ROBERT HOPCKE: Did Jung understand gay identity?

Feb 29, 2024


Art Credit: Jano Tantongco, jano.tantongco@gmail.com


Can Jungian psychology shed light on the archetypal forces shaping gay identity?”

Our guest, Robert Hopcke, examines how Jung and Jungians have regarded homosexuality both clinically and theoretically, demonstrating that within a great diversity of opinion, there exist many ways to deepen an understanding of the lives and loves of gay men and lesbians. Hopcke proposes a view of homosexuality that is archetypally based, empirically supportable, psychologically profound, and spiritually evocative.

Jungian psychology has a fresh take on integrating the shadow and the individuation process for LGBTQ+ folks. It encourages everyone to embrace their identity to achieve authenticity and wholeness. Reinterpreting Jung’s anima and animus concepts challenges the traditional binary notions of gender and sexuality, leading to a more fluid and inclusive understanding of these concepts. Dreams and fantasies can help people understand themselves better, showing them the archaic strata of desires, conflicts, and potentials hidden within their psyche. By engaging with the collective unconscious and its archetypes, LGBTQ+ individuals can better grasp themselves, fostering a sense of belonging and connection to the broader human experience. Jungian psychology recognizes and validates the complexity and diversity of human experiences, offering a framework that acknowledges and explores the many ways LGBTQ+ identities manifest and evolve.

Prepare to discover who was the first researcher to investigate and publish Jung’s writings on homosexuality; when Jung challenged heteronormative psychology and introduced radical ideas of femininity and masculinity; how ruthless dreams and the collective unconscious become the battlegrounds and playgrounds for individuals embracing their unique desires; what Jungian concepts empower us to explore varied expressions of love and gender to sculpt identity narratives beyond binary constraints; where Jungian psychology challenges and enriches our collective understanding of human complexity and the quest for authenticity; whether Jung’s writings embrace or alienate LGBTQ+ identity formation; which aspects of Jung’s writings offer a beacon of understanding and acceptance; why Jungian thought enriches the discourse on identity beyond heteronormativity, fostering a universal narrative of integration, acceptance, and the celebration of the self in all its diverse manifestations…and so much more.

Learn more about Rob Hopcke HERE.


“There is a war being fought between the US and Russia on US soil, specifically where my ex-boyfriend lives in Virginia. He lost his life in the war. (In waking life, I left him a few days before this dream occurred.) I am hiding out in his brother’s house. I am a wanted man—either because I am gay or accused of being a witch. Despite being actively persecuted, my ex’s brother and sister-in-law allowed me to hide in their house in a small space under the stairs. They are risking everything by doing so. One day, their friend came over with her small child. The child was playing around the house and wandered into the infrequently trafficked area of the house where I was hiding. He noticed me, pointed, and announced that I was there. Now that the friend knew they were harboring a wanted person, I had to leave immediately. At great risk, my ex’s brother went to great lengths to help me. He packed me food and supplies and drove me to the Appalachian Trail, where I could travel north on foot with little risk of being seen. He accompanied me into the forest and briefly showed me the way. Upon returning to the trailhead to say a proper goodbye, we were met by a small group of Russian archers with their arrows pointed directly at me. Among them was a friend of mine who works with me. She was sobbing but did not lower her bow. I had been betrayed by my ex’s brother. I climbed into a ditch and started singing a song from a popular Disney movie I enjoyed growing up. Somehow, I convinced the soldiers to join in. They laid down their weapons, and I taught them different parts. Soon, we were all singing in full harmony. It sounded incredible, but more importantly, I was safe.”


Dream School provides a gently paced program with live interactive webinars, an uplifting online community, thought-provoking audio modules, and guided journaling to deepen your experience. Lisa, Deb, and Joe crafted the program with you in mind and companion you through the process. “Step-by-step, we’ll teach you how to interpret your dreams.” Join the revolution of consciousness! Join Dream School and Transform Your Sleep into the Greatest Adventure of Your Life: LEARN MORE


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  1. Jeno Smith

    I feel like I’ve just seen a graphics photo and need time to debrief. (No pun intended.) I would have liked to have heard more from Deb, Lisa and Joseph on this topic. It seems it ended quite abruptly.

  2. Thomas Gitz-Johansen

    Really, really great interview! Super interesting and much needed in the Jungian world. Thanks a lot guys and Rob! I only feel, that although Rob rejects prescriptions about gender (what it should mean to be a man or woman), he got prescriptive towards the end about sexuality (just before the dream), when he listed all the things sexuality should be (vibrant, joyous, wonderful, sacramental, thrilling, funny). What if a person doesn’t feel those things? I think it would be good to remain descriptive here about all the things sexuality can be for a person, some of which feel less than wonderful, etc.

  3. Rebecca

    I agree with the other comment, I would have preferred to hear more of Joseph, Lisa and Deb. You three seem more informed and on point with Jungian theory. I found the guest speaker spoke a lot, he said a lot of words without saying much I found terribly useful 😬.

  4. Edna Nichols

    I appreciated this episode and learning about the historical significance of Rob Hopcke’s work as a queer Jungian. As a lesbian, I have struggled with ideas of “the masculine” and “the feminine” and the need to integrate “the masculine” as integral to my individuation. It was pleasing to hear a Jungian discuss issues which may arise for queer people with regard to sexuality and gender and anima and animus that straight analysts may not recognize or fully know what to do with. Thanks for the episode!


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