationships
Sat, Oct 30 / 9:00 am - 12:00 pm / Zoom
PCPG / (415) 686-2465 / A. Sehgal, M.A., Ph.D. & Paula Mandel, Ph.D. / $100-$120

Seasoned Clinicians Program
Wed, Nov 3 (begins) / 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm / Zoom
SFCP / (415) 632-2438 / C. Kwun, LCSW / $580