My original clinical training in Pastoral Care and Counseling was at Georgia Baptist Medical Center where I did an internship and residency. The primary theoretical framework for the training was psychoanalytic. We studied the work and contributions of Sigmund Freud. In addition to the study of Freud’s work we were all in analysis with psychoanalysts. Other training centers focused on a more eclectic approach studying many psychological theorists. The perspective of the training team at Georgia Baptist Center for Pastoral Care and Counseling required all interns to gain an in-depth understanding of Freudian Analysis.
Without going into great detail about this theory the major perspective is that personality and patterns of behavior, thought and emotions are formed in the first five years of life. This being the case, problems in the here and now have their basis in mostly unconscious patterns, which were established very early in life as a way of adapting to the context that the individual was born into. These patterns continue to play out throughout our life until we gain insight into where they originated. This insight is seen as the intervention that frees a person to adapt to the current context.
From this deterministic perspective early patterns of adaptation continue throughout life in spite of its changing context. With this general theory as a guide in therapy we habitually say, “Tell me about your Mama and them.”