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The Idol Beneath the Altar


Journal of Psychiatric Practice®: March 2014 - Volume 20 - Issue 2 - p 138–140
doi: 10.1097/01.pra.0000445248.31177.4b
COLUMNS: Psychotherapy

Drawing on the imagery of a Mayan idol hidden beneath the altar of a Catholic mission church imposed on a Mayan city by Spanish conquerors, the author discusses the role of deeply rooted core beliefs that are not always evident on the surface—and the observation that, in clinical practice, things are not always as they seem. Psychotherapists may unconsciously be seen as invading cultural enemies. (Journal of Psychiatric Practice 2014;20:138–140)

Norman A. Clemens, MD, is Emeritus Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Cleveland Psychoanalytic Center.

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.