Northern California Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology


San Francisco ISG Segments 2017-2018:

32 Weeks | September 8, 2017 — May 18, 2018
Fridays | 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Location: Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California (PINC)
530 Bush Street, 7th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94108

The Unconscious as Conversational Gambit
Neil Talkoff, Ph.D.
September 8, 15, 29; October 6, 13, 20, 27; November 3

The unconscious is the defining element of Psychoanalysis, but how do we conceptualize — and recognize it — clinically? While there are myriad theoretical conceptualizations, in this class, I will focus on the clinical utility of the unconscious: how it manifests in our work, how it shapes the work, and how it informs the ways we listen. We will start with Freud and Bion and then concentrate on Relational and Intersubjective concepts such a co-creation of meaning, Thirdness, relational unconscious, and relational impasse. Readings from the Relational school will include papers by Spezzano, Renik, Aron, and Harris. We will examine the way different models of the unconscious inform not just how we listen but “where” we listen and, consequently, how meaning is made in psychoanalysis.

The Navel of the Dream of the Unconscious
Israel Katz, M.D.
November 10, 17, ; December 1, 8, 15; January 5, 12, 19

We will take a journey on the unrepresentable and yet-to-be represented in their relations with the unconscious and our clinical work. We begin by exploring the Freudian invention of the dynamic repressed unconscious and its interweaving with the navel of the dream, “the spot where it reaches down into the unknown” (Freud, 1900). We will discuss certain portions of Freud’s work where he grapples with this dimension of the non-repressed unconscious. We then move on to study some post-Freudian elaborations, such as bi-logic and the unconscious as infinite sets (Matte Blanco), the work of the negative (Green), and the Real dimensions of the unconscious (Lacan) through readings and clinical discussions. 

The Rashomon of the Unconscious
Patricia Marra, MFT
January 26; February 2, 9, 16, 23; March 2, 9, 16

What is “the unconscious”? Where or who is it? In the beholder’s mind, the unconscious is wherever the patient’s emotional problem takes us. It may shape the holding environment that traumatically isn’t there (Ferenczi, Gurevich); be wedged in a body-mind disconnection (Lombardi, Goldberg); be woven into the symbiotic trajectory toward becoming a person (Winnicott, Searles); or be sequestered in a world away from the world (Fairbairn). Besides exploring various ways the unconscious emanates, we will read essays by Pontalis and selections by Bion, Ogden, and Civitarese describing ways to be receptive to the unconscious in the consulting room. 

Communications of the Unconscious in Psyche/Soma, Link, and Culture
Paul U. Alexander, Ph.D.
March 23, 30; April 6, 20, 27; May 4, 11, 18

In this course, we will consider the clinical setting as a potential space in which unconscious-to-unconscious communication can take place. Particular attention will be paid to the spectrum of “madness,” as constituted by our culture and by our discipline, and the challenges posed to clinicians working with catastrophic patient states. We will examine artistic expressions in our culture (poetry, music, photography), exploring their usefulness for tuning our minds to the unconscious. A final layer of inquiry will be the potent manifestations of the unconscious in small and large groups in our society. Readings: Winnicott, Bion, Searles, Williams, Matte Blanco, and Rey.