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 Kellen Grayson, PsyD, MFT

The recent state of governmental affairs has led America into what can only be identified as a paranoid-schizoid position. This position of terror of annihilation has led to splitting between regressive states of good, evil, sad, mad, etc. With continual episodes of projective identification thrown onto the public, the analyst is then left to sort through these projections and to metabolize them for ourselves and for our clients. However, often we are not given enough time to process both what is happening in politics as well as the continual healing practices we perform daily. As a result, we risk absorbing incidents of projective identification, may begin to identify with such projections, and start to identify with the paranoid-schizoid position.


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 Alexandra Guhde, PsyD


The 2017 television miniseries Big Little Lies, starring Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, is set in Northern California, and features (mostly) white, athleisure-clad, privileged, unhappily married helicopter moms who are either stay-at-home or big-corporate, all searching for a sense of authorship over their own lives. The series has it all: sex, drama, bullying, rape, trauma, food allergies, domestic violence, affairs, malicious gossip, yoga, manslaughter, psychotherapy, and a gun. It's an enjoyable ride.

The novel, from which the series is adapted, written by Australian author Liane Moriarty, is quite similar, except the moms are "mums," not all of the marriages are unhappy, and there are no guns. Also, the novel is set in Sydney, Australia, the achingly pretty, ludicrously expensive city in which I currently reside.

by Molly Merson, MFT

Evaluating Trump's Psyche in Public. The American Psychoanalytic Association has recently reminded its members that not commenting on the President or public figures is not covered under its code of ethics. This article describes in what ways psychoanalysts are free to comment on observable behavior in political figures, and how important such an act may be. (Here is another take on the same message, from the New Yorker:

England's Mental Health Experiment: No-Cost Talk Therapy. The U.K. is leading the way in accessible mental health support with its experimental talk therapy program.

by Garrett Howard, MFT

Complex and Creative: The Technique of Interpretation in Couple Psychoanalysis

Presenter: Mary Morgan
Discussant: Shelley Nathans, PhD
Case Presenter: Ortal Kirson-Trilling, PsyD
Saturday, October 14, 2017
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
David Brower Center
2150 Allston Way, Berkeley

NCSPP and PCPG (Psychoanalytic Couple Psychotherapy Group) are pleased to announce the tenth anniversary of our Annual Psychoanalytic Couple Psychotherapy Lecture. This year, we are honored to host esteemed couple psychoanalyst from Tavistock Relationships, Mary Morgan, who will be focusing on technique in psychoanalytic couple psychotherapy. She will be addressing the complexities of a "couple interpretation" and what can go wrong, including incorrect interpretations, problems with the timing of interpretations, and those involving unprocessed countertransference enactments.

POLYVAGAL THEORY: Basic Principles, Experiential Learning, and Clinical Applications, with Stephen Porges, PhD. September 23/24, 2017, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, Berkeley. Register and purchase tickets:
KEEPING OUR BODIES IN THE ROOM: The Relevance of Bodily Experience in Psychotherapy Practice and Training. William Cornell and Jon Sletvold, November 11/12, 2017, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, Berkeley. 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. Register and purchase tickets:
UPPER MARKET/CASTRO OFFICE. Elegant, quiet space with high ceilings, wood floors, and great light in newly built-out office suite with psychoanalytic clinicians. Full-time and part-time available. Excellent location on Market Street near 16th Street. Best for established clinician seeking long-term space. Contact Kirsten Beuthin (415) 401-7180.
Instructor:  Starr Kelton-Locke, PhD, PsyD. Second Friday of month, 
9:00 am -10:50 am. Starting September in Marin County. Information: 453-2782.

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: 

Focus On: Confronting Social Rupture
Tue, Sep 5 / 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm / 530 Bush St / San Francisco
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / J. Sekoff, PhD / $150 - $335

2017 - 2018 Child Psychotherapy Training Program
Wed, Sep 6 (begins) / 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / R. Schwartz, PhD; D. Vuong, MFT / $1600 - $1700

2017 - 2018 San Francisco Yearlong Program
Fri, Sep 8 (begins) / 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / C. Mallouh, MD / $980 - $1090

2017 - 2018 East Bay Yearlong Program
Fri, Sep 8 (begins) / 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm / 1672 University Ave / Berkeley
SFCP / (415) 563-5816 / S. Yamaguchi, LCSW; L. Weyland, PhD / $1260

Enmity and Empathy: Conversation with Arlie Hochschild
Sat, Sep 9 / 10:00 am - 11:30 am / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / A. Hochschild, PhD / $35 - $68

Social Work in Community Settings
Mon, Sep 11 (begins) / 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / E. Miller, LCSW; E. Simpson, LCSW / $41.50

Starvation and "The Dead Baby"
Mon, Sep 11 / 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / A. Jones, MD; K. Waller, MD; M. Levin, PsyD / free

The Secret Life of Secrets
Wed, Sep 13 / 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm / 530 Bush St / San Francisco
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / K. Zerbe, MD; et al. / free - $35

Welcome Back Happy Hour
Fri, Sep 15 / 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm / Arlequin Cafe, 384 Hayes / San Francisco
NCSPP / (510) 995-6233 / free

RSMP 5th Annual Daylong Conference
Wed, Sep 27 (begins) / 10:00 am - 11:30 am / 1000 El Camino Real / Atherton
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / C. Fisher, MD; et al. / $1500 - $1600

Healing Trauma: Child and Family Treatment
Sat, Sep 16 / 10:00 am - 12:00 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / L. Roussel, PhD; et al. / free

Six Discoveries About Emotions Over Fifty-Five Years
Fri, Sep 22 / 12:15 pm - 1:30 pm / 401 Quarry Rd / Palo Alto
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / P. Ekman, PhD / free

2017 - 2018 San Francisco Continuous Case Conference
Fri, Sep 22 (begins) / 1:45 pm - 3:00 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / C. Mallouh, MD / $630 - $700

Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy with Gay and Queer Identified Men
Sat, Sep 23 / 9:00 am - 1:00 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
NCSPP / (425) 652-2673 / G. Grossman, PhD / $60 - $140

Attacks on Truth: Yearlong Series
Wed, Sep 27 / 10:00 am - 11:30 am / 1000 El Camino Real / Atherton
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / C. Fisher, MD; et al. / $1500 - $1600

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

Psychoanalytic Imperative: The Cases of Flint and Standing Rock
Sat, Oct 7 / 9:30 am - 12:30 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / M. Katz, MD; R. Poggy, MD / $46 - $67