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 Tanisha Stewart, Psy.D.

I was recently in a community of seasoned psychotherapists and analysts, each holding leadership positions in various psychoanalytic organizations. Almost all began chiming in about fond early-career memories of committee membership or their experiences on the Board of Directors at NCSPP. As I was discussing the current state of NCSPP and its future direction, someone posed the question, “How many of you got your start in NCSPP?”

When I first joined NCSPP as a graduate student, entering the analytic community was daunting. I hesitantly attended events at the urging of my supervisor and mostly remained silent. I presumed that I had nothing substantive to add to discussions, and speaking up would only reveal my ignorance. It took repeated invitations to join the theoretical conversation before finding a voice.

I have taken on several roles on my journey to the presidency, and I initially declined each ascending position of leadership. Imposter syndrome and a fear of overcommitment deterred my acceptance. However, I am grateful that I stepped up to the task because with NCSPP, I have gained mentorship, in-vivo leadership training, genuine friendships, and a theoretical home. It is no wonder that those within the organization occupy leadership positions in other analytic institutions.



Saturday, March 26, 2022
09:30 am - 12:00 pm PST
Presenters: Hayuta Gurevich, MA and Adrienne Harris, Ph.D.
Moderated by: Julie Ruskin, Ph.D.
Location: Online via Zoom

$50.00 — General Admission, $40.00 — SFCP Members, Free for SFCP Candidates
CME/CE: 2.5 CME/CE Credits are available. CE are free for SFCP Members, $30.00 non-SFCP Members
Click here to register for this event.

by Paula Mandel, Ph.D.


Lia Pistiner de Cortiñas, Discussant Roberto Oelsner
Saturday, March 19, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm, via ZOOM 

PINC International Visiting Scholar Lia Pistiner de Cortiñas discusses psychoanalytic treatment of patients who have serious difficulties in the psychic transformation of their emotional experience. 

How can a psychoanalytic process stimulate creative symbolization, transform emotional experience, and promote mental growth? International Bionian scholar Pistener de Cortiñas stresses the significance of a parental containing function in the psychic birth of emotional experience and the development of symbolization. She explores symbolic failure related to the obstruction of the development of phantasies, dreams, and dreamthoughts, while differentiating between symbolization disturbances related to hypertrophic projective identification and those related to emotional isolation. 

by Claire Greenwood, AMFT


As a former Buddhist nun, I have a complicated relationship to silence. I was ordained in Japan at the age of twenty-four and spent most of my twenties in a Zen convent. I calculated once that I’ve spent more than 10,000 hours of my waking life in silent meditation, not to mention silent periods of work. But as the ninth century Byzantine nun Kassia says: “I hate silence when it is time to speak.” 

When I left monastic life, I could no longer be silent. Almost immediately I wrote and published two books. The words fell out of me with a kind of compulsive, violent quality, like a child vomiting up the Halloween candy they couldn’t help but eat too much of. I did all the naughty things I’d missed out on. I remember the first month after I left and re-entered lay life, I listened to my headphones almost nonstop. I wanted noise.

It’s been six years since I left monastic life, and I’m starting to welcome in silence again. The first hour of my day is always silent. As a therapist on the fairly common “Buddhist monk to therapist career pipeline,” I appreciate the advice to be with clients. I am fairly good at “being with” — at noticing my reactions, allowing myself to be impacted by a client’s words, inviting reverie, and saying less. But like Kassia I also know there is a time to speak. Speaking is harder for me than being silent. 

by Clara Brandt, Psy.D.

The Education Committee is seeking new members!

Are you looking to be more involved in the local psychoanalytic community? The Education Committee would love to have you. Members of this committee collaborate with instructors to make NCSPP's courses happen, and get to attend courses for free as liaisons. We are especially looking for members with an interest in psychoanalysis and social justice. Please contact the Education Chair, Clara Brandt, Psy.D. at or 415-685-0488.

The Education Committee is accepting proposals for Spring, 2023.


OFFICE FOR RENT. Attractive, airy, light, quiet, and well-proportioned second floor North Oakland psychotherapy office. Parking available, office near Piedmont Ave. Contact or (510) 655-6650.

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: 

Student Seminars: The Art of Catching the Drift
Wed, Mar 2 (begins) / 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm / Zoom
SFCP / (415) 632-2438 / J. De Lon, MFT / free

Neuropsychoanalysis – Mentalizing Homeostasis
Sat, Mar 5 / 9:00 am - 12:00 pm / Zoom
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / A. Fotopoulou, Ph.D.; M. Zellner, Ph.D. / $25 - $95

Focus On – Ecopsychoanalysis
Fri, Mar 11 (begins) / 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm / Zoom
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / K. Gentile, Ph.D. / $50 - $125

PINC Second Fridays – Sick with Rage
Fri, Mar 11 / 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm / Zoom
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / K. McHugh, Ph.D.; R. Cowan, Psy.D., LCSW / free - $40

Child Colloquium Series – The Loss of a Mother Tongue
Sat, Mar 12 / 10:00 am - 12:00 pm / Zoom
SFCP / (415) 632-2438 / J. Khor, LMFT; J. Reynoso, Ph.D. / free

In Conversation: Hayuta Gurevich and Adrienne Harris
Sat, Mar 26 / 9:30 am - 12:00 pm / Zoom
SFCP / (415) 632-2438 / H. Gurevich, M.A.; A. Harris, Ph.D. / $40 - $50