Rodney E. Timbrook, Ph.D., HSPP 

Psychological Service Associates, Inc.

3421 E. State Blvd, Fort Wayne, Indiana

office telephone (260) 482-8427
office fax (260) 482-8429

My Approach to Providing Treatment Services

Respect for the Individual

I have great respect for an individual's autonomy and right to be treated with dignity.  As such, I typically do not offer advice to patients, but guide them in directions where they can arrive at their own ways to resolve problems or situations. 

I do make treatment recommendations that I feel will be helpful in guiding the patient to addressing problems about which they have sought assistance.

Sometimes patients want to know if I work with individuals from a particular religious faith or from various ethnic or racial backgrounds.  I strive to treat each individual and their beliefs and heritage with deep respect. 

I work very hard on not imposing any beliefs I may have, since I consider that highly disrespectful of whomever with whom I am working. 

I have had extensive background in working with individuals from a diverse religious, ethnic, racial, educational, and socioeconomic backgrounds. 

I have extensive experience working with  sexual minorities and other individuals who have been marginalized by society.

How I think about what Psychotherapy is

We often believe that our behaviors and feelings are caused by what happens in the real world. However, I do not believe that this is not quite true.

When we have any kind of experience, it does not affect us directly. Rather, we first give it a meaning through our beliefs about it and our reactions to our perceptions. 

The goals of my treatment are helping individuals learn how to cope more effectively with life situations and deal with them in a reasonable, rational manner by adjusting ideas, beliefs, reactions, and expectations to be more workable and pragmatic.

Psychotherapy is not like a medical doctor visit.  An important part of your therapy will be practicing new skills that you will learn in our sessions.

I will ask you to practice outside our meetings, and we will work together to set up assignments for you. I might ask you to do exercises, to keep records, and perhaps to do other tasks to deepen your learning experience and strengthen skills that you are learning.

You get the best results from working on relationships in your life and making long-term efforts. These are important parts of personal change.

Change will sometimes be easy and quick, but more often it will be slow and frustrating. You will need to keep trying to get the desired results.

There are no instant, painless cures and no "magic pills."

However, you can learn new ways of looking at your problems that will be very helpful for changing your feelings and reactions.  

While I feel that many times psychological treatment alone can be successful in treating a person's concerns, I also accept that with some situations medications are necessary or have significant advantages over psychological treatment alone. 

While I do not prescribe medication, I try to stay very knowledgeable of medications that physicians use. 

I am eager to work with many area physicians (family doctors, psychiatrists and other treating physicians) to make sure that each of my patients receives the best care available. 

The style of psychotherapy I offer

My style of psychotherapy uses a variety of approaches that focus on both behaviors and patterns of thinking to improve ability to cope with life situations. 

This is often referred to as cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy.

My theoretical approach is based on the idea that our ideas, beliefs, and expectations make a big difference in how we feel and act in our every day lives. 

Sometimes when these ideas, beliefs, or expectations are mistaken, inaccurate, or unrealistic, they can lead to difficulties coping effectively with life.  Such beliefs can make it very hard to adapt to new life situations.

However, what is most important is that I am able to tailor my treatment approach to what works best for whomever I am working with to make changes in their lives. 

While sometimes it is very important to talk about past events in one's life, particularly if past events continue to distress an individual, I tend to focus treatment on the here and now, current situations, and problems.

Oftentimes, helping my patients to consider a different way of looking at the past is important.

One of the more recent develoopments of cognitive-behavioral therapies has been Acceptance and Committment Therapy (or ACT).

This therapeutic approach focuses on helping individuals develop a different and more effective relationship with their own "brain."

ACT proposes that suffering is a part of every day life. However, most suffering is caused by our attempts to avoid what we experience in our minds.

By trying to avoid our thoughts, feelings, or even bodily sensations, we actually suffer much more.

Only by coming to an acceptance of those internal experiences (becoming comfortable with the discomfort) do we suffer less and become more effective in living our lives.

When individuals live their lives according to their internal experiences (thoughts, emotions, or bodily sensations), they suffer more than they do otherwise.

When individuals commit to live their lives according to their values, life becomes more fulfilling.

I've asked many people this simple question, "Who do you want running your life? You or your emotions?"

The Course of Psychotherapy

Most of my patients see me once a week for 2 to 3 months. After that, we meet less often for several more months.

Therapy then usually comes to an end. The process of ending therapy, can be a very valuable part of our work. Stopping therapy should not be done casually, although either of us may decide to end the therapy relationship if we believe it is in your best interest.

If you wish to stop therapy at any time, I ask that you agree now to meet then for at least one session to review our work together. We will review our goals, the work we have done, any future work that needs to be done, and our choices.

If you would like to take a "vacation" from therapy to try it on your own, we should discuss this. We can often make such a "vacation" be more helpful.

The Benefits and Risks of Therapy

As with any powerful treatment, there are some risks as well as many benefits with therapy. You should think about both the benefits and risks when making any treatment decisions.

For example, in therapy, there is a risk patients will have for a time uncomfortable levels of sadness, guilt, anxiety, anger, frustration, loneliness, helplessness, or other negative feelings.  

Patients may recall unpleasant memories. These feelings or memories may bother a patient at work or in school.

Some people in your community may mistakenly view anyone in therapy as weak, or perhaps as seriously disturbed or even dangerous.

Also, patients in therapy may have problems with people important to them. Family secrets may be told.

Therapy may impact a marital relationship and sometimes may even lead to a divorce. Sometimes, too, a patient's problems may temporarily worsen after the beginning of treatment.

Most of these risks are to be expected when people are making any important changes in their lives.

Finally, even with our best efforts, there is a risk that therapy may not work out well for you.

While you consider these risks, you should know also that scientists in well-designed research studies have shown the benefits of therapy.

People who are depressed may find their mood improving. Others may no longer feel afraid, angry, or anxious.

In therapy, people have a chance to talk things out fully until their feelings are relieved or the problems are resolved.

Patients' relationships and coping skills may improve greatly. They may get more satisfaction out of social and family relationships.

Their personal goals and values may become clearer. They may grow in many directions—as persons, in their close relationships, in their work or schooling, and in the ability to enjoy their lives.

I do not work with any patient that I do not think I can help.

Therefore, I will enter our relationship with optimism about our progress.

About Our Appointments

The very first time I meet with you, we will need to give each other much basic information. For this reason, I usually schedule 50 minutes for this first meeting.

Following this, we will usually meet for a 45-minute session once a week, then less often. We can schedule meetings for both your and my convenience.

An appointment is a commitment to our work. We agree to meet here and to be on time.

If I am ever unable to start on time, I ask your understanding. I also assure you that you will receive the full time agreed to.

If you are late, we will probably be unable to meet for the full time. It is likely that I will have another appointment after yours.

A cancelled appointment delays our work.

I will consider our meetings very important and ask you to do the same. Please try not to miss sessions if you can possibly help it.

When you must cancel, please give me at least 24 hours notice.

Your session time is reserved for you. I am rarely able to fill a cancelled session unless I know at least 48 hours in advance.