Child & Family Development Child & Family Development

December 22, 2015

Child Psychiatrist at Child and Family Development

Child and Family Development partners with a child psychiatrist via The Family Clinic at our Midtown office. 

The Family Clinic began in February 1991.  Since 2001, Dr. Pleas Geyer has led the collaboration with a focus on development and school performance.  The scope of the Family Clinic includes children, teenagers and young adults with:

‚Ä¢ ADHD ‚Ä¢ depression
‚Ä¢ anxiety ‚Ä¢ developmental disorders
‚Ä¢ Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)  ‚Ä¢ Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
  ‚Ä¢ and other emotional issues

A word from psychiatrist, Pleas Geyer M.D.:

We human beings are born with very limited abilities, but with a nervous system open to very complicated development.  One way to think about development is that we take in our experiences with others and make them our own.  It begins with our primary attachments and branches out around age 5 into an ever-widening world.  This is why the diagnostic practice parameters of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry require a thorough and detailed developmental history and a complete understanding of the child‚Äôs current family, peer and academic relationships in order to accurately diagnose childhood problems.  This practice standard unfortunately is often honored in the breech.  In the Family Clinic, we are committed to the thorough understanding of the child‚Äôs problems (and sharing this understanding with parents) before making any treatment recommendations. 

The strongest, and most repeated, finding in the scientific literature of child and adolescent treatment is that medication alone, regardless of the problem, has no enduring effect.  For example, the most recent National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) sponsored outcome study of ADHD shows that the medication only group had initial symptom improvement, but, after a few years, was not distinguishable from an untreated group.  Only treatment plans which have coordinated interventions tailored to the needs of the individual child have sustained benefit.   In the jargon of the scientific literature, this is called multimodal treatment. 

If a child has symptoms which could be moderated by medication, medication trials should be recommended.  The goal is to find a medication which moderates distressing or impairing symptoms without any adverse affects.  If problems can be moderated they are easier to work on, improve, and resolve.  However, medication is only an adjunct to treatment, not the treatment itself.  The child might also need parent consultation, school consultation, psychosocial interventions, individual psychotherapy, occupational therapy, recreational therapy, speech therapy, social groups or other interventions.  An effective treatment plan will usually involve one or two other modalities and, if medication trials are not tolerated or helpful, an effective treatment plan can still be put together from other interventions.  In the Family Clinic, we are committed to multimodal treatment.  

Pleas R. Geyer, M.D., is a child and adolescent psychiatrist who joined the Family Clinic at Child and Family Development to provide care and medication management of children and adolescents diagnosed with emotional and developmental disorders. Dr. Geyer is in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Carolinas Medical Center, and is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He received his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina. He completed his psychiatry residency at the University of Chicago, where he was Chief Resident in Psychiatry. He also completed his Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Chicago in 1981. Additionally, Dr. Geyer has trained at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. He brings a depth of experience in his treatment of our child and adolescent population. Dr. Geyer is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in General Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Forensic Psychiatry. Currently, he serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the North Carolina Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the North Carolina chapter of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 

To learn more about The Family Clinic, click here