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Clark, G. (1991). Hopcke, Robert H. Jung, Jungians, and Homosexuality. Boston and Shaftesbury. Shambhala. 1989. Pp. x + 208. $19.95.. J. Anal. Psychol., 36(2):249-252.

(1991). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 36(2):249-252

Hopcke, Robert H. Jung, Jungians, and Homosexuality. Boston and Shaftesbury. Shambhala. 1989. Pp. x + 208. $19.95.

Review by:
Giles Clark

The purpose of Hopcke's book is to give homosexuality a healthy place in Jungian theory. By surveying critically everything written on the subject by Jung and Jungians, and by utilising a classical Jungian metapsychology—but also with a sympathetic appreciation of archetypal psychology—the author constructs a basis for formulating his own theory of sexual orientation within the Jungian tradition. However, the English school of analytical psychology and indeed other national Jungian professional bodies which incorporate non-Jungian clinical theory (neo-Freudian, Kleinian, Winnicottian, or Kohutian) are not given much room by Hopcke. In fact, he would argue that such models and techniques are erroneously pathologising.

I shall return to this issue later because it is my main focus of criticism. First, though, I shall describe what the book does give us most thoroughly, namely a critical investigation of all of Jung's and subsequent Jungian writing that touches on the psychology of homosexuality. I shall then summarise, with what has to be an unfair brevity, Hopcke's own comprehensive Jungian theory which takes up the last third of the book. This proposed dynamic model, the first of its kind, is surely timely, but is, I feel, not enough and so not wholly successful.

Hopcke selects four questions which he proposes to discuss:

What archetypal themes are expressed in such a universal and passionately charged form of human relationship as homosexuality and homoeroticism?

What draws man to man, woman to woman, and what individual meanings find their best possible expression through homoerotic longings and homosexual relationships?

Do gay people differ from heterosexuals psychologically, clinically, or symbolically? Might there not be common archetypal themes that undergird the incarnation of Eros in homosexuality or, indeed, any expression of erotic involvement with another person, man or woman, same sex or different?

Chapter 2 starts by reviewing all that Jung wrote about homosexuality in his Early psychoanalytic writings 1908-1920.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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