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 Willow Banks, Psy.D.

I’ve learned that NCSPP is not alone in experiencing a sense of scarcity these days. 

Speaking with colleagues within other psychoanalytic organizations, many of us find ourselves doing more with less as we seek to fill vacant positions and move towards a full return to programming. I don’t know any mental health professionals who have not been deeply impacted by working through the trauma of the pandemic, navigating the weird world of Zoom therapy, and trying to stay connected despite exhaustion and massive health anxiety. It makes sense that all of this would affect our connection to our communities and our institutions. Finding the energy for taking on that one extra commitment can be difficult. Perhaps the prospect of returning to a pre-pandemic pace just isn’t appealing, or even possible. Systemic inequities that persist in society and our analytic communities are a barrier to full participation, particularly for people of color. Some folks simply can’t afford to take on commitments that do not pay. Our own board is in an ongoing conversation about how to build more benefit into chairing or serving on a committee in order to counteract the feeling of running on empty that arises for many volunteers.

by Psychoanalytic Couple Psychotherapy Group


PCPG is excited to offer our Intensive Study Program in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy beginning in the fall of 2023. We offer a unique, theoretically-grounded immersion in psychoanalytic thinking about couple relationships and couple psychotherapy. PCPG’s program is designed to help clinicians build ballast by increasing their understanding of the pressures and dynamics that affect couple relationships through the study of contemporary psychoanalytic theory. 

PCPG’s program explores foundational ideas that have been developed over the last 50 years at Tavistock Relationships in London. We also include additional contemporary psychoanalytic thinking, such as relational psychoanalysis, self-psychology, attachment theory, link theory, and field theory, as they illuminate our understanding of couple life.

by Claire Greenwood, AMFT


The subject of love in psychotherapy has a long and rich literature. 

Freud famously said that psychoanalysis was a “cure affected through love,” although he meant the love of the patient for the analyst, and not necessarily vice versa. As a therapist, I’ve felt love for my patients that wasn’t romantic but affectionate, proud, and even adoring. I’ve never told a patient I love them, but I’ve thought it. 

In the therapeutic context, having the thought “I love you” becomes a reason for reflection: what is the transference at hand? What unspoken developmental need of the patient wants to be attended to? And, what is going on in my own personal life? Are my own romantic and platonic needs being met in my partnership and friendships? 

My therapist has never said it to me either, a fact I bring up almost monthly as a point of contention. “I love your psyche” is the most they’ll offer, which I suppose is rather generous as these things go. I polled three therapists for this piece and was surprised that two out of three of their therapists had said “I love you” (alas, this fact did not sway my therapist). 

by Digital Media and Technology Committee


We want to keep you up to date on all the great things happening at NCSPP. We’re excited to announce that in addition to our website, Facebook page, and Facebook Community Group, we are now on Instagram and Twitter! We plan on sharing information and updates regularly with new content, event announcements, and analytic pondering!

Please take a moment and visit our pages. Once there, click “Like” or “Follow”. We look forward to bringing you tons of great information and connecting with you! We encourage you to comment and share on our posts too. Feel free to ask us questions or share the content with your friends, and co-workers.

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BEAUTIFUL, QUIET OAKLAND OFFICE AVAILABLE FOR SUBLET. Rent includes a sunlit, fully furnished office with an analytic couch, a private side-office, utilities, WiFi, cleaning service, and Coway air filter. This office is in a suite with other therapists in a great location a block away from Rockridge BART. Contact Ruth Simon: for prices and availability.

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Appointment Book: 

An Introduction to Psychoanalytic Listening
Wed, Mar 1 (begins) / 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / J. De Lon, MFT / free

PAPPTP Informational Open House
Thu, Mar 9 / 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm / South Bay
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / C. Phillips, LCSW / free

Second Fridays: The Analyst’s Voice as Instrument
Fri, Mar 10 / 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm / Zoom
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / D. Thaler / free - $40

Visiting Scholar Avgi Saketopoulou
Sat, Mar 11 / 10:00 am - 12:00 pm / Zoom
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / A. Saketopoulou, Psy.D. / free - $40

Child Colloquia: Afraid of Things That Are in Flight
Sat, Mar 18 / 10:00 am - 12:00 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / R Tyminski, Ph.D., et al. / free

Psychotherapy Process Research: Q-Methodology
Mon, Mar 20 / 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm / Zoom
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / A. Calderon, Ph.D., et al. / free

The Principles of Group Therapy
Fri, Mar 24 (begins) / 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm / Zoom
NCSPP / (415) 496-9949 / H. Weinberg, Ph.D. / $240 - $560

Neuropsychoanalysis March Seminar
Sat, Mar 25 / 9:00 am - 12:00 pm / Zoom
PINC / (415) 288-4050 / D. Flores Mosri, Ph.D.; M. Zellner, Ph.D. / $25 - $95

CMH Arts Night at Sin Titulo Gallery
Sat, Mar 25 / 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm / 418 Sutter Street / San Francisco
NCSPP / (415) 496-9949 / E. Quintanilla / $5-$10

Spring Film Night: C'mon C'mon
Sat, Apr 1 / 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm / 444 Natoma St / San Francisco
SFCP / (415) 563-5815 / R. Cowan, Psy.D., LCSW / free