Frequently Asked Questions

In this section are answers to frequently asked questions and common concerns that people have when considering psychotherapy.

Psychotherapy is a unique professional relationship between a therapist and a patient that is based on therapeutic principles, structure and technique. It is a dialog, between doctor and patient for the sole purpose of helping the client improve their ability to deal with life’s challenges. It is through the therapeutic alliance and the relationship that the healing occurs.

There are many reasons that people seek the help of a qualified professional. At various points in life there are obstacles or challenges that arise. Each situation or crisis poses an opportunity for growth; we are not given a challenge we cannot handle. Navigating through these events-a difficult childhood, divorce or career change, a loss through death, change or break-up, unhealthy relationships at home or work-can produce unexpected symptoms, such as anxiety or depression.

While many people handle their problems on their own, there are times when seeking professional assistance can bring a different perspective, support and tools needed to empower and change destructive patterns. When you no longer feel you are in control of your decisions and your life, it is probably time to seek professional assistance.

There is tremendous value in talking through your problems and challenges with someone who has the experience, training and expertise to understand and help you make changes. A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. The return from therapy depends upon how you participate in the process and what you put into practice. Some of these include:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships
  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
  • Improving communications and listening skills
  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

Treatment is available for adolescents and adults and with most clinical problems including:

  • Adjustment Disorders
  • Affairs and Infidelity
  • Anger Management
  • Anxiety and Panic
  • Chronic Illnesses
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Depression and Mood Disorders
  • Dissociative Identity Disorders
  • Divorce and Co-Parent Counseling
  • Eating Disorders
  • Failure to Launch
  • Fetishes and Paraphilias
  • Grief and Loss
  • Parenting and Co-Parenting
  • Personality Disorders
  • Phobias, Fears and OCD
  • Process Addictions (Sex, Money-Work, Spending, Gambling)
  • Psychosomatic Disorders
  • Relationship Problems
  • Sex and Love Addiction and Avoidance
  • Sexual Dysfunction and Dissatisfaction
  • Step-Parenting and Family Reunification
  • Stress Reduction
  • Transgender-Transsexual
  • Trauma and PTSD
  • Women’s Issues
  • Work and Career Issues

Dr. Winter has training and experience in a number of conventional forms of therapy and a few state-of- the-art evidence-based therapies as well. These include psychoanalytic psychotherapy, various behavioral and cognitive therapies, sex therapy, hypnotherapy and past-life regression therapy (PLRT), eye movement desensitization re-processing (EMDR), emotionally focused therapy for couples (EFT), discernment counseling, mindfulness and specialized training in sex and process addictions. She draws her work from both Western and Eastern traditions. She is available for both short-term management of a crisis or intermediate to long-term therapy. She is a qualified Parenting Coordinator and Family Court Mediator.

According to state statues, information exchanged during the course of psychotherapy is privileged communication and subject to privacy. As such, she is not permitted to acknowledge that any one is in my care unless given your written permission. There are exceptions such as danger to the self or others. Details are provided in the Patient Services Agreement and the HIPAA statement.

Therapy can take as short as a few sessions or as long as many years to help someone become mobilized and move on. This depends upon the preexisting issues, the goals of the person and their willingness to participate in the therapeutic process.

Therapy is typically done in weekly increments; in this way you will have sufficient time in between visits to process and practice yet allowing for the continuity of care. During a period of crisis, sessions may be more frequent and as improvement is made sessions may be spaced out longer.

Individual therapy sessions are 50 minutes. Couples sessions are typically 60-90 minutes although on occasion, and for the first visit, they are 75 minutes. EMDR, hypnosis and PLRT and discernment counseling sessions are typically 90-120 minutes. For those who want a more intensive treatment (a minimum of two hours) weekend sessions are available.

In some cases, a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what’s best for you. It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness.

Many health insurance carriers often cover all or part of the psychotherapy session, however, each plan has a different benefit. It is best that you contact your carrier directly to inquire about your annual deductible, co-pays and or co-insurance, annual session or dollar limits and whether or not an authorization is required. As Dr. Winter no longer participates with insurance, other than Medicare, your therapy would be considered out- of-network. As a service to her clients, she will submit your visits electronically to your carrier on your behalf and you will receive reimbursement directly.

It is important to understand that utilizing insurance benefits invites a third party into your therapy sessions. Confidentiality is then forfeited and there are other people making decisions about your care. In order to submit claims to an insurance company on your behalf, she is expected to provide a mental health diagnosis and procedure code. This diagnosis is then placed in a database that may ultimately affect your future insurance premiums. At times they require more extensive information such as a history and/or treatment plan. Sex and couple’s therapy or other relational issues are not diagnosable issues and sometimes not a covered charge. Therapy works best when therapist and patient are in control of the decisions that dictate your treatment. Please feel free to discuss your concerns regarding fees and insurance prior to your initial appointment.

Forensic services, such as depositions, testimony and parenting coordination, are not reimbursable by your carrier. Please check with them to see what services are covered and which ones are excluded.

If you have Medicare, there are a few things you should know. Dr. Winter is a participant with Medicare; this does NOT include Medicare replacement, advantage or “complete” plans that are offered by various insurance companies. Those are treated as out-of- network and are subject to the full fee, unless otherwise agreed upon with Dr. Winter. Secondly, this office does not bill secondary carriers; as such you are required to have automatic crossover whereby there is a coordination of benefits between Medicare and your secondary insurance carrier. In some instances, when you do not have automatic crossover, she is able to bill your secondary electronically; please check with the office. If neither of these are options, it is important that you call your carrier and initiate automatic crossover.

If the information on this website appeals to you and you believe this may be the right place for you, you may call Dr. Winter to schedule a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation to determine if our working together will be an appropriate fit for you and your concerns. Ultimately, coming in for a consultation will help you determine if Dr. Winter is suitable for your style and comfort as well as qualified to handle your concerns.

To review the policies of this office please refer to the Patient Services Agreement on the new patient forms page. It is the last two pages of the patient intake.